RCMP release report on missing and murdered aboriginal women

The RCMP released a report on missing and murdered aboriginal women that found more than 1,000 women have disappeared or been killed over the last three decades.

Many in Saskatchewan's aboriginal community are not surprised by the numbers

Margaret Poitras, the director of All Nations Hope, says that solutions for the missing and murdered aboriginal women need to come from aboriginal leadership and their own community.

Saskatchewan RCMP have released a report on the province's missing and murdered aboriginal women, and its numbers are staggering.

The report, which was released Friday, said the RCMP are aware of nearly 1,200 cases over the last three decades.

Members of Saskatchewan's aboriginal community said that while the numbers are high, they are not surprising.

“When you see posters on the walls and on the street corners and stuff like that, that really hits home because they’re children and kids and young women,” said Cynthia Lerat, who has two daughters of her own.

Another mother says that the number of missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada has affected her parenting.

“There isn’t leaving the house without permission, going somewhere I’m not aware of,” said Chasity Delorme. “But that doesn’t make them not vulnerable and doesn’t mean that it can’t happen.”

Saskatoon’s Shane Henry said his mom was picked up by Robert Pickton, but she wasn’t one of his victims. However, not all aboriginal families as as lucky.

Henry said he feels there is no accountability expected by the general public for what has happened to the missing and murdered women, and no serious efforts to find out where they are now.

Calls for a national inquiry continue

The report has many people calling for a national inquiry, something the province says it supports, but only if it ends in a real solution for aboriginal families who are searching for answers.

However, members of the aboriginal community, like Margaret Poitras, director of Regina indigenous support group All Nations Hope Network, said the solutions should be found by the aboriginal community itself.

“If it’s indigenous women who are missing, well then those solutions need to come from our leadership and our existing agencies or groups that are out there and working for indigenous people,” she said.

The federal government has yet to announce any specific plans on how to tackle the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women, but on Friday it said that the time for reports was over and it’s time for action.

with files from Tory Gillis