Just followed a link on Twitter to this article: RCMP questions claim of 600 missing Aboriginal women …. stuff like this makes me hopping mad.
The Human Rights Watch has drawn attention to the broken relationship between Aboriginal women and the RCMP. And their response to that is to try to discredit Aboriginal women?! How very Harper-ish of them.
And not only that, they’re focussing on an organization that – although badly needed and doing great work – no longer exists because Harper and his fellow cons didn’t like the attention they were bringing to the issue of missing & murdered Aboriginal women in Canada. Pretty easy target eh? Go after an organization that no longer exists – don’t have to even bother to worry about being truthful about what you say, since there is no Sisters in Spirit Initiative to rebut your bullshit.
One wonders if they even bothered to read the reports that Sisters In Spirit published. I have. More than once. The authors of the report are quite clear about where the numbers come from, the time span covered, and the fact that many families have experienced such abuses and lack of response from the police that they don’t continue to subject themselves to the abuse. So yeah – they have a lot more data in their database than the RCMP will ever have in theirs.
That was kinda that POINT of the whole Sisters in Spirit Initiative, actually!!!!! To gather data and information by providing Aboriginal communities with researchers and resources who would listen and understand their languages, cultures, concerns – and who would treat them with RESPECT. Not only did this allow Aboriginal families and communities feel heard (for a change), it generated a far more detailed and nuanced understanding of the problem of missing & murdered Aboriginal women in Canada.
But of course, we don’t want that, do we Mr. Harper?
In any case, Sisters in Spirit is no longer a funded organization – but the reports, which the RCMP would do well to read before they do any more harm to their relationship with Aboriginal communities – are available online for anyone who wants to read them:
Voices of our Sisters in Spirit: 2009 Research Findings 2nd Edition
What Their Stories Tell Us: 2010 Research Findings
There is also plenty of other information about the project available on the Native Women’s Association of Canada site: Sisters in Spirit.
Honestly, reading that page – everything written in the past tense now – sickens me…. the funding for this program should NEVER have been cut, and the fact that the Harper government did this is what got me paying attention and becoming #IdleNoMore long before the #IdleNoMore movement took shape. THIS was the decision that made me ashamed to be Canadian – and my shame has only deepened since.
To now see the RCMP pulling this nonsense just makes me FURIOUS. Have they not lost enough credibility and respect yet? Why are they trying so hard to throw away any shreds remaining to them?