(James Anaya, the UN rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous peoples, released his report on Canada Monday.)
By Jorge Barrera
APTN National News
Ottawa needs to call an inquiry into the high number of murdered and missing Indigenous women across the country, says a report by the UN rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous peoples.
James Anaya, the UN rapporteur on Indigenous peoples, released his long-awaited report Monday on the human rights situation of Indigenous peoples in Canada.
The report issues several recommendations, including calling for a national inquiry into the “disturbing phenomenon” of missing and murdered Indigenous women.
“The federal government should undertake a comprehensive, nation-wide inquiry into the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls, organized in consultation with Indigenous peoples,” said the report.
Anaya visited Canada last fall.
The RCMP recently revealed that 1,186 Indigenous women have been murdered or have gone missing since 1980.
Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt said in a statement that the government was already dealing with the issue without the need for an inquiry, investing $25 million to reduce violence against Indigenous women.
“Ending violence against women and girls, including violence against Aboriginal women and girls, is a priority for the federal government,” said the statement.
Dozens of people gathered on Victoria Island in Ottawa Sunday evening for a 24 hour drumming event in honour of murdered and missing Indigenous women and to call for an inquiry.
Lynda Kitchikeesic Juden, one of the organizers, said the event was meant to grieve and to show love for the women who have disappeared.
“People are here to be able to grieve and show their love,” said Kitchikeesic Juden. “They are singing for those we’ve lost.”
Jackie Fletcher, with the Nishnawbe Aski Nation women’s council, slept in her truck on Victoria Island Sunday night.
“We, as Aboriginal people, need to be recognized as well as mainstream society when our people go missing,” said Fletcher. “We need an inquiry right away.”
The women plan to march to Parliament Hill Monday morning and continue drumming until 6 p.m.