Missing, murdered inquiry must address domestic abuse: activist

OTTAWA - An Ojibway activist is calling on the federal government to include domestic abuse in a forthcoming inquiry exploring the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women.

See Full Article

Joan Jack, a retired lawyer who ran to lead the Assembly of First Nations in 2012, says the inquiry should include the entire spectrum of vulnerabilities faced by aboriginal women both on- and off-reserve.

"At one end you have domestic violence and at the other end you've got the serial killer," Jack said in an interview.

Some women in indigenous communities are reluctant to come forward to talk about the abuse, which is a product of colonialism and the legacy of residential schools, said Jack, who is from Berens River First Nation in Manitoba.

"I think the only way women would talk is if their comments were kept anonymous," she said. "They're scared because when you're being beaten up, it is scary."

Perpetrators may be related to people in power in tight-knit communities, she added.

"If you decide to talk ... it just doesn't affect your personal safety," Jack said. "It affects your ability to benefit from the limited resources that we have."

Jack also said she would like to see aboriginal leaders focus more on teaching indigenous men about sexism, in addition to giving them the opportunity to build self-esteem.

The high levels of violence in many communities has been on the radar of the Native Women's Association of Canada for decades, said president Dawn Lavell-Harvard.

"We don't have the same supports as other communities and then the increased vulnerability when our women go to urban and rural settings and level the communities and things are even worse," Lavell-Harvard said.

The inquiry will need to examine the complete picture in order to be effective, she added.

On Tuesday, Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett emphasized that the inquiry would need to examine the root causes of the violence, going beyond a mere tally of missing and murdered women.

The issue of domestic violence is still "almost routinely linked" to the effects of residential schools, as well as the effects of child abuse and the child welfare system, she noted.

"Unfortunately in some families, you will end up with the perpetrator and the victim," Bennett said.

"Even though the statistics will show that indigenous women are slightly less likely to be killed by an intimate partner or former partner, all of these issues have to be dealt with.

"The bottom line that I heard the most often was, 'Hurt people with hurt people."'

Lavell-Harvard said the government should take immediate action to provide more shelter spaces for indigenous women in crisis.

"That needs to be addressed right away," she said.

Bennett said the government is aware of a need for more safe houses and additional shelter space both for indigenous communities and in the urban centres.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Coast guard recommends removal of oil from wreck off Newfoundland coast

    Canada News CTV News
    ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- The Canadian Coast Guard is recommending full removal of the remaining oil from a ship that ran aground and sank off Newfoundland's Change Islands in 1985. Regional director Anne Miller says it is too early to say how much it will cost to remove the oil from the Manolis L. Source
  • Senior accused in wife's death not mentally fit to stand trial: psychiatrist

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY - A psychiatrist says an 85-year-old Calgary man accused of murdering his wife of 56 years is mentally unfit to stand trial. Siegfried van Zuiden was charged in October with second-degree murder after he called 911 and police officers found his 80-year-old wife, Audrey, dead in their home. Source
  • NATO flexes muscles in Lithuania — with an eye on Russia

    World News CBC News
    Troops from 11 NATO countries including the United States rehearsed battle skills in a snowy Lithuanian forest on Friday, and the leader of the Baltic state voiced confidence that U.S. commitment to Europe's defence would survive the election of Donald Trump as president. Source
  • Stolen Nazi concentration camp gate believed found in Norway

    World News CTV News
    BERLIN -- German police say the wrought iron gate to the Nazis' Dachau concentration camp that was stolen two years ago appears to have been found in western Norway. Bavarian police said Friday the gate, bearing the slogan "Arbeit macht frei," or "Work sets you free," was located in the Bergen area after authorities received an anonymous tip. Source
  • Cars line up to get into wildfire-ravaged Tennessee city

    World News CTV News
    GATLINBURG, Tenn. -- People in cars and trucks rolled into the wildfire-ravaged city of Gatlinburg on Friday to get a first look at what remains of their homes and businesses, and a mayor raised the death toll to 13, including a person who appeared to die of a heart attack while fleeing the flames. Source
  • Part-time work helps Canada add 10,700 jobs; jobless rate dips to 6.8%

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA — The Canadian labour market unexpectedly added 10,700 net jobs last month and the unemployment rate slid to 6.8 per cent — but the latest numbers raise questions about the quality of the work. Statistics Canada’s November employment survey shows yet another monthly decline in the more-desirable category of full-time work — a figure more than offset by a gain in part-time jobs. Source
  • Drones to deliver to remote Canadian towns [Video]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Residents of Pickle Lake are salivating at the thought of pizza delivery by drones. The end-of-the-road northern Ontario community is one of more than 1,000 isolated towns across the country that could be catered to by first-of-a-kind service drones by the end of next year. Source
  • Ohio State attacker buried amid shock from family over death

    World News CTV News
    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Somali-born student who hurt nearly a dozen people in a car-and-knife attack at Ohio State University before a police officer quickly shot and killed him has been buried as his relatives remain stunned about his death. Source
  • Elderly Calgary man accused of killing wife medically unfit for trial, judge rules

    Canada News CBC News
    An 85-year-old Calgary man who was charged with second-degree murder in the death of his wife has been declared unfit to stand trial. Audrey van Zuiden, who was 80, was found on Oct. 4 in the home she shared with Fred van Zuiden, her husband of 56 years. Source
  • Rape used for ethnic cleansing in South Sudan, says UN team

    World News CTV News
    KAMPALA, Uganda -- Rape in South Sudan is "one of the tools being used for ethnic cleansing," a U.N. team of human rights investigators said Friday, adding that sexual violence in the East African nation "has reached epic proportions. Source