As It Happens

RCMP: 70 per cent of murdered indigenous women killed by indigenous men

RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson confirms that 70 per cent of the solved murders of indigenous women were committed by indigenous men. That statistic was cited by Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt at a meeting with Prairie chiefs in March.
A community-led online database documenting the brutal deaths and disappearances of indigenous women in Canada went public just a few days shy of the one year anniversary of Bella Laboucan-McLean’s death. (Provided by It Starts With Us-MMIW)
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RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson confirms that 70 per cent of the solved murders of indigenous women were committed by indigenous men. That statistic was cited by Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt at a meeting with Prairie chiefs in March, and it was backed by Commissioner Paulson in a letter this week to Treaty 6 Grand Chief Bernice Martial.

Billy Joe Laboucan was at the meeting with Minister Valcourt. Laboucan is the Chief of the Lubicon Lake Band in northwestern Alberta.

"All the things that are happening now are only a symptom of what's happening in our communities. You go the reserves. We're underfunded, there's so many social problems. So that's why I wasn't all that surprised when I hear these numbers," says Laboucan.

Laboucan's daughter, Bella Laboucan-McLean, died falling from a Toronto balcony in 2013 and her death remains unsolved.

"She had everything going for her. She certainly didn't fall into that category of being involved in a high-risk lifestyle that all of these women are painted into. And I feel that's so wrong, you know, to be able to profile aboriginal women and girls as if they're all prostitutes. I really resent that."

Laboucan-McLean graduated from Humber College and was about to leave to go to fashion school in London, England when she died. She had her passport and she had future plans, leaving her family convinced her death was not a suicide.

There has been an ongoing police investigation, but no one has been charged with her death. "If it had been a non-aboriginal woman that was killed, I'm sure all the forces would have been out there solving that murder," says her father.

Laboucan says we need to look at the root causes behind why 7 in 10 murdered aboriginal women are murdered by aboriginal men. But he also says we must not forget the other 30 per cent.

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