Aboriginal women still overrepresented among Canada's missing and murdered women

A new RCMP report has found that since 2013, 32 aboriginal women have been slain and 11 more have disappeared. Those who were the victims of homicide knew their killers, the report says.

32 aboriginal women have been slain and 11 more have disappeared since 2013, RCMP says

RCMP investigation on aboriginal women

7 years ago
Duration 3:11
New report confirms that aboriginal women are most likely to be killed by someone they know

Aboriginal women continue to be overrepresented among Canada's missing and murdered women, says the RCMP in a new report to update Canadians on the force's efforts to address unresolved cases of missing and murdered native women.

Between May 2014 when last year's report was published and April 2015, 11 more aboriginal women disappeared in regions over which the RCMP has jurisdiction.

Unlike in the previous report, this update did not take into account missing or murdered aboriginal woman from cities and municipalities with their own police forces, meaning the total number would be higher than the figure in the report.

It also found that within RCMP jurisdictions, 32 aboriginal women were killed in 2013 and 2014. The Mounties said this was "consistent with levels of the past decade."

The RCMP said the new report confirms what was found in 2014, mainly that aboriginal women are most frequently killed by someone they know, be it their spouse or a member of their community.

"Our 2015 update confirms the unmistakable connection between homicide and family violence, and that aboriginal women continue to be over-represented among Canada's missing and murdered women," said RCMP Deputy Commissioner Janice Armstrong.

Other key findings include:

  • As of April 2015, 174 aboriginal women across all police jurisdictions remain missing, 111 of these under suspicious circumstances.
  • A reduction of 9.3 per cent in unsolved cases of missing and murdered aboriginal women reported in the 2014 overview, from 225 to 204 across all police jurisdictions.
  • In 2013 and 2014, 81 per cent of murders of aboriginal women have been solved in RCMP jurisdictions.
  • Within RCMP jurisdictions, offenders were known to their victims in 100 per cent of solved homicide cases of aboriginal women since 2013.
  • Offenders were known to their victims in 93 per cent of solved homicide cases of non-aboriginal women in RCMP jurisdictions in 2013 and 2014.

Urgent call to action

The Assembly of First Nations said today's findings demand an "urgent call" for action.

"The numbers of missing and murdered indigenous women cannot remain a mere statistic," said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde in a written statement.

"There is a significant and tragic overrepresentation of indigenous women among the missing and murdered in this country."

Reacting to the RCMP update on CBC News Network's Power & Politics, Liberal aboriginal affairs critic Carolyn Bennett called for an inquiry into the issue, saying that "crime prevention alone cannot stop the problem."

NDP aboriginal affairs critic Niki Ashton also called for an inquiry, saying "this is a Canadian issue, not an indigenous issue."

In a statement posted on her website, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women Kellie Leitch wrote that "we don't need another study on top of the same 40 studies that have already been done; we need police to catch those responsible and ensure they're punished."

Today's release follows a report last year that found more than 1,000 cases of murdered and missing indigenous women between 1980 and 2012.


  • A previous version of this story mistakenly said that a report last year found more than 11,000 cases of murdered and missing indigenous women between 1980 and 2012. In fact, the report found more than 1,000 cases of murdered and missing indigenous women between 1980 and 2012.
    Jun 19, 2015 3:18 PM ET

With files from The Canadian Press