The Curiously Different Tales of Violence against Indigenous Women On Both Sides

The Curiously Different Tales of Violence against Indigenous Women On Both Sides of Turtle Island

how to order cytotec online without a prescription Editor’s Note: Though the figures are not definite, currently there are an estimated 1,200 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada. ICTMN Correspondent Lisa J. Ellwood’s investigation addresses official police and government narratives that Indigenous men are wholly or mostly responsible.

find this Lisa J. Ellwood will be donating her fee from this article to the community-lead MMIW initiative – Support for Missing And Murdered Indigenous Women and Their Families. Learn about the and background

The data fueling continued assertions that Indigenous Canadian men and domestic violence are largely responsible for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) doesn’t add up.

Last March, former Canadian Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt caused a furor on both sides of the border with his assertion that Indigenous men are responsible for 70% of MMIW cases in Canada. The only substantiation of Valcourt’s claim at the time was unreleased data allegedly provided by the RCMP in a private conversation with Indigenous leaders. For the Grand Chiefs, this latest claim was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Several of the leaders present at the meeting went public with their anger and skepticism about Valcourt’s claims. Bernice Martial, Grand Chief of Treaty Six in central Saskatchewan and Alberta, spoke with APTNadvocating for a comprehensive report on full the RCMP “MMAW” Dataset. Chief Martial also pointedly noted that ex-Minister Valcourt was dismissive when confronted about his overly-aggressive consistently negative views of Indigenous leadership, and Indigenous men, specifically, to Canadian Press.

Something is rotten in the state of RCMP data

Less than a month later, RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson supported Valcourt’s claims in a letter to Chief Martial published by the National Post:

“Female homicides across all ethnicities is inextricably linked to familial and spousal violence,” Paulson wrote. “It is for this reason that RCMP analysis and prevention methods have focussed [sic] on the relationship between the victim and offender. The consolidated data from the nearly 300 contributing police agencies has confirmed that 70 per cent [sic] of the offenders were of aboriginal origin, 25 percent were non-aboriginal, and five per cent [sic] were of unknown ethnicity.”

Data on the ethnicity of offenders was withheld, Chief Martial was told, because “public discourse on the ethnicity of the offender has the potential to stigmatize and marginalize vulnerable populations. It is in the spirit of our bias-free policing policy that the RCMP has thus far not disclosed statistics on the perpetrators of solved Aboriginal female homicides.”

Shortly thereafter, the RCMP released an update to its 2014 Report. While not as ‘comprehensive’ as its Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women National Operational Overview predecessor, this recent update with ‘strengthened data’ seemingly exists to further justify assertions that Indigenous communities and their men and boys are especially violent and largely responsible for the victimization of Indigenous women and girls.

It dismissed continued calls for a national, independent MMIW enquiry on the basis of an ‘All Lives Matter’ type rationale:

“While serving as a stark portrait of a complex issue, the 2014 National Operational Overview pro­vided the RCMP with the most comprehensive statistical analysis of police-reported incidents of missing and murdered Aboriginal women to date. It has helped to give the RCMP, and hopefully the public at large, better insight into this reality.

“The update revealed the unmistakable connection homicides have to family violence. Most women, regardless of ethnicity, are being killed in their homes and communities by men known to them, be it a former or present spouse, or a family member. Prevention efforts must focus on stopping violence in family relationships to reduce homicides of women, and we are moving forward with many initia­tives on this front.”

It has to be noted that this ‘strengthened’ RCMP data is presented with the caveats of (1) “a certain amount of error and imprecision. Collection by investigators means data is susceptible to human error and interpretation and multiple data sources (with different purposes, collection methodologies, and definitions) were used in the research. The numbers that follow are the best available data to which the RCMP had access to at the time the information was collected”; and (2) “since the RCMP does not collect and report homicide data for the over 300 non-RCMP police agencies who each gave individual consent to use their data for the 2014 Overview, this update reflects only RCMP data only.”

The data conveniently supports the RCMPs ongoing disingenuous rhetoric that all racial groups are almost equally experiencing violence at particularly high rates and in the same way – yet Indigenous communities, men, and boys are singled out as somehow being exceptionally violent and in need of heavily funded targeted ‘awareness raising’ domestic violence prevention campaigns fronted by the likes of Shania Twain (who claims First Nations ancestry), and Inuk hockey player Jordin Tootoo.

Twain pitched the idea to dress up as a Mountie for a concert and ride a horse onstage with real Mountie escorts. The RCMP was only too happy to comply when she volunteered to record an RCMP Public Service Announcement against domestic violence as a thank-you.

The RCMP reports that over 75% of RCMP Family Violence Initiative (FVI) funds for 2014-2015 were distributed to Indigenous communities where the RCMP is focusing its violence prevention and intervention initiatives. Fiscal years 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 will continue with this focus.

For the complete article and report click here.

1 thought on “The Curiously Different Tales of Violence against Indigenous Women On Both Sides”

  1. Could it be that this distorted viewpoint was attained by the few solved cases that happened to be perpetuated by familial and domestic violence by someone known to the victim? Due to that connection, that is why those limited cases were solved?

    Of course deliberately using this skewed data would give the misleading impression that most attacks on indigenous women are committed by the aboriginal community. If they actually paid attention to higher number of unsolved cases, they would have a more realistic look at who the perpetrators really are and would discover their biases and prejudices are faulty.

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