Inuit women’s group supports roundtable, if given a seat
The national Inuit women's group, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, supports the idea of a national roundtable into Canada's missing and murdered aboriginal women, but only if it gets a seat.
The organization initially said it would not endorse a full national inquiry.
"At that time we decided that we needed more information on it,” says Pauktuutit's president, Rebecca Kudloo. "We were concerned that we would be lost if there was an inquiry.”
Inuit in Canada number about 60,000, according to Statistics Canada's 2011 National Household Survey. That's a small fraction of the over 850,000 people who identified as First Nations, and almost half a million who identified as Métis.
Kudloo, aware that Inuit women face many different issues, says she needs to see an Inuit-specific action plan before taking part.
She says the issue of violence against women has been a priority for her group for the last 30 years.
"If the government is willing to spend millions of dollars on a missing Franklin ship, why aren't they spending millions of dollars on violence against women?”
Kudloo says whether there's a full national inquiry or a roundtable, it needs to be tailored to Inuit needs.
That could include examining the effects of residential schools and improving access to mental health programs and women's shelters.
Kudloo says 70 per cent of communities in the North do not have a safe shelter for women.
That's despite the fact that the territories have the highest rates of violence against women in the country.