On May 16, 2014, the RCMP released their National Operational Review on missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada. Importantly, while this report gives us a good picture of the scope of the problem of missing and murdered indigenous women, it fails to address some important issues that could help Canada meaningfully address this violence. Here, I want to outline some of these failings as a means of provoking critical reflection on the RCMP's response and to contribute to ongoing discussion about how to end this violence.
Robyn Bourgeois is a Cree activist, academic, author, and adult educator. She holds a Ph.D in Social Justice Education from the University of Toronto, where her research examined violence against indigenous women and girls and indigenous women's leadership in confronting this violence. Robyn's writing has been published in the UCLA Law Review, Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, and Canadian Women Studies, and she is currently working on a book based on her doctoral research. Robyn currently teaches in the Indigenous Women in Community Leadership program at the Coady International Institute of St. Francis Xavier University on unceded Mi'kmaq territory in Antigonish, NS.
Waiting for the Canadian state to do something about violence is literally killing us, so I am not interested in participating in any delaying tactics or knowledge gathering for a state that clearly isn't listening. I want meaningful change and I want it now, and I don't think that's too much to ask for. Because my life and the lives of all women and girls are worth more than this.
12/21/2012 02:45 EST
As Commissioner Wally Oppal and the media tried to talk about Vancouver's Missing Women, the forsaken women, the marginalized women, these women demanded space to talk for themselves. They demanded to be heard — just as the marginalized women in the Downtown Eastside have long done. It remains to be seen, however, if anyone is listening.
12/18/2012 01:55 EST
The final report of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry is significant because it will likely inform how future investigations are carried out. Importantly, particularly for those of us interested in ending violence against women and girls, this is a critical opportunity to observe the inner workings of a formal state response to this violence, which in turn, better prepares us for engaging the Canadian state on this issue.
12/15/2012 05:42 EST
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