Saturday, September 26, 2015

Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women?

During the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association convention, this past week in Calgary, we were presented with a resolution from the City of Lethbridge during our 'Resolutions Session' which troubled me.  The resolution read:

"Be it resolved that the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association urge the federal government to move forward with a National Inquiry into the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada that will improve and fill in the gaps that currently exist within our society and First Nations communities and facilitate better community and coordination within the justice system closing the cases on missing and murdered indigenous women."

Personally, I don't think a National Inquiry will accomplish anything. 

It is true that over 1100 indigenous women have gone missing or have been found murdered since 1980.  It is also true that Alberta has the second highest rate of missing indigenous women in Canada.  But I truly believe that these women have gone missing NOT because they are native, but because of something else!  I don't know what that "something else" is, but I don't think a National Inquiry will find out.

My experience over the past fifty years is that National Inquiries spend copious amounts of money, generate a mountain of general statements and platitudes, but do little else. 

I believe that money (or probably considerably less) would be better spent coordinating law enforcement groups, federal, provincial, reserve, and local to investigate each and every file again to collect data.  In collating this data, those combined police forces have a better chance of finding out what these women have in common besides being native!  Then we'll have a chance to put an end to this national tragedy by attacking the real reasons why these women have been victimized. 

This is a horrible tragedy affecting every Canadian and it requires more than lip service!

By the way, the resolution passed.

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