Is the relationship between the RCMP and Aboriginal women broken?


The RCMP stands accused of abusing aboriginal women in northern British Columbia. The allegations appear in a report by Human Rights Watch and yet not a single woman has come forward to complain. We explore the past and present state of a tense relationship that is more surprising than it seems.

Today's guest host was Rick MacInnes-Rae.

Is the relationship between the RCMP and Aboriginal women broken?

We began this segment with readings from testimonials gathered by Human Rights Watch ... testimonials of native women living in northern British Columbia who say they suffered excessive force, assault and even rape at the hands of RCMP officers.

The testimonials are part of a report released earlier this week which documented incidents of violence allegedly committed by RCMP officers. The report also alleges a systematic failure on the part of the RCMP to protect indigenous women and girls from violence committed against them... and says the Canadian Government should set up a national commission of inquiry into the murders and disappearances of native women in communities along Highway 16, which has come to be known as the Highway of Tears. 

For their thoughts on the relationship between the RCMP and aboriginal women, I'm  joined first by two people. Betty Kennedy is the executive director of the Ontario Native Women's Association. She was in Thunder Bay. And Nahanni Fontaine is a Special Advisor on Aboriginal Women's Issues to the Manitoba government. She was in Winnipeg. We also heard from Gillian Balfour, a professor at Trent University.

This segment was produced by The Current's Liz Hoath and Vanessa Greco.

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