Thursday, September 18, 2014
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Aboriginal leaders: Canada's shame in its relations with First Nations

LORNE GUNTER | EDMONTON SUN

The premiers, meeting in Prince Edward Island, have expressed their disappointment at the federal government's refusal to order a national inquiry into the high number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada.

 

Aboriginal leaders claim the Harper government's decision highlights Canada's "shame" in its relations with First Peoples. They believe it is proof of widespread racism and sexism in the government and in the broader Canadian society as a whole.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau says the Harper government is "out of touch" and "on the wrong side of history."

The United Nations - that paragon of sanctimony, hypocrisy and inaction on real human rights abuses around the world - has chimed in.

And even the country's police chiefs have insisted something must be done.

So does all this support mean an inquiry really would be a good idea?

No, it is simply another example of how much our nation's elites (police chiefs included) are seized by political correctness.

It's true that Aboriginal women and girls are killed or disappear with greater frequency than non-Aboriginal women - nearly three times as much. But the "why" is not as much of a mystery as our chattering classes would have us believe.

Most murdered or disappeared Aboriginal women are not the victims of some vast conservative conspiracy or of white racism. They are the victims of the men in their lives.

Most killed or abused Aboriginal women are killed or abused by Aboriginal men - not callous white cops or violent white johns.

In a pair of outstanding columns, Winnipeg Sun columnist Tom Brodbeck has written what few commentators have had to the wisdom to see or the courage to say: "The vast majority of murdered Aboriginal women were not killed by strangers, they were killed by spouses, boyfriends, family members or acquaintances of the victims."

Ninety-two per cent of murdered Aboriginal women had a previous relationship with their killer - the exact same percentage as murdered non-Aboriginal women.

According to RCMP statistics released just this May, 40 per cent of Aboriginal women's killers were either their spouse or boyfriend, 23 per cent were family members and 30 per cent were acquaintances. Only a small minority - eight per cent - were strangers.

Since a national inquiry would be designed to find what those promoting it want it to find, tens of millions would be spent barking up a forest of the wrong trees.

Instead of pinning the blame on the self-inflicted dysfunction of Aboriginal society, the inquiry would undoubtedly point to white society, racist cops and underfunding governments. And because the findings would point to the wrong sources of the problem, the solutions would be ineffective no matter how much money was thrown at them.

An inquiry would only add to the myths manufactured by Aboriginal activists and the white-guilt industry - myths that permit Aboriginals to constantly blame everyone else for their problems and thus keep too many in destitution, addition, illiteracy and dependence.

The myth of missing and murdered Aboriginal women is like the myth of how residential schools destroyed native society. Just five per cent of First Nations people ever attended residential schools, and not all of them were maltreated there.

It's the same with the myth of chronic underfunding of First Nations, even though Aboriginal bands receive nearly three times are much per capita from the federal government as non-Aboriginal communities.

And the myth that governments and courts are not paying enough attention to treaties and land claims, and to Aboriginals' special Charter rights.

The fact that murdering Aboriginal men get special lenient treatment from Canadian courts probably contributes more than anything else to the statistics about murdered Aboriginal women. But no national inquiry would ever say that - or recommend harsher sentences.

Whatever Trevor

Dis is Trevor.

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