The MLA for Stikine thinks the RCMP’s new National Operational Review on Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women should help bring awareness to a huge problem.
In a press release from the RCMP, they say this is the most comprehensive account of missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada to date.
There are 1,181 missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canadian police databases. Dating back to 1952, 164 are missing and 1,017 have been murdered between 1980 and 2012.
“I think it is a validation of what a lot of people are saying in the northwest,” said, Doug Donaldson critic for aboriginal affairs and reconciliation.
“This points to a huge issue. From my perspective, as an MLA, it really reinforced the need for action now in the northwest, especially. There have been a lot of options that have been identified for the BC Liberals to take and they haven’t, such as the need for a public transit system. The time for action is now and that is what this report highlights.”
The review also reveals that missing and murdered aboriginal women are over-represented compared to non-native women.
Aboriginal women accounted for 16 per cent of female homicides and 11.3 per cent of missing women while the representation of aboriginal women in the Canadian population is 4.3 per cent.
“Our women are in a different category, they are treated less than and face many more challenges and barriers than other women,” said Beverley Clifton Percival, negotiator for the Gitxsan hereditary chiefs.
“The RCMP should have a zero tolerance for violence and really enforce the law to its fullest extent. When a woman is reported missing, it shouldn’t simply be dropped after a few days or weeks. These people belong to families, they deserve the outmost respect.”
She is calling for a national inquiry.
“Particularly in British Columbia along the Highway of Tears, there are still open cases, there are still women going missing. When Christy Clark says ‘family first,’ these are our families.”