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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Prime Minister Harper should call a national inquiry into the deaths of Aboriginal women

The funeral this weekend of 15 year old Tina Fontaine is preceded by the deaths of 1180 First Nations women in Canada over the past 30 years. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's response is that this is a criminal matter only. Thus, he believes that each case should be addressed by police within the criminal justice system. How sad.

Tina Fontaine

It is true that these are crimes. But it is also true that there are significant historical, political and social issues at play that make being an Aboriginal female much more dangerous than being a non-Aboriginal female. How do we address these forces? What can we do to make the Canada a much safer place for Aboriginal women? What policies do governments across Canada need to bring in? Given that child protection was involved with Tina, what might they have done to enhance her safety? These are just a few questions (of which I am sure there could be many more) that are not answered by a criminal justice approach to this problem.

Yes, we should bring the murderer of Tina to justice. But we need to do more. Join me in asking Prime Minister Harper to call a public inquiry by signing my petition at

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