It keeps happening. Young, aboriginal women across Canada found dead or severely beaten. But for them, and the families of the 1,200 missing and murdered Indigenous women, this week's announcement of a federal government inquiry offers a rare moment to celebrate. I applaud the Liberal Government for finally recognizing that we, Indigenous women, are valued enough to make this a national issue. A lot of women have been working for many years around this issue.
"Answers to this crisis have to be found."
Indigenous peoples are calling for a national investigation that is centered on the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women, and they are also calling for immediate action. This nation is rich in monies directly derived from Indigenous lands and resources. Please don't try to tell us Canada just can't afford to do both. I would ask that people discussing these issues in the media not accept this dichotomy and not allow themselves to be divided into two camps: either in support of an inquiry or in support of 'action'. We can and should be engaging in both.
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.