The pressure to uncover the truth is building.
On July 24, the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) proposed a national inquiry into the tragedy of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in an effort to investigate over 600 cases of our missing and murdered women between 2005 and 2010.
NWAC made the proposal to a gathering of Canada’s provincial premiers and to First Nations, Inuit and Métis leaders. The premiers expressed their support for the inquiry despite years of inaction on the issue by the federal government.
“It is not a Native women’s issue or an Aboriginal issue. For us, it’s a Canadian issue and everybody is affected by that,” NWAC President Michele Audette told CBC News.
The premiers’ decision is one the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Shawn Atleo is calling “an important expression of support.”
Although Alberta Premier Alison Redford and Newfoundland Labrador Premier Kathy Dunderdale did not attend the Niagara-on-the-Lake meeting, they also expressed their support.
However, the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper continues to block the inquiry, claiming that it has already taken sufficient action by passing legislation that gives women living on First Nations reserves access to emergency protection orders.
Giving Aboriginal women access to emergency protection orders is definitely not enough to keep our women safe. There are too many factors that can contribute to becoming a statistic.
Why can’t we set up our own national inquiry? We are entitled to know both how our women are still missing and why their murders have yet to be solved.