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Society & Culture  (tags: Canada, Canadian Indians, Canadian Native Women, crime, culture, society, ethics, family, humans, interesting, news, rights, sadness, women )

- 3691 days ago -
If 18,000 women in Canada went missing, would people take notice? The equivalent number of women in terms of Canada's national Aboriginal population has gone missing since 1957. Many were murdered. Few were found alive. A lot are still unaccounted for.


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kat yazzie (400)
Saturday January 10, 2009, 4:03 am
Please let me know if I need to post this, will you? Thanks!

Lone W (1428)
Saturday January 10, 2009, 4:07 am

kat yazzie (400)
Saturday January 10, 2009, 4:21 am

If 18,000 women in Canada went missing, would people take notice?
The equivalent number of women in terms of Canada’s national
Aboriginal population has gone missing since 1957. Many were murdered.
Few were found alive. A lot are still unaccounted for. And those are
just the known cases.
Beverly Jacobs presented some powerful and disturbing facts and
numbers as part of her guest lecture on April 2 at Dan and Mary Lou
Smoke’s First Nations in the News Media class.
Jacobs, a lawyer by trade who holds a law degree from University
of Windsor and a masters of law from University of Saskatchewan, was
instrumental as lead researcher and consultant for Amnesty
International’s Stolen Sisters Report released in 2004. The
groundbreaking document highlighted racial and sexual violence against
Aboriginal women in Canada.
Her work with Amnesty International helped lead the member of the
Mohawk community to her decision to run for president of the Native
Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) in October 2004 and put her legal
practice at Six Nations Grand River Territory on hold. She continues to
secure funding for Sisters In Spirit, a research, education and policy
initiative aimed at raising public awareness about Canada’s missing and
murdered Aboriginal women.
Jacobs held an eagle feather during her presentation given to her
by one of the victim’s families to help her when she spoke. “It’s a
very emotional and spiritual issue. We’re talking about missing
spirits, murdered women. Unresolved murder of Aboriginal women.”
For the past few years she has been hearing more and more stories
from families of missing daughters, sisters, aunts and mothers. Jacobs
often becomes close with families who are willing to open up and share
their stories of loss. And now the research into the tragedy of missing
Aboriginal women has hit close to home for the president of NWAC.
“It’s very heartbreaking because now I’m personally affected. My
cousin has been missing for two months. We had a press conference just
last week. And it’s difficult to concentrate on anything else. On the
work I’ve done for five or six years on this issue. It has now hit
home, now it’s hit my own family.”
The statistics reinforce the dire reality of native women.
Aboriginal women age 25 to 44 are five times more likely to die from
acts of violence than non-Aboriginal women in Canada. In 2003,
Aboriginal women are three times more likely to be the victims of
spousal violence than non-Aboriginal women.
The president of NWAC cites the case of Helen Betty Osborne as
illustrative of the indifference of Canadian society to Aboriginal
women and the fact they’re targeted just because they’re Aboriginal and
women. Four white men in The Pas, Manitoba in 1971 were protected by
the community who were aware the men were responsible for the
abduction, sexual assault and murder of Osborne. Only one was
eventually charged. That sparked the Manitoba Justice Inquiry.
“The racism that occurs in this country is outrageous,” says Jacobs.
In the two-and-a-half years Sisters In Spirit has been
researching known cases of missing or murdered Aboriginal women, they
have accumulated more than 500 names in their database. Those numbers,
as a percentage basis of the Aboriginal population, translate into the
equivalent of about 18,000 non-native women in Canada’s population.
The earliest case reaches back to 1957. Fifteen percent of the
cases are from the 1980s, 34 per cent occurred in the 1990s and 47 per
cent in this decade. More than half of the women missing or murdered
were under the age of 25. These are the known cases. Jacobs suspects
there are more. But some people are afraid to speak out.
“We know there are families who haven’t even come forward yet. The
fear of going to police and report someone missing is an issue because
of historic mistrust of police.”
What’s frightening is the number of new names of missing
Aboriginal women being added to the database - five to 10 new
individuals per month, says Jacobs. In June, plans are underway to make
public the recent findings of the Sisters In Spirit initiative.
“We do have the attention of the international community,” she says.
This problem is not unique to Canada. “In Guatemala the people
who came to speak talked about the risk they took even coming forward.
Their leaders are being targeted by the state, by police. This is
happening all across the world (indigenous women going missing). It’s a
phenomena nobody knows about and nobody is taking the time to learn
Every October 4, Sisters In Spirit vigils are held across Canada
to honour missing Aboriginal women and bring attention to the issue. In
2007, 27 communities in Canada held vigils and two were held
internationally in Peru and Colombia.

Pamylle G (461)
Saturday January 10, 2009, 4:24 am
Tragic !

Past Member (0)
Saturday January 10, 2009, 5:03 am
This is terrible. Noted thanks Kat.

Eric Gilmartin (361)
Saturday January 10, 2009, 8:04 am
This almost seems like a fictional story - how is such a misdeed even possible in today's world of satellites and surveillance? Astounding. Let's get help for our poor First Nations sisters.

Past Member (0)
Saturday January 10, 2009, 9:52 am
This is just so very wrong. How this has gone on for so long is far beyond my comprehension. So much more needs to be done....

Linda B (71)
Saturday January 10, 2009, 1:07 pm
The same thing happened, or is happening now, in Australia with the Aborigines. Callous and thoughtless behavior plagues the planet.

Sheryl G (359)
Saturday January 10, 2009, 2:02 pm
It is a shame, a tragedy, when society places a higher value on the life of one human being and a lesser value on another...we are all human Beings.

Debra L (5)
Saturday January 10, 2009, 2:05 pm
Its hard to believe that kind of bigotry still exsists, we don't want it to exist, but there it is. As near back as 1971, Austraila had a law I believe to remove Aboriginal children from their families if they had any white blood. The thought was that the Aboriginie could be "bred out" of them. This is the first time I've ever heard of anything like this coming out of Canada.

Talldeer C (47)
Saturday January 10, 2009, 2:22 pm
This Brakes my Heart! That people can do such things..I cry for all the lost Aboriginal women of the world!! something must be done!!
Save our SISTERS!!!!!!!!!!!!

John Davis (215)
Saturday January 10, 2009, 4:23 pm
And here I thought that Canada was more advanced than the US in its handling of Indigenous People. This is just a damn crying shame and needs to be fixed.

. (0)
Saturday January 10, 2009, 5:28 pm
If they come up on me or break in on me are they ever in for a surprise they will have 17 reasons to start praying its called 9 mm and I'm not affraid to use it. It goes where I go. Also by my bed is a 38 and it too will speak to you 7 times and if thats not enough I have a automatic rifle 22 so come on in and meet your maker. So who ever they are and if there reading this try me Thanks Kat.

. (0)
Saturday January 10, 2009, 5:57 pm
noted thank you try getting this into a movie steven king or steven spielberg

Kathy W (299)
Saturday January 10, 2009, 9:47 pm
I can't believe this is going on in Canada, let alone anywhere else! This is horrible and has got to be stopped! What can we do to help???
Thanks Kat for opening my eyes!

Past Member (0)
Sunday January 11, 2009, 7:33 am
This is a subject all women should take notice of. Over 50,000 women are missing in the USA last year. In Canada its sounds like a lot of serial killers against Canada aboriginal. I didn't know about Canada. It seems a subject that should be taken up by women.Thanks Kat, I appreciate this

Elaine R (132)
Sunday January 11, 2009, 1:00 pm
This ain't on

Bertha A (6)
Sunday January 11, 2009, 4:56 pm
“The high level of violence against Aboriginal women was shocking to the UN Committee,” said Sharon McIvor, an Aboriginal women’s leader, and Co-Chair of FAFIA. “The Committee has urged Canada to establish an inquiry into the 511 Aboriginal women and girls who are missing or murdered,” said McIvor, “and to remedy deficiencies in the law enforcement system. Poor social and economic conditions of Aboriginal women in Canada were also a major concern,” said McIvor “and the Committee recommended a comprehensive strategy to deal with their poverty, lower educational attainment, poor health, and lack of access to clean water and decent housing.”

Henry P (171)
Sunday January 11, 2009, 10:19 pm
This is horribli and has to Stop.Thanks Kat

James C (43)
Sunday January 11, 2009, 11:05 pm
I agree! All of these cases should be investigated.

What if over 1,000 people a day in America were killed by tobacco? Would we care?

Evidently not. Tobacco is still legal. Maybe we should all think about what we value.


Past Member (0)
Monday January 12, 2009, 2:20 pm
A very perceptive comment and comparison, James. Do we really have our priorities straight....?...and where has our conscience gone...? Time for a little mental enovation and re-evaluation...

Past Member (0)
Monday January 12, 2009, 2:23 pm
enovation....? sheesh...long day...RENovation....Let's just get our priorities straight...Please.

Aletta Kraan (146)
Monday January 12, 2009, 3:42 pm
Noted , so sad !!!

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Monday January 12, 2009, 7:21 pm
Same thing is happening in Mexico, in the towns bordering the U.S. -- has been known for YEARS, and NOTHING is being done. Really HUGE numbers of young women disappear, especially those who work in factories at evening they go out to work and are never seen again. Some people think the POLICE THEMSELVES are responsible for abducting young women, and murdering them. Or that the Police are covering up for men from the wealthy elite..... The Police intimidate any family members looking for answers.... so if you can't trust the police to protect you and your daughters..... The families are poor and powerless and silenced, by force and threats. There is a large desert hiding the bodies..... The women can't afford NOT to work, to support their families.... and there is no bus system at night and they don't have cars......
Seems this happens EVERYWHERE; and "they're merely darker-colored folks, non-white, merely women, merely poor women at that, so nobody gives a damn".

Past Member (0)
Tuesday January 13, 2009, 10:17 am
Another act of genocide...God bless their souls!

Michael Owens (1647)
Tuesday January 13, 2009, 5:12 pm
All of these cases should be investigated. Our world is so Evil and cruel Satan is working hard.

Morgan Griffith (225)
Wednesday January 14, 2009, 7:29 am
So the bottom line is if you don't live in the right address and have a bank account with enough commas in the balance you are just a throw away. Every one of the "disappeared people" of the world mean something to me although I might not know them individually, each one had a path and made a difference in this world....let us not forget them.
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