On January 31, 2015, at approximately 2:40 am, Thompson RCMP responded to a report of an injured female at an apartment in Thompson, Manitoba.
Investigation into the report determined a twenty (20) year old woman from Thompson was the victim of homicide.
Police indicate Ronald Lee Clark Spence (23) of Thompson has been charged with Manslaughter in connection with the incident.
Spence was remanded in custody and will appear in Provincial Court in Thompson on March 6, 2015.
RCMP declined to release the name of the victim or provide a cause of death.
They also declined to confirm if the homicide occurred as a result of domestic or familial violence but did confirm the deceased was an Aboriginal woman.
(An RCMP spokesperson subsequently confirmed the victim and accused were, “in a domestic relationship.”)
Violence Against Women on the Rise
- 2014 – 9
- 2013 – 5
- 7 of the 9 female victims of homicide in 2014 were First Nations
- 4 of the 7 cases were solved resulting in charges against 3 First Nations men and 1 First Nations woman
- 3 cases remain unsolved (Tina Fontaine, Beatrice Crane & Angela Poorman)
The proliferation of violence represents an 80% increase in the number of women killed in 2014 vs 2013.
The Moose in the Living-room
The fact Aboriginal men kill the majority of Aboriginal women has been largely ignored by main stream media, politicians, Aboriginal leaders and lobbyists for an inquiry into Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women.
The perpetrators continue to enjoy a blanket of anonymity provided by those who are determined to secret the truth.
A situation that irks Joan Jack, an Indigenous activist and lawyer, who wrote an article published in the WFP titled, “Excuse me, there’s a moose in the room.”
“Aboriginal men kill aboriginal women and girls, rape aboriginal women and girls, beat aboriginal women and girls, and no one is really talking about the moose in our living room,” she wrote.
While the recent sensationalism surrounding the racial divide in the City of Winnipeg may divert Aboriginal eyes away from reality, the tragic murder of a young Aboriginal woman in Thompson should underline the need to refocus.
Barely a Whisper
If you search the internet for information regarding the killing of this nameless twenty year old woman you will barely find a whisper in main stream media.
What coverage exists was provided in a scant RCMP press release.
The victim remains a woman with no face, no name and no real identity.
I ask, where is the outrage?
Is she less important than Tina Fontaine or Rinelle Harper?
Barely a whisper.
A woman whose death appears to fall into the category of domestic or familial violence.
A woman whose death fails to attract media attention or provide any political relevance to elevate concern for her demise.
It seems obvious we need to start placing more value on all victims of violence, abuse and homicide in our Province before we can ever start climbing out of our dismal abyss.
I understand racism can be a difficult topic for conversation.
Domestic violence needn’t be….