Submitted by Jo Hayward-Haines
When there is a federal government that can ignore the reality of almost 1200 missing and murdered Indigenous women, we are in deep trouble as a ‘civilization’. It is in response to this national crisis that The Sacred Water Circle; the Kawartha Truth and Reconciliation Support Group, KTRSG; Nibi Emosaawdimojig (“Those Who Walk for the Water”); and the Peterborough and Kawarthas chapter of the Council of Canadians are demanding a national inquiry.
a) Despite being only 4.3% of the national population, a heavily disproportionate number of Indigenous women have gone missing or been murdered
b) According to Statistics Canada, Indigenous women are seven times more likely to be murdered than non-Indigenous women
c) Even the RCMP has acknowledged a total of nearly 1200 Indigenous cases over the past 30 years, continuing over the past year.
This is a horrendous series of events that would not likely be tolerated if occurring within the mainstream population. So far, the federal government has not recognized this national crisis. Popular momentum for such a national inquiry has been building. There is a need to understand the root causes and develop a badly needed action plan, as First Nations National Chief, Perry Bellegarde, has stated. Canada should be a land of justice with a federal government that makes the protection of all people a priority; however it has failed so far to acknowledge the national crisis. On February 27 will be an opportunity to do so as families of missing and murdered Indigenous women will be in Ottawa to meet Indigenous organizations and the provincial and territorial Premiers. The federal government could exhibit both compassion and leadership by announcing a national inquiry. Sincerely, The Sacred Water Circle The Kawartha Truth and Reconciliation Support Group, KTRSG Nibi Emosaawdimojig – Those Who Walk for the Water Council of Canadians, Peterborough and Kawarthas