Relatives of missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls gather in Prince George to share their experience with B.C. government officials.

Aboriginal families prepare for inquiry

Hundreds of relatives of missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls tell B.C. government about relations with police, domestic violence

About 500 family members of missing and murdered indigenous women met with B.C. cabinet ministers this week to prepare for a national inquiry promised by the Trudeau government.

“It was very moving, I think, for the families, in terms of giving families an opportunities to provide their voice, to tell their stories about what happened,” B.C. Aboriginal Relations Minister John Rustad said after three days of meetings in Prince George.

“It was a good exercise for us and it’s information that we will now take forward to the national roundtable coming up later in February in Winnipeg, as well as to B.C.’s input towards the national inquiry for missing and murdered indigenous women.”

Also attending were Justice Minister Suzanne Anton and Public Safety Minister Mike Morris, who served as North District Superintendent for the RCMP before being elected MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie in 2013.

Relations with police and domestic violence were among the most sensitive issues discussed.

“There were a lot of challenges that were raised in working with the RCMP in terms of some of the follow-up and other components, and so we have a lot of follow-up work to do with the families as well as with police in general,” Rustad said.

On domestic violence in aboriginal communities, he referred to the annual Gathering of Men organized by Paul Lacerte, executive director of the B.C. Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres. It distributes symbolic moose hide patches.

“Women are bearing the burden of abuse, but they also have to bear the burden of advocacy to affect change, and this is a man’s problem as much as it is a woman’s problem,” Lacerte said at last year’s Valentine’s Day rally at the B.C. legislature. “Violence towards women and children has never been a part of our culture.”

Lacerte said across Canada, aboriginal women aged 15 and older are three times more likely to experience violence and be assaulted by their partners than non-aboriginal women.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Emily Harris (centre) started the in-person Monarch Moms meet-up groups in July, when it was much easier to physical distance in outdoor spaces. Harris started the group as a source of connection for women navigating the ups and downs of having a baby during a pandemic. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Victoria new mom group navigates challenges of motherhood in a pandemic

Monarch Moms meet once a week for physically-distanced connection

Saanich Police are investigating a broken window at the Greater Victoria School District office. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Saanich police investigating broken window at SD61 office

Police suspect the window was broken by a pellet, possibly from a slingshot

The Takaya inspired sculpture currently in Kent Laforme’s outdoor studio. The 25,000-pound piece of Vancouver Island marble could be installed on Cattle Point. (Kevin Murdoch Photo)
Stone Takaya sculpture could soon ‘howl’ at Cattle Point

Oak Bay inviting public suggestions for 25,000-pound marble sculpture

Joanne Smith has been visiting Goldstream Provincial Park since she moved to Langford two years ago. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Visitors flock to Goldstream Provincial Park for 2020 salmon run

‘I wanted to come here before I move back to Australia,’ says visitor

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
FILE – A voting package for the 2018 electoral reform referendum. Vote-by-mail packages for the 2020 provincial election will look similar, according to information provided by Elections BC. (Katya Slepian - Black Press Media)
POLL: Have you voted yet?

As election day quickly approaches, hundreds of thousands of British Columbians have… Continue reading

Jordan Naterer, an electrical engineer from Vancouver, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. (Facebook photo)
Search efforts to resume for missing Manning Park hiker; Trudeau speaks on case

PM says he’ll do what he can to ‘nudge’ efforts to find Jordan Naterer, yet has little leverage locally

Smartphone showing various applications to social media services and Google. (Pixabay photo)
National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook

In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues

École de L’Anse-au-sable. (Google Maps)
B.C. records first COVID-19 outbreak at school, six weeks after students return to class

Three cases of the virus have been identified at École de L’Anse-au-sable

Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau is seen as she leaves media event during a campaign stop in West Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green leader hopes voters see value in minority government

The Greens received nearly 17 per cent of the popular vote in 2017 yet received just three seats

Local candidates Pam Alexis, Abbotsford-Mission, and Preet Rai, Abbotsford-West, look on as NDP Leader John Horgan main streets in Abbotsford, B.C., Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. NDP takes snap election risk during pandemic in quest for majority government

Green Leader Sonia Furstenau said the election was unnecessary and irresponsible during the pandemic

Most Read