Canada inquires violence against native women

Aug 04, 2016, 12:48 AM EDT
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett
(Source: Laurel L. Russwurm/flickr)

In an effort to put an end to what has been described as a “national human rights crisis” in Canada, the government launched a long-awaited inquiry into the murders and disappearances of thousands of indigenous women across the country. Unveiling the details of the inquiry, Carolyn Bennett, the minister of indigenous and northern affairs, called it an “important step in journey of reconciliation” with Canada’s 1.4 million aboriginals.

The announcement comes after a decade long outcry by indigenous community leaders and human rights advocates, who have been demanding the Canadian government to formulate a national strategy for addressing the high rates of crimes against indigenous women and girls, writes Al Jazeera.

Indigenous leaders and the families of the victims welcomed the announcement, describing it as beginning of a “historic” moment, reports The Guardian. The inquiry, which will be overseen by five commissioners, will begin in September and is expected to file a final report by the end of 2018.

According to the figures released by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 2014, more than 1,000 cases of missing and murdered native women were reported across the country between 1980 and 2012, notes The Wall Street Journal