Missing aboriginal women 'a social-environmental disaster'

Caroline Tait says the issue of missing aboriginal women is a social-environmental disaster.

U of S psychiatry prof offers different perspective

Daleen Bosse, one of Saskatchewan's missing aboriginal woman, was a mother and university student in Saskatoon when she disappeared in 2004. Her remains were later found and a man was put on trial for her murder. (CBC)

It's an environmental crisis.

But not in the way that people typically think of the term.

Caroline Tait is a psychiatric professor at the University of Saskatchewan. She has a different way of looking at the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women.

We don't seem to conceive of their social environment as being important.- Caroline Tait

"But what I think we're failing to see is our social environmental disasters are equally as important, and so rather than maybe pristine lakes being damaged by contaminants and toxins instead we have young children who have the potential to do so much," she said.

"We don't seem to conceive of their social environment as being important."

Tait supports Premier Brad Wall's call for a national inquiry. She said that the environment that the women go missing from needs close examination.

"We start to see that this happens more often to women who are from that socio-economic context who are aboriginal." she said.

"So when we look at it from that point of view it raises a question about why this is continuing to happen, and why are aboriginal women, young girls, over-represented."

Aboriginal leaders from across the country are meeting with the premiers this week in Prince Edward Island.