Canada police accused of failing to properly investigate deaths of Indigenous women

A woman holds a candle at the march commemorating missing and murdered aboriginal women on October 4th, 2014. Source: AAP

Canada's Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett says families believe the police are failing to thoroughly investigate the deaths of Indigenous women.

Canada's Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett said many families she's spoken to feel the police are failing to thoroughly investigate the deaths of Indigenous women.

Ms Bennett said many families have alleged an "uneven application of justice, from the quality of the search to whether it's called a murder or not, to the charges that are laid, to the plea bargaining, to the court dates being delayed, to the sentence, to the time served."

"It seems to the families that this is very different if the victim is Indigenous," Ms Bennett said.

Canadian ministers recently spoke to families of victims across Canada, to begin a government inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to make this issue a "top priority".

The number of Indigenous Canadian women who were killed or who went missing between 1980 and 2012 could be significantly higher than the 1,200 figure used in the 2014 Royal Canadian Mounted Police report.

The Native Women's Association of Canada puts the number at 4,000.

"There's no question that the families want certain cases reopened," Ms Bennett said.

In December, Canadian authorities charged a man with the death of an Indigenous girl whose murder made national headlines.

Raymond Cormier, 53, was charged with the murder of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine who was found dead in 2014 in Canada's Red River.

Following this incident, Mr Trudeau promised the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women.

 

Source SBS News

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