• Lack of official data on violence against aboriginal women no excuse for inaction
Mar 13, 2013

Ten years ago, when Amnesty International began researching the issue of violence against indigenous women in Canada, we were shocked to learn that police in Canada could not answer the simple and urgent question of how many First Nations, Inuit, and Métis women have been murdered or gone missing. A decade later this question remains unanswered. What’s even more shocking is the fact that the lack of official statistics continues to be used as an excuse for inaction.

There should be no doubt that indigenous women in Canada face levels of violence that constitute a national human rights crisis. The best available data, from Statistics Canada, suggests that the homicide rate for indigenous women in Canada is at least seven times higher than for non-indigenous women. The Native Women’s Association of Canada has independently documented 582 cases of missing or murdered indigenous women through 2010. And the province of Saskatchewan, which to our knowledge is the only jurisdiction to have conducted a thorough review of all its long-term missing persons files to examine possible patterns of disappearance of indigenous women, found that 60 per cent of missing women in that province were indigenous.

Read more: http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2013/03/12/lack_of_official_data_on_violence_against_aboriginal_women_no_excuse_for_inaction.html

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