Joint Press Statement
(April 14, 2015 - Coast Salish Territory) In a transparent attempt to prop up earlier statements by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Minister Bernard Valcourt, RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson stated last week that 70 per cent of the Aboriginal women who are murdered in Canada are murdered by Aboriginal men.
The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) and Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter are once again echoing calls from Indigenous women and communities, advocacy organizations, multiple levels of government across Canada, and international human rights bodies, for a national and public inquiry into the disproportionately high number of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the UBCIC, stated, “ The RCMP’s piece-meal, sporadic, and dangerously racializing report highlights the urgent need for a national inquiry where this report can be properly evaluated and verified. We are absolutely shocked and appalled that the RCMP would hastily release these serious statistics without providing a full, publicly accessible report detailing how they are collecting and compiling this information.”
Hilla Kerner, Spokeswoman for Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter noted: “Men from all races and communities commit violence against women and Aboriginal men are no exception. Given that Aboriginal women are the most oppressed and dispossessed, they are extremely vulnerable not only to violence by Aboriginal men but to violence by all men. We demand that the Canadian state ensure the safety, equality and liberty of all women. We will not accept anything less for Aboriginal women.”
Chief Bob Chamberlin, UBCIC Vice-President stated, “Minister Valcourt is still trying to substantiate the reckless and inflammatory statements he made last fall including that’ if the guys grow up believing that women have no rights, that's how they are treated.’” UBCIC Secretary-Treasurer Kukpi7 Judy Wilson added, “The RCMP and Federal Government’s explicit message is that this is an ‘Aboriginal’ problem and that Canada has no responsibility.”
“It is sickening that the government chose to release this extremely sensitive information for their own propaganda while the crisis continues,” said UBCIC Women’s Representative Coola Louis. “Instead of addressing the complex and intertwined root causes of violence against Indigenous women and girls, the RCMP and Federal Government are doing the complete opposite and continuing to entrench a racialized and colonial attitude toward Indigenous peoples.”
For further information contact:
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President, Union of BC Indian Chiefs: (604) 684-0231
Coola Louis, UBCIC Women’s Representative: (604) 684-0231
Hilla Kerner, Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter: (604) 872-8212