Winnipeg Mayoral candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis has added her name to the long list of politicians who prefer intellectual resignation over the implementation of meaningful policy, action and change.
“I strongly support moving forward on a national inquiry on missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls,” Wasylycia-Leis said in a statement printed in the Winnipeg Sun. “I made the call first in October 2013 and repeated the call last month during an announcement on building a culture of public safety. I believe there have been far too many vigils.”
Of course there have been far to many vigils.
The question is, would a National Inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women do anything about it?
I’ve followed the issue closely.
As a former Homicide investigator with over twenty-six (26) years of Law Enforcement experience in the murder Capital of Canada, eight (8) years of which was spent working in the Homicide Unit working as an investigator and supervisor, I have intimate knowledge regarding the inner workings of cases involving the murder of Aboriginal women. I’ve participated in dozens of these investigations right from the time the 911 call was placed up to the moment the verdict was read in the Court of Queens Bench.
With almost 90% of the cases being solved only a small percentage of the killings remain true mysteries.
My experience working these cases is entirely consistent with the findings of the RCMP regarding risk factors or causation;
- High risk lifestyle
- Substance abuse / addiction
- Involvement in the sex trade
- Involvement in criminal activity
- Youth – chronic runaways
- Transient lifestyle
- Mental Health issues
With so many of the risk factors known why the need for the manufactured script and outcries for a National Inquiry?
Why are politicians and Aboriginal Leaders perpetuating the facade that unknown mysterious happenings are causing Aboriginal women to go missing or be killed?
Why the facade when we know who the majority of the killers are?
The RCMP report fills in the blanks;
- 90% of female homicide victims know the person who kills them and had a previous relationship with the killer
- 89% of both Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal female homicide victims are killed by men
- 30% of Aboriginal female victims were murdered by an acquaintance
- 29% of Aboriginal female victims were killed by a spouse or boyfriend
- 23% of Aboriginal female victims were killed by “other” family members
- 10% of Aboriginal female victims were murdered by someone designated as an “other” intimate relationship
- 8% of Aboriginal female victims were murdered by a stranger
We also know the motives for the killings;
- 40% of the killings were caused by arguments or quarrels
- 20% of the killings were caused by frustration, anger or despair
- 12% of the killings were caused by jealousy
- 10% of the killings were caused by sexual violence
- 7% of the killings had no apparent motive
- 6% of the killings were for financial gain, settling of accounts
- 5% of the killings were “other” (not specified)
What the report doesn’t specify is the race of the killer.
Winnipeg Sun reporter Tom Brodbeck recently weighed in on that subject.
“They don’t want to talk about the people doing the killing because the killers, for the most part, are also aboriginal. Aboriginal men are killing aboriginal women. It’s so politically incorrect to talk about that, not even the RCMP were willing to put it in their report,” Brodbeck wrote in a recent article.
Once again, my experience investigating these crimes supports Brodbeck’s theory.
That brings us back to why?
Why do politicians and Aboriginal Leaders continue to demand a National Inquiry when all the essential elements that contribute to Missing and Murdered Aboriginal women are known?
I have a theory on that.
If politicians and Aboriginal Leaders acknowledge and accept they know the risk factors, they know who the killers are and they know the motives behind the killings, the next logical question is what have you done, or more importantly, what do you intend to do about the conditions that contribute to the unacceptable numbers of Murdered and Missing Aboriginal women.
Their answer, call for a National Inquiry.
That, my friends, is a complete intellectual resignation and a disappointing failure of leadership.
You don’t need to be a sociologist to have an understanding of how we got here.
Aboriginal people are grossly over-represented in what I have referred to as the social collapse trifecta;
- Over-representation in Canadian Missing & Murdered Women
- Over-representation in the Federal & Provincial Prison Systems
- Over-representation in the Child Welfare System
I take issue with politicians and Aboriginal Leaders who try to justify calls for a National Inquiry into the singular issue of Missing & Murdered women when the collective Aboriginal experience in our Country demands a deeper probe.
Politicians like Judy Wasylycia-Leis need to stop spewing politically correct rhetoric and start finding the courage to acknowledge that issues surrounding Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women are only symptoms of a greater evil.
That greater evil is our political and societal indifference to the plight of Aboriginal people who continue to live in poverty and struggle to exist in a world shaped by addiction, exploitation, lack of education, unemployment, incarceration, street gangs, involvement in the sex trade, family violence, homicide and over-representation in the Child Welfare System.
To confront that evil we need leaders who are courageous, innovative, inclusive, intelligent, committed and determined.
Or, we could keep calling for a National Inquiry.