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Canada's Missing Indigenous Women Could Number 4K, Blowing Away Previous Estimates

Image: Canada's Missing Indigenous Women Could Number 4K, Blowing Away Previous Estimates
Canada's Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett (R) speaks during a news conference regarding a ruling by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal with Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada, January 26, 2016. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

By    |   Wednesday, 17 Feb 2016 02:05 PM

The number of Canada's missing and murdered indigenous women could be as high as 4,000, or nearly four times higher than previous estimates, the country's Minister for the Status of Women said Tuesday.

Patty Hajdu made the statement, citing research from the Native Women's Association of Canada, ahead of a formal national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

She called the estimate of 4,000 more likely than the 1,200 cited by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 2014 “because there is a history of police underreporting homicides, or failing to investigate suspicious deaths,” CBC said.

The site said that activist group Walk 4 Justice collected the names of 4,232 missing or murdered women.

"I don't have the data, but I know the problem is not about us fighting about the numbers,"  Carolyn Bennett, the minister for indigenous affairs and northern development, said, according to CBC. "The problem is making sure that these families that lost a loved one, these survivors that are still living, that their stories lead us to the kind of concrete actions that will actually put an end to their vulnerability and what has been going on."

Dozens of aboriginal women disappear each year, and many are later found dead in Canada’s Red River, the BBC reported.

The murder of Tina Fontaine, a 15-year-old indigenous girl found dead in the river in 2014, caused a national outcry. In December, 53-year-old Raymond Cormier was charged with second-degree murder in the case.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged a national inquiry into the disappearance and murder of indigenous women during last year’s campaign.

“The victims deserve justice, their families an opportunity to heal and to be heard,” Trudeau said, according to The Guardian. “We must work together to put an end to this ongoing tragedy.”

Hajdu and Bennett made their comments this week after holding talks across the country in advance of the inquiry, which activists and family members have been requesting for more than five years.

“No inquiry can undo what happened nor can it restore what was lost, but it can help us find a way forward,” Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said, according to The Guardian.

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The number of Canada's missing and murdered indigenous women could be as high as 4,000, or nearly four times higher than previous estimates, the country's Minister for the Status of Women said Tuesday.
canada, missing, indigenous, women, murdered
366
2016-05-17
Wednesday, 17 Feb 2016 02:05 PM
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