Making Peace Vigil

Standing up for peace

JUSTICE FOR INDIGENOUS WOMEN

Posted by strattof on September 4, 2014

In August, the body of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine, found wrapped in a plastic bag, was pulled from the Red River in Winnipeg. As Winnipeg police Sgt. John O’Donovan said “Society should be horrified.”

The teenager’s death has renewed calls for a national inquiry into Canada’s shocking number of missing and murdered Indigenous girls and women. Once again, the Harper government has dismissed those calls. In the words of Stephen Harper, “We should not view this as a sociological phenomenon. We should view it as a crime.”

The end of Tina Fontaine’s short life adds her to a list of over 1,100 Indigenous girls and women who have gone missing or been murdered during the last 30 years.

VIOLENCE AGAINST INDIGENOUS WOMEN: 6 KEY FACTS

  1. A 2014 RCMP report found that 1,017 Indigenous women were murdered in Canada between 1980 and 2012. Another 164 are missing. That’s 37 women a year.
  2. Indigenous women make up only 4.3% of the Canadian population, yet they account for 16% of female homicides and 11.3% of missing women.
  3. 153 Indigenous women were murdered in Saskatchewan between 1980 and 2012. Indigenous women make up only 6% of Saskatchewan’s population, yet they account for 55% of female homicides.
  4. Saskatchewan has the highest rate of murdered Indigenous women among the provinces.
  5. In Canada, Indigenous women experience violence at a rate 3.5 times higher than non-Indigenous women and are 5 -7 times more likely to die as the result of violence.
  6. In 1980, Indigenous women accounted for 9% of female murder victims in Canada. In 2012, they accounted for 23%.

STEPHEN HARPER, WILLFUL BLINDNESS?

Yes, Stephen Harper, the murder of Tina Fontaine is a crime. And the police must do their job and solve that crime.

But, as the statistics above show, Tina Fontaine’s murder is also “a sociological phenomenon”: that is part of wider social pattern of disproportionate violence against Indigenous women in Canada.

Is Stephen Harper being willfully blind?

A national public inquiry would focus on the prevention of violence against Indigenous women. It would address the question: what can be done to overcome systemic inequality rooted in colonial dispossession and white privilege ‒ the underlying cause of violence against Indigenous women?

Indigenous peoples are at the bottom of the scale on every socioeconomic measurement in Canada. It is a situation that allows privileged groups to maintain their privilege and power.

Might this explain why Stephen Harper doesn’t want a national enquiry?

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

“Long-standing patterns of marginalization, impoverishment and discrimination are critical factors putting Indigenous women in Canada at risk of violence and exploitation. These same factors have also denied many Indigenous women full protection of the police and justice system.

The Canadian government has condemned the violence and promised to take action. But efforts to date have fallen far short of the comprehensive, coordinated response needed to address such serious and pervasive human rights violations.”

NATIONAL PUBLIC INQUIRY

Who wants a national public inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women? Almost everyone! ●Amnesty International ●United Nations ●RCMP ●Assembly of First Nations ●Native Women’s Association of Canada ●provincial premiers ●both main federal opposition parties.

Who doesn’t want an inquiry? Stephen Harper.

TAKE ACTION

A T T E N D

VOICES FOR OUR STOLEN SISTERS

Sunday September 14, 1 pm, Legislative Building

C O N T A C T

Your MP and tell him a national public inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women is long overdue.

Ray Boughen: ray.boughen@parl.gc.ca or 790-4646

Ralph Goodale: ralph.goodale@parl.gc.ca or 585-2202

Tom Lukiwski: tom.lukiwski@parl.gc.ca or 790-4747

Andrew Scheer: andrew.scheer@parl.gc.ca or 790-4727

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: