Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women

Good afternoon to all!

I was going to make this post yesterday, but life got in the way of allowing this to happen. I hope everyone is doing fabulously! Instead of doing Reviewsday Tuesday (on a Wednesday) I am going to be telling all of you about missing and murdered aboriginal women. Next week, I do fully intend to talk about Paper Towns by John Green though.

I want to talk about missing and murdered aboriginal women because of how important this issue is. Anyone who lives in Canada should know about what is happening here. I have yet to meet someone who has no idea what I am talking about. But I do believe a lot of people do not know all the facts. Honestly, I probably don’t know everything either, but I will do my best to impart as much knowledge as I can. *To be clear, I am not aboriginal, I am merely an ally*

Fact: Since 1980 there are 1181 aboriginal women reported murdered or missing aboriginal women, 1017 of the cases are homicides and 164 of the cases are missing women. There are 225 unresolved cases, in this case 105 are missing and 120 are unresolved murders. While around 90% of all murders in Canada are resolved, whether aboriginal or not, the statistics indicate that aboriginal women are over represented in this issue. Statistically, aboriginal women are 3 times more likely to face violence than non-aboriginal women. This is all according to an RCMP report, to which I would be happy to provide a link too.

For those of you who have seen the #AmINext hashtag on Twitter, this is why. If you have seen your friends profile pictures with the blue background with the lighter coloured silhouette of an aboriginal woman that says “My Profile Photo Just Disappeared; In solidarity with all indigenous women missing, murdered, and denied”, this is why.

These two social media movements are a representation of the solidarity many Canadians feel to get to the bottom of why this happens so often and are demanding action.

On August 17th, 15-year-old Tina Fontaine was found dead, in a bag, in the Red River. The Red River goes through Winnipeg, Manitoba, for those of you who may not be familiar with the river. Winnipeg is the city that Tina went missing in. She was in the care of Child and Family Services. She had apparently run away from home, and was reported missing. After she ran away, Tina had been in contact with CFS and two police officers. When the police officers saw her, they let her go – it is unclear whether they knew she was a missing child or if they even knew what her name was. After that, she was found dead 8 days later. At 15 years old, the system failed this girl, the system failed to keep her safe. While I acknowledge that CFS is understaffed and that the police officers might have been faced by factors out of their control as well, it remains the same that she needed protection because she was only a child, whether she knew it or not, and now she is dead.

It’s not just a criminal problem, even though that’s apparently why Mr. Harper does not want to do the inquiry. It is a sociological problem. Aboriginal women are facing disproportionate levels of violence. Violence against women, or any human for that matter, is never acceptable. When a particular group is facing higher levels than others that should never be brushed away, there needs to be some sort of holistic, culturally appropriate action plan to address this, to prevent this and to support women and their families if they have been victimized.

I have an abundance of research available, I would be happy to share links and articles with anyone who is interested in learning more about this very important matter. There is also a petition from the Liberal Party of Canada that I would be happy to direct you too.

Okay and keep being fabulous! – Andrea


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