In the face of persistent inaction by the federal government and Canadian law enforcement, the country's largest news broadcaster has launched a nationwide special investigative series that explores the cases of over 200 missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada, stretching back to 1951.
“About 70 percent of family members expressed the desire for a national inquiry into the issue, a call that has so far been rejected by the federal government.”
This is a a problem of deeply-ingrained, systemic racism that is as Canadian as Maple Syrup and poutine!
Note that cases stretch as far back as 1951 and that a number of relatievs have never been questioned about the disappearances of their daughters, mothers and sisters, until the CBC investigation. This is not about the Reform Party of Canada [reformed into the CPC]. It implicates Liberals, Conservatives, Wild Rose as well the NDP.
This has echoes of the Robert Picton murders, where years of ignoring the disappearances of [mostly] Aboriginal women in BC served to embolden Picton. Yes, he was caught, after 100s of women’s remains were found at his pig farm; how many of those women would still be alive had the various police departments done their job is shameful.
There was (is?) a practice in Manitoba (and I think Saskatchewan too) where police officers who picked up an intoxicated aboriginal person, would drive them out to a remote area and leave them to ‘find their way home.’ Apparently, the racist rationale was that, as Natives, they could survive the elements (did I mention that the cases came to light in months of January-February, where the temperatures in Prairies can get to -40 degrees Celsius (without accounting for the significant Prairie wind chill).
Concerning these 240+ unsolved cases (I’m sure there are more), the mentality of the police is the same. This is what the police purportedly told the grandmother of a missing 17 year old girl in Winnipeg in 2007, “Oh she’s just a prostitute, she’s probably just on a binge, she’ll come home.” (But she never did. She was killed).
- BC’s Highway of Tears Task Force: One arrest and one conviction in the past 10 years
- Alberta’s Project Kare: Three convictions in the past 12 years
- Manitoba’s Project Devote: One solved case in past 5 years
The commonly cited reason for low conviction/arrest rate: lack of resources. In other words, numerous governments have not cared about the issue for decades, and numerous governments still do not care. (While cities/provinces are responsible for the cases in urban areas, the federal government is responsible for cases on-reserve…there is a lot of blame/shame to go around).