Attempts to deal with First Nations ‘insufficient,’ says UN

UN urges national inquiry

OTTAWA—A United Nations representative is urging the Harper government to hold a national inquiry into an estimated 1,200 cases of aboriginal women and girls who have been murdered or gone missing in the past 30 years.

A report released Monday by law professor James Anaya, the UN’s special rapporteur on indigenous rights, ratchets up the pressure on a Conservative government that has flatly resisted calls to launch a comprehensive investigation.

The report comes on the heels of revelations from RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson that police have compiled a list of 1,026 deaths and 160 missing-persons cases involving aboriginal women—hundreds more than previously believed.

The Conservatives have so far resisted calls for a national inquiry, saying the issue has been studied enough and now is the time for action.

But Anaya’s report says even though steps have already been taken, an investigation “into the disturbing phenomenon of missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls” is still necessary.

“The federal government should undertake a comprehensive, nationwide inquiry into the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal woman and girls, organized in consultation with indigenous peoples,” the report says.

Anaya spent nine days in Canada last year meeting with First Nations representatives and government officials. Among his other findings:

—There’s still a “well-being gap” between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people in Canada;

—Treaty and other aboriginal claims remain unresolved;

—Aboriginal people have “high levels of distrust” toward all levels of government.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt acknowledged more work needs to be done, but highlighted steps the government has taken to give First Nations the same access to safe housing, education and matrimonial rights as non-aboriginals.

“Our government is proud of the effective and incremental steps taken in partnership with aboriginal communities. We are committed to continuing to work with our partners to make significant progress in improving the lives of aboriginal people in Canada,” Valcourt said in a statement.

“We will review the report carefully to determine how we can best address the recommendations.”

Opposition parties criticized the federal Conservatives’ handling of the aboriginal file.

“This report clearly articulated both the serious and persistent crisis in outcomes for indigenous people in this country, and that the steps taken by the Conservatives have not only failed to address this crisis, but have created a high level of distrust towards the federal government,” Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett said in a statement.

One way to restore trust would be to heed Anaya’s call for a national inquiry into murdered and missing women and girls, Bennett added.

New Democrat MP Jean Crowder likewise called for an inquiry.

“The rapporteur also noted the lack of trust many indigenous people feel toward this Conservative government,” Crowder said in a statement.

“Continuing to ignore calls for an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women only increases that distrust because people honestly don’t understand why they continue to ignore what amounts to a public safety emergency.”"




Browse

Attempts to deal with First Nations ‘insufficient,’ says UN

  1. the UN is a joke. No one should take another report from any of these idiots seriously. Remember the last one?

    Apparently, starvation is rampant in Canada. Solution: Raise taxes.

    Oi vey.

  2. Stunning that in an advanced western nation in the 21st century we can have open starvation on reserves, and 1200 aboriginal women missing or killed….and no one moves to do anything about it.

  3. Four missing women per year average from each province or 40 per year nation wide.

    How does that compare to total persons missing per year nation wide?

    Maybe native women should think about avoiding high risk behaviors, like don’t hitchhike on desolate highways.

    The UN is a joke,it should be de-funded and disbanded.

    • If that many white women were missing in Canada, all hell would break loose.

      PS Last time we disbanded the UN, we had WWII.

  4. Royal Canadian Mounted Police missing child statistics for a ten-year period show a total of 60,582 missing children in 2007.

    • Are you trying to do a ‘who is worth more’ argument here?

      Srsly??

  5. I think it is odd when people talk about something that is complex like it is simple. The fact is that several thousand Canadians of all ethnic groups go missing each year, “First Nations” are not unique in the problem. That is all without addressing the complexities of interfacing with each ethnic group to help solve this and many other problems.

    • How many end up in a pig farmer’s freezer?

      We are talking about a specific group here….not everybody you can think of.

  6. RCMP Launches National Public Website for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains

    January 31, 2013 — OTTAWA —The RCMP’s National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains (NCMPUR) is pleased to announce the launch of a new national website.

    The NCMPUR website, located at http://www.canadasmissing.ca, is Canada’s first national website designed to engage the public in reporting tips and information related to ongoing cases. The site is a key component of the federal government’s commitment to the Canadian public to help identify remains and bring the missing home.

    “This website gives the public a chance to make a difference in finding some of Canada’s missing. Each person who takes the time to visit canadasmissing.ca could help bring a loved one home to their family,” said the Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety.

    “Canadasmissing.ca provides law enforcement, medical examiners and chief coroners with a powerful tool in resolving missing persons and unidentified remains cases and gives the public an easy-to-use access point to ensure that relevant information is received by investigators,” said RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson.

    While in some cases many years have passed since a person has gone missing or human remains have been located, police, medical examiners and chief coroners remain committed to resolving these cases. The participation of the public is often vital in locating missing persons and identifying human remains. Regardless of how old an investigation is or how insignificant a piece of information may seem, a member of the public may have the one key element needed to successfully solve a case.

    The website is operated by the RCMP’s National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains. The cases on the new website are a sampling of cases from across Canada. The information contained on canadasmissing.ca is submitted by police officers, medical examiners or chief coroners. Cases may be added to the website at the request of primary investigators. All tips and information received from the public through the website will be relayed to the investigating agency.

    To visit the site, please follow the link below.

    http://www.canadasmissing.ca

  7. This should not be censored Macleans;

    January 31, 2013 — OTTAWA —The RCMP’s National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains (NCMPUR) is pleased to announce the launch of a new national website.

    The NCMPUR website, located at http://www.canadasmissing.ca, is Canada’s first national website designed to engage the public in reporting tips and information related to ongoing cases. The site is a key component of the federal government’s commitment to the Canadian public to help identify remains and bring the missing home.

Sign in to comment.