A March protest calling for a national inquiry into national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women (Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)
The Aboriginal People’s Television Network (APTN) has reported that the RCMP has uncovered more than 1,000 cases of missing and murdered indigenous women — a number the Mounties would neither confirm nor deny today.
The figure, hundreds more than previously thought, was arrived at after the RCMP contacted more than 200 police forces across the country, APTN reported, citing an anonymous source.
APTN was told the RCMP project, aimed at tallying the number of missing and murdered indigenous women, was complete — and that its release has been delayed by Public Safety Canada.
“The RCMP is currently completing a national operational review to gain the most accurate account to date of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada,” Sgt. Greg Cox, a media relations officer with the RCMP’s national communications services, told Strombo.com by email. “The report is not finalized and it would be premature to further comment at this point.”
Today’s APTN report comes amid mounting pressure for a national public inquiry into the cases, in the wake of the murder of Loretta Saunders, a 26-year-old St. Mary’s University
student (originally from Labrador) who died in February (and whose research at school was into this very topic).
Today in question period, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney was asked to call an inquiry into the cases, reports CP. Blaney spoke about the government’s budget bill and its five-year, $25-million allotment aimed at stopping violence against aboriginal women and girls.
In January, the RCMP reported it had completed a “comprehensive file review” of more than 400 missing and murdered aboriginal women within its jurisdiction — and that it would continue to pursue outstanding cases.