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Mon Aug 25, 2014|
The First Nation community in Canada has reiterated calls for a national inquiry into violence against aboriginal women in the country, a request rejected by the Canadian administration.
Michele Audette, president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada, said on Monday that the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper had failed to respond to the increasing cases of violence against aboriginal women amid an “undercurrent of racism and sexism.”
“If this number of women of any other group were murdered in the same time span and in such gruesome circumstances, there would be a public outcry,” Audette stated.
Canadian rights activists renewed calls for an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls after the death of 15-year-old native Canadian Tina Fontaine, whose body was found inside a bag in the Red River in Winnipeg, Manitoba Province, earlier this month.
However, Harper has dismissed the possibility of such an inquiry, saying such issues must not be considered as a sociological phenomenon.
Trudy Lavallee, the executive director of a shelter for Canadian aboriginal women, said native females are devalued in the Canadian society, adding they “are highest at risk of a huge number of social problems like addiction, poverty and homelessness.”
In May, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said it had recorded 1,017 cases of murdered aboriginal women between the years of 1980 and 2012.
In January, Human Rights Watch called on Ottawa to set up a national public inquiry into the violence experienced by indigenous women and girls and create a system for greater accountability for police misconduct.