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RCMP Report Delivers Death Blow to Racist Ideology

RCMP OIC KEVIN BROSSEAU (PHOTO JGJ)
RCMP OIC KEVIN BROSSEAU (PHOTO JGJ)

The RCMP held a national news conference today to provide statistical information gathered in an unprecedented in-depth examination of issues regarding Canadian Missing & Murdered Aboriginal Women.

The Numbers;

1980 – 2012

  • 1,181 – Number of Missing & Murdered Aboriginal women
  • 1,017 – Number of Murdered Aboriginal women
  • 164 – Number of Missing Aboriginal women
  • 120 – Number of unsolved Aboriginal women homicides
  • 105 – Number of missing Aboriginal women (unknown or foul play suspected)

*Data from all Police jurisdictions in Canada

The issue surrounding Missing & Murdered Aboriginal Women is one which is close to my heart.  I’ve attended the crime scenes, worked the cases, both solved and unsolved, and spent time with the shattered family members while they try to put the pieces of their lives back together.

Since retiring from the Police Service I’ve written many articles confronting racist rhetoric from “so-called” Aboriginal leaders, advocates or activists like Leslie Spillet (Winnipeg Police Board) and Gladys Radek.

“As far as they’re concerned it’s just another dead Indian, enough is enough, we want justice,” Radek once said.

“The freaking army would be digging up every inch of that garbage dump to find a white child.  We know it, we see it.  It just tells us who we are,” Leslie Spillet said in an interview published in the Winnipeg Free Press.  “Do you think if a bunch of kids from River Heights started killing themselves or each other that something wouldn’t be done,” she continued.

After reviewing the twenty-two (22) page RCMP National Operational Overview report I was struck by an enlightening statistic regarding Homicide solve rates;

  • Eighty-eight (88%) percent of all Aboriginal female homicides are solved
  • Eighty-nine (89%) percent of all Non-Aboriginal female homicides are solved

These are significant findings that support my assertion racism is a non-contributing factor when it comes to the investigation into the murder of Aboriginal women.  Of course, I knew that, but that doesn’t change the fact the Aboriginal Community still hangs on to the “perception” that racism and investigative indifference impacts these cases.

Is anyone surprised Aboriginal people are more inclined to believe rhetoric over reality?

I’m certainly not.

How can you blame them if that’s the message they receive from Aboriginal people who have achieved “status” in the community.

Another enlightening statistic supports an assertion you may have read in The Police Insider;

  • The solvency rate for Aboriginal female victims of homicide plummets to sixty (60%) percent when the victim is involved in the sex trade

While “activists” would have Aboriginal people believe racism and investigative indifference are the primary causes for these low solvency rates, enlightened people know murder investigations involving sex trade workers presents many significant challenges to Law Enforcement.  Challenges such as;

  • Extremely large suspect pool
  • Inability to establish a victim time line
  • Inability to establish motive
  • Lack of witnesses
  • Outdoor crime scenes

(Police Insider article, “Elusive Killers – Sex Trade Worker Slayings Not so Easy to Solve,”  explores these significant issues, many of which are unique to these killings.)

While the “activists” prefer to feed the victimization mindset and fuel the racial divide it seems the RCMP findings finally provide some concrete facts to refute the tired urban racial myths they so want to perpetuate.

We learned much from the detailed report, a report that contains a variety of statistical information that includes;

  • General statistics
  • Homicide statistics
  • Missing statistics
  • Homicide Offender characteristics
  • Offender to Victim statistics
  • Vulnerability Factors of murdered women

While statistical data is important, risk factors and an action plan loom large in any proactive solution.

Risk factors previously disclosed by the Project Devote team remain consistent but were enhanced by the National review;

  • High risk lifestyle
  • Substance abuse / addiction
  • Involvement in the sex trade
  • Unemployment
  • Involvement in criminal activity
  • Youth
  • Transient lifestyle
  • Hitchhiking
  • Mental Health issues

The proactive aspect of the report has a segment identified as “Next Steps,” and contains four components;

  • Enhancing efforts on unresolved cases
  • Focusing prevention efforts
  • Increasing public awareness
  • Strengthening the data

The National Operational Overview Report fails to offer much in the way of an epiphany.  Any street cop working the means streets of Winnipeg has a strong sense of Aboriginal victimization and over-representation in criminal justice.  Street cops see the pain, tragedy and dysfunction everyday and would have no difficulty providing us with a long list of risk factors.  No, none of this is news to them.

What the report does offer is irrefutable statistical data that supports what many of us have said for years;

  • There is no mystery in any of this
  • Allegations of racism & investigative indifference are fabrications
  • The risk factors are fully known
  • A National Enquiry would be a colossal waste of time, money and resources
  • The Police do not own the problem

The missing components are ownership and leadership.

So far, I haven’t seen much of either.

RELATED LINKS:

The Police Insider “Just Another Dead Indian – The Racial Divide”

The Police Insider “Elusive Killers – Sex Trade Worker Slayings Not so Easy to Solve”

59 Comments

  1. LJG..

    Your thoughts are welcome on our site anytime..

    Appreciate you sharing your thoughts and opinions.

    Thank you.

  2. Statistical information can be altered and not even entered into a flawed system. We the public have no true idea of the Rcmp’s operations. We only recieve the information they wish to share. To assume we are given the whole truth and nothing but the truth would be ignorant and naive. As a person of aboriginal ancestry i know all to well the impact “Canada’s Police Force” has had in our daily lives. Being stopped walking down the street minding my own business only to be interogated as if im up to no good or i shouldnt be in certain areas. This is a free country….correction, this is a free country if your non aboriginal. I know officers in the force and even they say there is no true equality. As like any other comment made on any forum or article on the internet, no doubt there will be scrutiny and judgement from my thoughts. They are my thoughts and mine alone, no one can police that.

  3. i notice how all you admitted non natives have totally ignored the voice of the one person who posted here his personal experience As A Native. instead you choose to bandy about musings about people you do not even acknowledge. that’s pretty telling.

  4. You were/are right.

  5. Well, nice to see you coming around Mateo [smiles]. Yes, we can agree on most things, except…

    …having been involved in advocacy work here in Toronto I’ve been privy to TPS investigative techniques that concern persons who live in poverty (Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal). People get victimized, they call the TPS, they arrive, take no notes, pull the usual “It’s your word against theirs.” routine and then they leave. Women are sexually assaulted (it’s an organized crime now, they use date rape drugs, condoms and they rape in groups), the police show up, they see she’s (or he) is highly intoxicated (they can’t even form full sentences), give her a ride home if she’s lucky. When she finally remembers, police say it’s too late to start an investigation (victims waited too long), no evidence collected. Oh yeah, and when seniors apartments are invaded, they are blamed (essentially) for opening the door. We’ve got oodles of police officers in Toronto with this lax attitude. It’s got nothing to do with cases being difficult to solve (at least not here). I know the difference between a good police officer and a bad one. If this problem exists in Toronto, it likely exists elsewhere (I’m pointing my finger at British Columbia, and the east coast). My point? There’s information missing on this report. That’s why I asked for numbers by city. The easiest way to point out systemic problems, is by collecting all of the data. My interest is to resolve all cases (not just Aboriginal). If a group of officers, where ever they’re from, did not do their job (no matter what decade it happened), the family and the public have a right to know.

  6. for proof re the fact that systemic racism impacts the way that aboriginal people and police forces interact in a way that could impact the rates of missing and murdered aboriginal women please read RCAP, the ipperwash inquiry, the manitoba justice inquiry, the neil stone child inquiry, and the donald mar hall inquiry to name just a few. I would also look at the pic ton inquiry and the human rights watch report regarding the rcmp in BC. Remember that this an operational review and as such it lacks accurate context

  7. James G Jewell

    @Mateo @Shirley

    Loving the discussion…..

  8. Shirley it sounds like your dad is a smart man ; )
    I think we agree that poverty, substance abuse, lack of education, lack of leaders and role models, and high risk lifestyles etc. are the root cause of missing and murdered women. And as James has explained in a previous post that these cases are difficult to solve. The police don’t simply put less effort into solving a missing/murdered aboriginal woman.
    Either way, the government (read you and me taxpayer) can continue to throw money at this because that’s what the “leaders” expect, or we can collectively acknowledge that there is a cause and effect and racism has nothing to do with it.

  9. Mateo >> [cocks eyebrow] You remind me of my father.

    Let me try and help you see things the way I do:

    Treaty predisposes most Aboriginals to poverty ⇒ poverty predisposes people to high risk behaviors (drugs, alcohol) which sometimes ends up with kids quitting school ⇒ then drug and alcohol use predisposes people to criminal activity (bad choices) ⇒ which could predispose people to jail, treatment or death. It’s not written in stone, but for those this pattern applies to, would agree with me, this is the case. Not everyone has access to good parenting skills while they’re developing into maturity, and without someone to look up to (a role model, positive re-enforcement), kids and teenagers will just emulate what they see everyday (including what they see on TV, in movies and music videos). If what they see are adults who are making bad choices, what do you think most likely is going to happen?

    I’m happy YOU were able to make good choices for yourself and as a result are doing well today. Maybe instead of looking down on people, perhaps you can become a mentor and let at risk Aboriginal youth know how you did that. Just do me a favor? Leave, the pull up your socks routine, at home.

    At least Aboriginal leaders and advocates mean well, even if some of their views are outdated. These cases still need to be resolved even if racism isn’t the problem.

  10. James G Jewell

    The more we are willing to discuss issues the more likely we can effect positive change and further our mutual understanding.

    Appreciate your comments.

    Thank you!

  11. The only thing that “automatically predisposes” one to a life of poverty is the choice to not work toward a life of self-sufficiency. People are born into this world with disabilities, broken families, poverty, and a whole list of other challenges/obstacles. Humans have the ability to choose their actions, thus carve their path in life. If you are suggesting that aboriginals haven’t the ability to make positive life decisions, perhaps you are the racist.

  12. Many thanks for your replies. I had the chance to speak a few moments with MP Glover on this topic when she was in Winnipeg last Wednesday. She added the human touch and a bit more clarification. I understand more where you are coming from on this critical issue.

    There is much more to talk about in the whole timeline of events before leading up to a fair and equal investigation.

  13. James G Jewell

    The law is the law.

    It’s the same for all of us.

    The difference might be in your perception of how the law is administered.

  14. The problem I see is that we live under a law that protects the white people and their interests above others or above us

  15. James G. Jewell >> While I agee money should be allocated to victim services and prevention, I still feel an enquiry is necessary. Why should Aboriginals have to choose between either/or?

    Michael Kannon >> I agree 100% with your statements regarding comparisons. There’s way too much missing from this report to conclude nothing is wrong here, but I stand by my original statement, I don’t believe race is a factor. Good eye for detail.

    Mateo >> No other race has a Treaty with the federal gov’t, which automatically pre-disposes Aboriginals to the number one risk factor, poverty. Prevention is only part of the solution. Aboriginals have gone missing since the late 60’s. We don’t just automatically wipe the slate clean and move on with our lives, simply because of one report.

    I don’t mean to be picky James, but I noticed the word “likely” in some of your statements. “likely” isn’t evidence. It either was a factor, or it wasn’t. Perhaps you meant overall?

  16. Just heard the pod cast from charles adler. Just wanted to thank you for your article and finally bringing some light to this subject.

    Keep up the good work!

  17. James G Jewell

    I never said racism isn’t an issue?

    Quite the contrary.

    What I said was racism is not an issue that impacts solve percentages when it comes to Homicide investigation when Aboriginal women are murdered! For decades I heard the “Police don’t care when Indians get murdered” mantra being broadcast over radio and printed in the media. That lie was spread and became a perception in the Aboriginal Community. That lie put the racist label on all Homicide investigators and that’s just not fair. The RCMP report provides evidence the murders of Aboriginal women are investigated with the same commitment as any other murder.

    When people use racism as a wet blanket to throw over everything it tends to water down public perception of legitimate issues related to racism.

    Thank you for joining the conversation.

  18. If you have ever watched a BBC program called “Life on Mars” you can see a different life from the 70s and now in attitudes towards women and people of colour by a policing agency. That transition took time, and the energies of the public to change leadership, administration and management of policing agencies. Significant change came from recruitment of people marginalized by the society they are hired to serve and protect.
    The show is all too real.

    You don’t think racism is an issue? How does a man state in a meeting with government officials within the past month and a half say, “We killed all the Beothuks we should have killed them (Mi’kmag) too.” and how the government officials allow the meeting to go on and policing officials do not carry on an investigation when Mr. Hennebury said he said those words, but they are being “misconstrued”. How does a group advertise that they will do a “removal service for “pesky Natives”? It’s a joke they say, people are “too sensitive” to jest? Why did the murder of Betty Osborne take so long to be dealt with?

    As an Aboriginal person owning property, having a high level job which only comes because I have no criminal record, I found a difference that if you fall and might be injured, people ignore you rather than ask “Are you okay?”. I watched people walk over me rather than help me when I was going back to work after lunch.

    Nearly beaten to death by a non-Aboriginal foster family. To this day, I don’t know what happened to the boy who was beaten with me – could he have been my own brother?

    Aboriginal children were thrown to the wind.

    Talk to people and learn more.

  19. Once again, the aboriginal leaders have missed their opportunity to demonstrate leadership and ownership of the factors which contribute to the missing and murdered women this report idetifies.

    Rather than contining to point the finger at police and play the same racism card, the leaders/activists of the aboriginal community should be acknowledging a cause and effect correlation. Lets face it, the writing is on the wall. There are certain lifestyles (whether white, aboriginal, asian, black, etc.) which increase ones likelyhood of becoming a victim of crime.

    So rather than facing these issues head-on, in a mature and introspective manner in the hopes of seeking some way of preventing these risky lifestyles, the “aboriginal leaders” continue to ignore real facts and cry racism. Instead of a “lets fix the root of the problem” mentality, we continue to hear the same poined accusations of racism (which have nothing to do with the actual issue of missing/murdered women).

    James, I’m glad you’re not afraid to open up this discussion, as I think it needs to be aired. It’s time the blame game stopped and taking responsibility for one’s actions becomes the default.

  20. James G Jewell

    Shirley;

    You raise some interesting points.

    In answer to your questions, racial origins of offenders was not explored in the research study. Some Provincial stats were provided but nothing in relation to urban centres.

    I believe there are many reasons why people are demanding an enquiry.

    My reasons for opposing an enquiry are supported by many people in the Aboriginal community in that;

    An enquiry will take years to complete
    An enquiry will be extremely cost prohibitive
    The money spent on an enquiry could be better spent in the service of victims
    Causation factors are already widely know and understood
    Immediate action is required for Aboriginal women currently at risk

    An interesting point you make concerns the information vacuum surviving family members live in after the tragic loss of a loved one. Unfortunately, homicide investigation requires a concerted effort to “hold back” the kind of information family members desperately want to learn.

    The disclosure of this information can legitimately jeopardize a homicide investigation.

    There is a balancing act in play here that is excruciatingly painful for family members. There’s just no way around it.

    An enquiry will never be able to provide them with that kind of information.

    In my opinion, the benefits of an enquiry are significantly outweighed by the detriments.

    Appreciate your comments.

  21. James G Jewell

    Melissa;

    I am also a member of a “covert” racial minority.

    I know what racism is and I’ve felt the bite of hateful racist comments directed towards me and my family.

    I have extremely close Aboriginal familial ties in my own family and by marriage.

    Your comments cross every common sense boundary.

    Firstly, I never suggested that racism doesn’t exist. You either didn’t read my story or weren’t able to comprehend the point.

    Your suggestion that I’ve been “infected with deep rooted hatred and racism against the Aboriginal population of Canada” is so ridiculous it really doesn’t really merit a reply.

    You take it a step further with your suggestion that I have no right to voice my opinion “if you are not willing to help or be open minded.”

    I spent twenty-six years working in a profession where I provided compassionate, professional service to Aboriginal men, women and children who were victims of crime. I’d like to ask you what you’ve done in the service of the Aboriginal people?

    After reading your comments I had a moment of clarity.

    I now understand why Politicians piss their pants anytime an issue regarding First Nations or racism is raised. When people like you and many others who have posted comments on this story are so quick to go on the attack and label people as racists its no wonder they’re afraid to discuss the issue.

    The points I made in my article are indisputable yet I continue to be misinterpreted, misrepresented, labelled and vilified as a racist.

    Things will never improve if we can’t even begin to have an honest conversation about these issues.

    The fact is, there is essentially no difference between the Homicide solve rates of Aboriginal female victims when compared to the solve rates of Non-Aboriginal female victims.

    That Melissa, is vindication for all of the Homicide Detectives who have had to sit in silence when Aboriginal activists make outrageous claims that the cops don’t care when Aboriginal people get murdered. I’ve heard it literally dozens of times. The RCMP findings finally put that urban myth to bed and people like you seem to struggle with that reality.

    Reality can be a bitter pill.

  22. James, of the solved murderes of aboriginal women:

    1. How many of the perpetrators were aboriginal, and how many are “other”?

    2. What are the statistics by each province, better yet, by each city in the last 5 years?

    I think the reason they want the public enquiry James, is to know that police did everything they could to find those missing, and bring to justice the perpetrators who have yet to see the inside of a jail cell. Family members of victims have zero rights (no access, not even under Freedom of Information Act) to evidence or police notes in open police files (which can stay open, lets face it, for a very long time, pure torture for the family). A public enquiry would change all that.

    I appreciate the lively conversation on this topic but I must warn advocates, be careful. Some of your comments are bordering on reverse discrimination, and labelling. To request services only for aboriginals, only, is systemic discrimination. Unless you’re asking for these services for remote areas.

    I don’t believe there is racial discrimination on our police forces now, at least not since 1987’ish. I’m not a fan of most police officers in Ontario (I obviously don’t know them all) and I can’t call them racist. On the otherhand I will say that there are systemic problems when it comes to dealing with certain groups of individuals (usually people who are on the streets, have substance abuse issues, work in the sex trade, live in housing), here in Ontario, and specifically Toronto. The aim in Toronto now is to keep people out of jail, and reports OFF of paper (thats the fudging of numbers I mentioned in a previous thread James). It just seems to me, officers in Toronto are so used to treating certain people a certain way, and there’s no objectivity involved. When they have this attitude (I’m not saying all do, but a good many do here), they pay less attention to detail, they’re less enthusiastic about collecting evidence (and EVERYONE in Ontario KNOWS this because we watched in horror, as the Dillon Millard case unravelled before our eyes, a big huge FU, typical of the TPS attitude), as well as my own personal treck through this crappy system they call law enforcement here in Toronto.

    I can feel you’re different James. You’re educated, detail orientated, calm and articulated. I bet you were an amazing police officer. I’m not trying to blow smoke here. I’m just letting you know, I know the difference. I think the type of people they hire in Winnipeg could be very different than who they hire here in Ontario, and if your officers are so different from ours, it could mean they’re different elsewhere. Isn’t it possible, that something else besides highrisk behaviors, or race could be a factor in the number of unsolved cases across the board?

    I think when government officials make a final decision on whether or not to say no to a public enquiry, they should try placing themselves in the shoes of family members who, I feel, have suffered way too long over this. I don’t think the police should be the bearers of bad publicity, either, if the information is incorrect. The enquiry would benefit both sides.

  23. *Your – yes I did just claim to be educated 🙂

  24. I am a blonde hair blue eyed status off reserve member. I am educated, I’ve paid taxes, my parents went to missionary and residential school. Obviously I am of mixed blood due to my atypical stereotypical non-Native features. I have lived in many communities and I have lived in many towns and cities. I have witnessed the racism to say that it does not exist is ridiculous, what is the point of that? It’s obvious you’ve been infected with the deep rooted hatred, and racism against the Aboriginal population of Canada – the FIRST people..It’s not you’re place to dispute it if you are not willing to help or be open minded – you are part of the problem. I hope a majority of the people reading this can see through to the real picture. I don’t think it matters what anyone says, what we could show you, how we could educate you about the REALITY of our plight, you will find long winded arguments to everything. That is unfortunate – but it is your reality not everyone’s. And that is the good news, for us and the rest of mankind that is pushing forward, fluid, and evolving. The deep rooted hatred, misunderstanding and ignorance of the TRUE plight of the Aboriginal people of Canada (and many other colonized countries – not just us) is a huge ugly boil on the ass of humanity that needs to be seen for what it is and healed. Humility – every one even you and the others spewing hatred and made up twisted “facts” on here should try it. It really helps to overcome even the biggest ugliest obstacles in life including the hateful ignorance of racist people.

  25. James G Jewell

    I have no idea what you’re talking about Henri…

    I post all comments, good or bad.

    Comments are subject to the comment policy.

    No racist, homophobic, threats, personal attacks etc….

    I can assure you I am no coward.

    I learn much more from criticism than praise.

    I don’t think name calling does much to enhance a conversation but it does tell me something about you.

    No need for hostility.

  26. James G Jewell

    Tyrel…

    Check my reply to Alison….

    Thanks for reading…

  27. James G Jewell

    Valid point…

    The problem with statistics is that they are often open to wide and converse interpretations.

    Thanks for commenting.

  28. James G Jewell

    Valid points…

    Thanks for commenting…

  29. James G Jewell

    Cathy;

    I found a great quote on the internet that applies to your comments;

    “The word racism is like ketchup. It can be put on practically anything and demanding evidence makes you a racist.” Thomas Sowell.

    In my opinion the claim you make is outrageous; “The rate of missing and murdered can very clearly be tied to systemic racism that occurs within police forces across the country.”

    I would like you to back up the claim with something substantive if you can.

    I personally believe you’re making an incredulous leap if you’re trying to blame the Police using your “six degrees of separation” theory.

    A relationship is something that occurs between two people, groups or entities. The Police & the Aboriginal Community both share responsibility regarding the health of that relationship.

    Please keep in mind that my article specifically confronted allegations that racism and investigative indifference contributed to the numbers of Missing & Murdered Aboriginal women. I’ve worked some of those cases and I know the allegations are patently false.

    I don’t pretend to be an expert on any of the enquiries you’ve mentioned. I believe several recommendations from the AJI were implemented.

    The most important thing is where we are and where we’re going.

    There’s no question our Government has failed the Aboriginal people.

    There’s plenty of blame to go around.

  30. James G Jewell

    You take tremendous liberty with your interpretation of my viewpoints.

    I have tremendous respect and admiration for Aboriginal women who I’ve worked extremely closely with for almost three decades. The fact is, involvement in the sex trade is one of the contributing factors to the grim statistics in the RCMP report.

    The title, “Just another Dead Indian” was a direct quote from the mouth of an Aboriginal activist whose inflammatory rhetoric does nothing but widen the racial divide.

    You are entitled to your views, as absurd, jaded and abstract as I perceive them to be.

    Do you truly believe that all Police Officers in “Colonial Canada” are programmed by the machine set against First Nations.

    In reality, Police Agencies across the Country are becoming more racially diverse every year. The WPS has strong representation from the Aboriginal Community in their ranks who have changed the face of the Organization. They continue to try to evolve to better reflect the face of the community.

    For as much as you want to believe in the “us vs them” mentality, the truth is Law Enforcement spends a great deal of time serving Aboriginal victim’s of crime with great compassion, concern and professionalism.

    I know I did, and for that I have no guilt and offer no apologies.

  31. James G Jewell

    The following stats are contained in the report;

    Since 1980:

    20,313 victims of homicide

    6,551 female victims

    83% Non-Aboriginal (5,439)

    16% Aboriginal (1,017)

    1% Unknown (95)

    The report notes that 1,017 murdered Aboriginal women equates to 16% of the total number while Aboriginal females in Canada only represent 4.3% of the female population.

    They conclude that Aboriginal females are overrepresented in the homicide statistics.

  32. @ Mike. The few words you spoke are so very true. Doesn’t get much clearer then that .

  33. Henri Chevillard

    I see you only post those that agree with you eh…. Coward

  34. James, I too am interested in Alison’s question. Do you have the 1980 – 2012 stats for non Aboriginal women? I tried to find them but couldn’t. Thanks for the great article.

    1980 – 2012

    1,181 – Number of Missing & Murdered Aboriginal women
    1,017 – Number of Murdered Aboriginal women
    164 – Number of Missing Aboriginal women
    120 – Number of unsolved Aboriginal women homicides
    105 – Number of missing Aboriginal women (unknown or foul play suspected)

  35. @Steve M B. I want to respond to your comment that this article should be published in The Free Press . You are giving way to much credit to a newspaper who would never print what James wrote . The Free Press loves to print the good old why me,I’m such a poor victim of society kind of story. But at least I can give James credit for writing these posts and allowing you and me to respond . You know some other media love to ban freedom of expression on their site ,if you don’t agree with their political agenda. Your comments won’t even make it . On here James gives everyone a right to post and that’s a good thing .

  36. James thanks for the report as it clearly shows what most Canadians, the Gov’t and Police forces have been saying for years, the rate of missing and murdered aboriginal women is no different than the general public. Unfortunately your data doesn’t fit the Indian Industry blame game. Until the Aboriginal community starts to look within at the abuse, incest, substance abuse, mental health etc their women will continue to end up in the wrong places where their safety is put at risk.

  37. Perhaps you didn’t understand why I suggested that you don’t understand the breadth of the term racism. My intent was to argue that the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women is rooted in racism whether it be overt or systemic. In this case the rate of missing and murdered can very clearly be tied to systemic racism that occurs within police forces across the country. This is why I take issue with your headline. I understand your argument that this report suggests that the violence is not racialized as has been suggested by a original organizations because RCMP data shows that many of these incidences are perpetrated by families, and spouses however it is racialized in the sense that police responses to violence against aboriginal women has likely been racialized through the negative relationships that occur between aboriginal people and police. So you see police inaction does play a role in missing and murdered aboriginal women because if police were meeting the needs of aboriginal communities and if aboriginal communities felt safe when dealing with the police the rate of missing and murdered would likely be lower. There have been four inquiries/commissions that have all shown both systemic and overt racism within the ranks of the criminal justice system yet the government nor the police have taken any meaningful action. I urge you to look at the stonechild inquiry, the Donald Marshall inquiry, the Manitoba justice inquiry and RCAP for a clearer view of what I am saying. Perhaps you next article could examine the recommendations set out in these inquiries for the purpose of developing a report card of sorts to show how far we haven’t come.
    Thanks for your response

  38. Systematic racism is evident within the titles of your “reports” associating aboriginal women to prostitutes and referring to your other works such as “another dead indian” provide for a psychological conditioning framework that offers police officers the ability to associate and accept racist perception while offering plausible deniability in the course of duty. The titles of your reports both caters to the the racist and the false perception of “The Police Do Nothing Wrong”. Criminal acts are criminal acts it’s black and white.

    The pragmatic approach you have taken is evident of being engineered to have a bias as this is the a practise that has been exercised so many times that it’s has become unconscious actions and an unknown variable in the mental faculties. It’s about being engineered by a machine set against First Nations due to the Treaties and political agendas to end them and assimilate the Indian. The very fabric of such reports is clearly evident of this and becoming a police officer in colonial Canada it’s a requirement due to the larger political agendas. You have been engineered by the very machine that is set to destroy a peoples and so have the police state of this great country and it beings with every citizen being forced to take sides and having been convoluted by political agendas. There have been many titles and statements that have included titles such as “kill the Indian, save the man”, or “kill the Indian in the child” were attempts a political assimilation and your report attempt to sooth the soul of any guilt and offer a defence. It is a submission of guilt.

    Here are some related articles to better remind you of how you have been tailored and other articles submitted by reputable news outlets which counter the plausible deniability you have tailored through your reports! Your offering a loaded gun to continue the plight against aboriginals in this nation!

    http://www.shmoop.com/absolutely-true-diary-part-time-indian/race-quotes.html

    http://www.cbc.ca/m/news/#!/content/1.2645674

    http://www.cbc.ca/m/news/#!/content/1.2644827/

    This makes it painfully clear that the reports are merely attempts to provide a spin on the outstanding issues in this nation.

  39. Once again an excellent read! Should be published in the Winnipeg Free Press, expose this sad but true reality!

  40. Time to drop the “poor me” blame race for everything mentality and move on. People are missing the point of the article and using the forum as a soapbox rather than see the conclusions of the statistics.

  41. “Statistical data doesn’t appear to support a conclusion that Aboriginal women are being specifically targeted.” ~ Aye that’s the rub! Concerning the base data set of Statistics to measure per capita missing and murdered Aboriginal women, should it include the broader 17 million or just their population group?

    The general public is well versed in Per Capita when it comes to the yearly Murder Capital of Canada reports. Each city’s population set is directly compared to each other side by side, not as an inclusive total of the sums of population.

    E.G., the per capita murder rate of Winnipeg is calculated against our population of 700,000 rather than all 34 million Canadians. This shows Winnipeg’s true Per Capita Murder Rate of 5.08 as published for 2013. If the Per Capita Murder Rate of Winnipeg was compared to all 34 million is would be a minuscule 0.14 Per Capita rate. That false 0.14 per capita rate would lead the pubic to false perceptions.

    One additional missing piece of data that is available but not included in the report is the Aboriginal Indicator of the perpetrator.

  42. Can you compare the first statistics listed to the non-aboriginal female population? Seems to me that would be relevant. How many non-aboriginal women were mudrdered or missing in the same time period?

  43. I still dont get how statistics can be racist. But I do get how racism is screamed when an argument cannot be won or debated.

  44. I’m sorry you can’t see the difference between the inner workings of a Homicide investigation and societal / systemic racism.

    Your classification of “asinine” comments could certainly apply to your suggestion, “Just because you know one Metis person does not mean that it eradicates racism in the subject matter.”

    The RCMP provided a logical explanation regarding how the numbers increased.

    My “diatribe” as you inaccurately described it, confronts the false accusations of racism in Police homicide investigations. The numbers simply can’t be denied. With an indistinguishable 1% difference between Aboriginal & Non-Aboriginal female homicide solve rates, even the blow hards will have a hard time trying to keep the racist rhetoric attached to Homicide investigation and investigators alive.

    Those facts don’t seem to get in your way of painting an entire Organization as racist.

    That’s something you should really think about.

  45. Henri Chevillard

    You continually contradict yourself. You make asinine comments such as, “These are significant findings that support my assertion racism is a non-contributing factor when it comes to the investigation into the murder of Aboriginal women.” Then when responding to comments you assert. “I am in no way denying Aboriginal people have suffered and continue to suffer societal & systemic racism in our Country.”

    Interesting ain’t it… Much like your ‘Metis’ partner, laughable. Just because you know one Metis person does not mean that it eradicates racism in the subject matter. As with professional life there are private and public thoughts and no matter how close you are with someone you will never really know their private thoughts on a subject such as this.

    The RCMP report itself gives a great big Caveat. “As with any effort of such magnitude, this report needs to be caveated with a certain amount of error and imprecision. This is for a number of reasons: the period of time over which data was collected was extensive; collection by investigators means data is susceptible to human error and interpretation; inconsistency of collection of variables over the review period and across multiple data sources; and, finally, definitional challenges.”
    Yep, susceptible to human error and interpretation. funny. Last year the RCMP were loudly trumpeting only 580 missing and murdered. Now that number has doubled.

    Your diatribe confirms -Racism is alive and well in the Wpg police service

  46. James G Jewell

    And the boy who cried wolf is an Aesop’s fable.

  47. James G Jewell

    While I respect your opinion I have to disagree.

    Statistical data doesn’t appear to support a conclusion that Aboriginal women are being specifically targeted. It seems that data suggests Aboriginal women are most often killed by someone who had some form of relationship with the victim i.e.: spouse, family, other intimate relationship or an acquaintance.

    62% of perpetrators of Aboriginal female homicides are likely to have had a history of family violence with the victim

    8% rate of stranger perpetrated homicides

    When you look at the risk factors a different story emerges;

    63% likely to have consumed intoxicants prior to incident
    44% more likely to have criminal record
    18% more likely to device income from illegal activities
    16% employment rate
    12% involved in the sex trade

    We don’t need an enquiry to realize we have to address the identified risk factors to impact the problem.

    An enquiry will cost millions of dollars, take several years and will only tell us things we already know.

    What we need is ACTION not denial, empty words or promises.

    Lack of leadership and ownership are two essential components that continue to contribute to the problem.

    Thank you for joining the conversation.

  48. Denial of racism is racism in itself- Tim Wise

  49. Michael Kannon

    I’d like to know why in the official report the RCMP show on page 10 figure 5 graph, the Per Capita of Aboriginal and Non Aboriginal victims are BOTH calculated out of all 17 million Canadian Women.

    It is my belief that a true Per Capita comparison would use the calculations the female Aboriginal population of 600,000 as reported in the 2006 Census. 1,186 out of 600,000 is a Per Capita Murder rate of 197.

    If perpetrators are specifically targeting Aboriginal women it can be marginalized and watered down if we keep comparing murder rates to all 17 million Canadian women.

    197 per capita murder rate is justification for a National Inquiry.

  50. James G Jewell

    So true….

  51. United We Stand, Divided We Fall. Society Will Not Move Forward Untill One Of These Things Happen.

  52. James G Jewell

    Cathy;

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    You might be surprised to hear this but I almost entirely agree with your opinion.

    The part where we disagree is your suggestion the story and headline is inaccurate.

    As I indicated to the previous commenter, the issue I tackle in the story is restricted to the rhetoric I’ve heard from Aboriginal Leaders, activists or advocates who suggest and have suggested for decades that racism and investigative indifference has contributed to the problem of Missing & Murdered Aboriginal women. Having spent over eight (8) years investigating Homicides in the per capita murder capital of Canada, I knew the racist rhetoric had no basis in reality. In fact, I found the suggestions insulting and offensive, as did my Metis partner of two (2) years.

    I am in no way denying Aboriginal people have suffered and continue to suffer societal & systemic racism in our Country.

    (See reply to Iwichihin for detailed response)

    The other issue I take is with your suggestion I don’t understand the “breadth and meaning of the term racism.”

    As a product of a bi-racial marriage, at a time when civil rights were still a major issue in North America, I have keen insight into the meaning of the term racism and the many forms it can take.

    I do appreciate your perspective and contribution to the conversation.

  53. This article and especially it’s head line is totally inaccurate. It shows that the author doesn’t understand the breadth of meaning of the term racism. It fails to acknowledge that systemic racism brought about by ongoing colonialism plays a major role in why rates of homicide are higher for aboriginal women. While the RCMP report suggests that most homicides are at the hands of family, spouses, and friends it doesn’t explain the fact that aboriginal women gesp really experience more severe forms of violence which indicates that they likely wait until violence really escalates before reporting it. This indicates two things. First there is insuffient services available to aboriginal women who are experiencing violence (indicating systemic discrimination in policy) and second it may indicate that positive and trusting relationships between aboriginal people and in particular women and the police aren’t their. This is the result of historical and contemporary experiences of racism. If things are going to change police have to repair this relationship so that women feel safe enough to report their violence and the way to do that is not to over police. The way to do this is to listen to aboriginal people about their policing needs and ensure that the relationship between police and aboriginal people is a positive one that is free from racisim. Police may not think that they are being racists but racial assumptions and labelling a group of people based on ones experience with a few is racism.

  54. James G Jewell

    Iwichihin;

    I appreciate the fact you chose to share your thoughts and feelings as you clearly have a First Nations perspective.

    A couple of points I would like to make regarding your reply;

    The issue I tackle in my story is restricted to the rhetoric I’ve heard from Aboriginal Leaders, activists or advocates who suggest and have suggested for decades that racism and investigative indifference has contributed to the problem of Missing & Murdered Aboriginal women. Having spent over eight (8) years investigating Homicides in the per capita murder capital of Canada, I knew the racist rhetoric had no basis in reality. In fact, I found the suggestions insulting and offensive, as did my Metis partner of two (2) years.

    That leads me to another issue you raise.

    The WPS has become a multicultural melting pot of people from all nationalities, races and religions. In my own experiences, as a minority Police Officer with 26 years of service, I have to say the issues I had relative to race were very few and relatively minor in nature. As I said, I had an excellent Metis partner in Homicide for two years.

    I don’t dispute what you’re saying about the RCMP but I do believe the Organization has significantly evolved over the last few decades.

    Please don’t misunderstand me.

    I am in no way denying Aboriginal people have suffered and continue to suffer societal & systemic racism in our Country.

    I would like to think we are continuing to evolve and that one day Canadian society will learn to truly understand, admire and embrace Aboriginal people.

    That’s one of the reasons I try to confront false claims of racism that do nothing but strengthen the racial divide.

    False claims of racism undermine legitimate ones.

    Thanks again for commenting.

  55. I read the article and statistics are always a good tool to combat an outstanding highlighted issues of irregularity. These are “blue protecting blue” biased articles and very opinionated in terms of serving to create or attempting to maintain a positive image of policing in Canada. It leaves questions that should be opened to public scrutiny. The related links speaks to how deep seeded the public’s perspective of First Nations really is “Another Dead Indian” and “Elusive Killers – Sex Trade Worker Slayings Not so Easy to Solve” are contrary to the title of the enclosed article and where the real issues lie, under the covers and out of the public’s eye and work against the findings of the RCMP. There are instances such as the BC RCMP whom are being investigated for the assault of First Nations women and this opens up a questionable debate of what other charges are in the books out of the public’s eye and how many instances where a blind eye has been turned, perhaps these kind of statistics are entirely relevant to truly understand the deep seeded issues. The historical context has seen even the UN chime in and offer its opinion contrary to the article.

    The headline is what has been politically constructed and exist on paper to establish a subjugation of a peoples by a government that sought to destroy culture, language, spirituality and heritage of a peoples. There are many scholarly papers, articles and books that speak to such political agendas being proliferated or a peoples being subjugated. The history of such bias towards natives is deep seeded in the political conscious which includes: institutions, societal and systematic racism, these are what is taught in the schools and universities from a scholarly perspective.

    I have many friends and family whom are ex-RCMP officers and were First Nation and forced to leave the force based on the fact that they were driven out of the forces due to extreme racism, some were forced to assault their own people as a show of loyalty to the RCMP. Where is the stats to offer these individuals justice?

    Lets face it the RCMP is controlled by the colonial agenda and are required to maintain the status quo, which reason to have the majority of the policing services in Canada a skewed representation of the races that make up the police forces in Canada and this is where the real issues lie. Without proper representation within the infrastructure then there will always be bias!

  56. James G Jewell

    Steve, appreciate your comments.

    The murder of sex trade workers are very similar to gang slayings in that people “in the know” tend to be disinclined to cooperate with law enforcement.

    It takes great courage to stand up and be counted.

    Thanks for weighing in….

  57. James once again you wrote an excellent write regarding this issue. The facts are facts, and those who don’t agree with them well nothing we can do. And while you were a former WPS homicide investigator I see no reason why you would want to cover up any findings. James there are many questions that need to be asked regarding many of these women’s situations, lifestyle, friends, drug habits, gang involvement. But I know some may say none of that matters. But on any of these missing women, is there not one person in the community that knew what the hell went on. James you know just as well as me, if it comes to gangs shooting or killing each other, they don’t say a word. So in many of these cases of missing women I wonder if it’s all hush hush. And I seriously don’t want to see the police and RCMP blamed for this.

  58. James G Jewell

    Good question…

    The percentage marginally increases to 65% for non Aboriginal females….

  59. I’m curious. Numbers from your post above:
    ◾Eighty-eight (88%) percent of all Aboriginal female homicides are solved
    ◾Eighty-nine (89%) percent of all Non-Aboriginal female homicides are solved
    ◾The solvency rate for Aboriginal female victims of homicide plummets to sixty (60%) percent when the victim is involved in the sex trade

    Is there a corresponding solvency rate for non-Aboriginal female victims of homicide when the victim is involved in the sex trade?

    Thanks.

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