APTN National News
The Canadian Human Rights Commission is calling for a full, public inquiry into the high number of missing and murdered Indigenous women after the horrific murder of a 15-year-old Aboriginal girl in Winnipeg.
The commission says the murder of Tina Fontaine highlights the need for Canada to address the issue.
“Once again our hearts are filled with grief and sadness as we mourn the brutal and senseless murder of an Aboriginal girl,” wrote acting chief commissioner David Langtry in a statement. “Tina must not disappear into the oblivion of statistics.”
Langtry says the federal government must develop a national action plan to deal with a RCMP report, released in May, that found nearly 1,200 missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls since 1982.
“This is not acceptable in a country like Canada,” Langtry said.
Fontaine’s body was found Sunday in Winnipeg’s Red River. Her body was in a bag and police believe she was dead prior to entering the water. They are holding back on releasing her cause of death.
She had been reported missing more than a week later and was in care of child welfare services at the time.
The Harper government has refused to call an inquiry.
“I am not sure who else besides the Conservative government doesn’twant a National Inquiry. First Nation leaders and the Premiers of the Provinces in Canada unanimously back this call and the United Nations has called on Canada to support an inquiry. Why are Harper and the Conservatives not listening?” said Ontario regional chief Stan Beardy in a statement.
The RCMP report said Indigenous women make up 4.3 per cent of the Canadian population, yet account for 16 per cent of female homicides and 11.3 per cent of missing women.
“Enough is enough,” Beardy said. “Our condolences and our hearts go out to the family and community of young Tina Fontaine who was barely 15-years-old and was senselessly and brutally murdered. This is unacceptable in a country like Canada where we expect our children and our women to live without fear.”