Family consultations wrap up ahead of missing, murdered indigenous women inquiry

After speaking with 1,300 people with ties to missing and murdered aboriginal women, some central themes are beginning to emerge that will help guide the national inquiry, Canada's Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett said on Monday.

See Full Article

Speaking to reporters in Ottawa, Bennett said that many of the families of missing and murdered aboriginal women expressed a "lack of satisfaction" in the way the cases of their loved ones were handled by authorities.

Minister of the Status of Women Patty Hajdu said she also heard similar sentiments from many of the families she spoke with during the pre-inquiry consultations.

"Many of the themes were the same -- concerns about the investigation (and) the response," Hajdu said.

The two ministers wrapped up the consultations on Monday on how best to conduct the national inquiry on missing and murdered aboriginal women. Since last December, the two have spent time crossing the country to speak with affected families, and seek their input on what they'd like to see addressed.

On Monday, the ministers shared some of the concerns that have been raised by affected families, but couldn't give a specific timeline on when the inquiry might start.

Instead, Bennett said the government hopes to have the inquiry up and running by the summer.

Bennett said many of the people she spoke with were not satisfied with how the case of their missing or murdered family member was being handled by authorities.

In some cases, the family believed their loved one was murdered, she said. However, some of those deaths were deemed as suicides, accidents, overdoses or deaths due to natural causes.

As a result, in many instances there would be no further police investigation, Bennett said. "In small communities to think that a murderer is out in their community made them feel very unsafe,” she said.

The minister said that it will be up to the commissioner, once chosen, to decide whether there are cold cases that need to be re-opened.

Hajdu said other central themes that emerged from the consultations include what types of people should lead the inquiry, what issues should be examined, what should be done about cold cases, and how should the needs of affected families be addressed right now.

The ministers said it also became apparent through the consultations that the inquiry will have to take into account the regional and cultural differences of the affected communities.

Bennett noted, for example, that the issues in Vancouver's Downtown East Side are vastly different than the issues in Iqaluit or other remote regions of Canada.

"A pan-Canadian approach, we are hearing, will not work," she said.

A 2014 RCMP report concluded that 1,017 aboriginal women had been murdered between 1980 and 2012, and that another 164 were considered missing.

Indigenous women make up 4.3 per cent of the Canadian population, however, they account for 16 per cent of female homicides and 11.3 per cent of missing women, the report said.

With files from The Canadian Press



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Melania Trump to donate inaugural ball gown to Smithsonian

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Melania Trump is donating her inaugural ball gown to the First Ladies' Collection at the Smithsonian Institution. The first lady is handing over the vanilla silk, off-the-shoulder gown during a ceremony Friday in Washington. Source
  • Alleged Amanda Lindhout kidnapper tries to explain inconsistencies, despite taped evidence

    Canada News CBC News
    In the last day of testimony in the Amanda Lindhout kidnapping trial, the Crown poked holes in the story of the alleged negotiator who handled many of the details of the ransom payment that led to the Canadian journalist's release. Source
  • Man dead after 3-year-old boy given gun, told to chase victim: police

    World News CTV News
    WARRENVILLE, S.C. -- Authorities say they have charged a man with murder after he gave a 3-year-old boy a gun and told him to chase the victim around the yard of a South Carolina home. Source
  • $500,000 in collectible coins and banknotes stolen from man's car

    Canada News CTV News
    MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - Police in Ontario are looking for a suspect in the theft of about $500,000 in rare coins and banknotes. Investigators say a 68-year-old British Columbia man parked at a Mississauga, Ont. Source
  • Pakistan arrests cleric tied to social media model honour killing

    World News Toronto Sun
    MULTAN, Pakistan — Pakistani police say they have arrested a Muslim cleric for alleged involvement in the 2016 murder of social media model Qandeel Baloch. She was found strangled in her home in the city of Multan after posting racy pictures on Facebook of herself with the cleric, Mufti Abdul Qawi. Source
  • Suicidal motorist who injured woman gets sentence cut in half

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- A man who badly injured a woman when he tried to kill himself by driving his car into a hydro pole has had his jail sentence effectively cut in half. In finding the sentencing judge had gone too far, Ontario's top court ruled on Wednesday that Constantinus Dedeckere should be released after having spent one year behind bars. Source
  • Two people injured fighting Saskatchewan wildfire; one dead in car crash

    Canada News CTV News
    RCMP say two men were injured fighting a wildfire in southwestern Saskatchewan and another person is dead following a single-vehicle collision in the area. Insp. Ted Munro says Leader RCMP are investigating the crash and adds it's not known whether smoke was a factor. Source
  • 2nd trial in Candace Derksen's death ends in not guilty verdict

    Canada News CTV News
    WINNIPEG -- A man tried for a second time in the killing of Winnipeg teenager Candace Derksen more than 30 years ago has been found not guilty. Mark Edward Grant was charged with second-degree murder in the death of the 13-year-old girl, who disappeared on her way home from school in November 1984. Source
  • Prosecution: Accused Lindhout kidnapper is lying to court about his role

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- A federal prosecutor says a Somalian man is lying about his role in the kidnapping of Amanda Lindhout. Prosecutor Croft Michaelson contended Wednesday that Ali Omar Ader made up a story about being forced to work for the hostage-takers as a negotiator and translator, saying Ader was actually paid US$10,000 as a willing participant. Source
  • Officials confirm that ammonia leak killed 3 at arena in Fernie, B.C.

    Canada News CBC News
    Firefighters have confirmed that an ammonia leak was responsible for the deaths of three people at an arena in Fernie, B.C., on Tuesday. Mary Giuliano, the mayor of the small mountain community, told reporters at a news conference Wednesday that two of the dead were city employees, but they will not be identified at the request of their families. Source