By Kenneth Jackson
APTN National News
An RCMP project aimed at tallying the number of missing and murdered Indigenous women has uncovered “over 1,000” cases, APTN National News has learned.
The RCMP was able to determine that there are more than 1,000 cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women with the help of other police forces across the country, according to a person with knowledge of the project, who asked not to be named because they’re not the official spokesperson on the project.
As part of this project, the RCMP reached out to over 200 police forces across the country and asked to get a peek at their files to compile the statistics.
APTN was told the project was complete and the report’s release was supposed to come out March 31, but is being held up by the federal ministry of public safety Canada.
However, RCMP Aboriginal policing Supt. Tyler Bates denied the report was done when contacted on his cell phone Wednesday afternoon.
“There is no report as of yet that has been disseminated,” said Bates. “There will be a publicly available document down the road.”
When asked about the tally of over 1,000, Bates said he couldn’t confirm or deny any number.
“I’m not going to speak to a specific number to confirm or refute anything at this juncture,” he said. “I don’t have any comment right now. All I can tell you is there is work that remains ongoing.”
The purpose of the project was to give the RCMP clear data on the number of missing and murdered Indigenous women, Bates told APTN in December.
The tally of over 1,000 cases would shatter any numbers compiled to this point. The Native Women’s Association of Canada released a report in 2010 with nearly 600 cases and recently and an Ottawa researcher released a study that puts the number at over 800.
The RCMP questioned NWAC’s numbers in the past, but, until the recent project, the federal force only tallied information from within its own files.
A call to the Public Safety minister’s office was not immediately returned.
– with APTN files