Target: Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Goal: Find missing and murdered native Canadian women and girls
Over the last three decades, almost 1,200 native women and girls of Canada have disappeared or been murdered, according to updated police records. The First Nations peoples of Canada make up only four percent of the total Canadian population, yet native women and girls make up 16 percent of female murder victims and 12 percent of all missing women in Canada. Prime Minister Stephen Harper must act to improve these atrocious numbers and improve the safety of native women and girls by calling for an independent national inquiry.
The United Nations has also taken note of these striking numbers. James Anaya, special reporter on the rights of indigenous peoples for the U.N. recently released a report on the circumstances of indigenous peoples in Canada. According to Mr. Anaya, the Canadian government, “have not, at least yet, abated continuing calls for greater and more effective action to address the problem of missing indigenous women and girls.” He recommended a “comprehensive, nation-wide inquiry into the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal woman and girls, organized in consultation with indigenous peoples.”
International human rights experts have been mounting a strong case against the Canadian government’s underwhelming response. In 2013, the Human Rights Campaign issued a report calling for an inquiry into the high rate of violence against native Canadian women. The report read, in part, “Such moves only remind us why a politically independent commission of inquiry is required. The hundreds of murdered or disappeared women and girls and their families deserve an examination of this problem that is untainted by politics. They deserve plan of action for addressing this problem based on unbiased findings, not political calculation.”
Dear Prime Minister Harper,
The native women and girls of Canada must be afforded equal rights to those of any other ethnic group. The high rate of murder and kidnapping among this group is unconscionable. More must be done to protect these women.
I am writing today to demand that you call for a politically independent inquiry into this problem and national disgrace. The women of Canada deserve better.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Jared Grove via Wikimedia Commons