Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ottawa Ignoring Ways to Reduce Number of Missing, Murdered Native Women: Study

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ottawa Ignoring Ways to Reduce Number of Missing, Murdered Native Women: Study

Article excerpt

Ottawa ignoring missing, murdered women: study

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A new study says the federal government is ignoring dozens of recommendations on how to reduce the number of missing and murdered aboriginal women.

The study, which analyzed 58 others on violence against native women, found most of the reviews spanning two decades agreed on the root causes of that violence.

But Ottawa has largely ignored more than 700 recommendations to address the issue, says the report, which was commissioned by the Legal Strategy Coalition on Violence Against Indigenous Women that includes Amnesty International.

At the same time, the federal government has regularly pointed to "40 studies" that have been done when it has said a national inquiry is not needed.

"Yes, we've got all these reports, but we're not seeing the implementation," said Kim Stanton, legal director of the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund. "What is really needed is a state-sponsored, public inquiry in every sense of the word."

People from across the country are to meet in Ottawa on Friday for a national roundtable on missing and murdered aboriginal women.

The RCMP estimates there are about 1,200 aboriginal women who are unaccounted for or have been murdered. Although indigenous women make up 4.3 per cent of the Canadian population, they account for 16 per cent of female homicides and 11.3 per cent of missing women.

The coalition's report found most studies agree aboriginal women are more likely to live in poverty, in overcrowded homes or on the streets.

"Chronic underfunding of services to help indigenous women cope with these circumstances also contributes to their susceptibility to violence and limited ability to leave violent situations," wrote authors Pippa Feinstein and Megan Pearce.

"These issues are compounded by an unresponsive justice system that is often unable to accommodate the needs of those most at risk. …

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