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Missing and Murdered

June 28, 2019

It’s called The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.  You can read their reports at this site.  Their purpose is to investigate the staggering rates of violence against indigenous women and girls.

I wanted to read their report just to learn more about the problem.  In particular, I wanted to put the problem into context.  I wanted a comparison.  After all, a comparison might show that the level of violence is indeed disproportionate.  It might justify the inquiry and its focus on women and girls.

I was disappointed.  I didn’t find any mention of comparisons.  I did find in their preliminary report that the level of violence against indigenous women was many time higher than against women in the general population.  So, it certainly is disproportionate.  However, I found nothing on aboriginal women versus aboriginal men.  That might have explained the inquiry’s focus on women.

They had something called an executive summary.  That sounded like a good starting point.  I tried to read it, but it was much too long: 120 pages.  That’s not a summary.  Nobody will read it.  Perhaps that unreadable summary accounts for all the media attention on the word genocide.

The summary consisted mostly of personal testimony from victims or relatives of victims.  Certainly they wanted to tell their story.  Certainly there was unbearable pain and suffering.  The summary did include some information on causes of the violence and a series of recommendations to reduce or eliminate the violence.  It seems to be mainly publicity for the amount of pain and suffering revealed.

I expect that nobody will provide the context that I wanted.  Perhaps journalists will provide summaries that are better than the one included with the final report.  Mainly, I expect that the results of the inquiry will soon be forgotten.  This outcome would be unfortunate, but could be inherent in the design of the report or the mandate of the inquiry.


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