Target: Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Goal: Ensure indigenous women in Canada are protected, not harassed, by the police.
There is a long history of confrontation between indigenous populations and industrial-minded societies. This extensive altercation is currently materializing in Canada. Here, the Native Women’s Association of Canada reports that there have been nearly 600 murdered and missing person cases of indigenous women over the last 40 years.
Plain and simple, indigenous women are being taken advantage of. But, the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) has consistently ignored the issue, despite the many pleas of various indigenous women’s groups and even the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. This UN Committee has directly questioned the motives of a Canadian government that does not seem to care about its indigenous female population.
Calling on only the RCMP to initiate plans to better safeguard these women is problematic, however. As Human Rights Watch reports, “The failure of law enforcement authorities to deal effectively with the problem of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in Canada is just one element of the dysfunctional relationship between the Canadian police and indigenous communities.”
In an 89-page study, Human Rights Watch uncovered a host of police-on-women brutality cases. From rape and sexual assault, to un-provoked taser attacks and strip searches; the RCMP are not simply apathetic towards the well being of the indigenous women—they pose a direct threat to it.
So, these women face an inordinate amount of violence, and have nobody to call upon. They are completely alone and nobody, especially not their own government, seems to care.
The only way that we can change this obviously broken system is to let it be known that this is an issue that matters. The Canadian government hopes that this problem will just remain in the background (where it has been for 40 years), and they will not have to deal with it. That’s not going to happen.
Recently, the aboriginal women of Canada came together and marched in an act of protestation. They have had to endure this violence for nearly half a century and it’s high time they feel the support of the community.
Sign the petition below to show your support for the indigenous women of Canada, and make it be known that Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the rest of the Canadian government needs to deal with this swiftly and intelligently in order to secure the safety and well-being of Canadian aboriginal women.
Dear Prime Minister Stephen Harper,
Too many cases have been placed in front of the RCMP and gone unattended to. The entire system needs a complete overhaul. New oversight policies need to be constructed in order to ensure that the RCMP no longer takes advantage of indigenous women.
Once these internal issues are dealt with, the 600 cases of murder and missing persons regarding indigenous women can, and must, be properly attended to. What kind of a nation can sit idly by as their women are being killed and abducted?
The Canadian government has remained complicit for far too long with regards to this issue. Legislation and other various countermeasures must be assembled in response to these vicious attacks.
It’s been 40 years; this issue cannot be buried any longer. Make it happen.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Amnesty International