N.W.T. premier says inquiry not needed to begin change

N.W.T. premier Bob McLeod supports an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women, but he says an inquiry is not needed to implement recommendations already on the books.

Bob McLeod says steps to make aboriginal women less vulnerable can start now

Northwest Territories Premier Bob McLeod, third from right, says he supports n inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women, but work can begin now to tackle known problems. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

Canada's premiers and aboriginal leaders are calling on the federal government to compromise and have key ministers meet with them to discuss the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women.

Northwest Territories Premier Bob McLeod is among them. 

He's also in favour of an inquiry on the issue, but he says there are things that can be done now to improve the lives of aboriginal women. 

McLeod says there have been 29 reports across Canada dealing with violence against aboriginal women that include about 500 recommendations.

"We have the dubious distinction of being the worst or the second worst in terms of statistics for violence against women," McLeod says of his territory. "So we think all of those recommendations, I think will be very important in reducing and finally putting an end to violence against aboriginal women and girls."

McLeod now chairs the premiers' working group on aboriginal affairs. 

He says dealing with problems like poor housing and poverty would make women less vulnerable.

Since 1980, 47 aboriginal women have been murdered or have disappeared in the N.W.T.

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