NWAC Discouraged by Racist Assumptions in the Globe and Mail

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 27, 2014 (Ottawa, ON) – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is disappointed with the racist remarks made within the article published by the Globe and Mail – “Posturing is the only reason for a missing women inquiry.” The article is symptomatic of the problem that Aboriginal Peoples face every day. Racist generalizations are often made to try to dismiss the real issue, which is that Aboriginal women and girls are being specifically targeted in alarmingly high rates by predators compared to non-Aboriginal women given their populations and their perpetrators know that they will likely get away with it.

Nowhere in any of the reports by NWAC or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) does it state that missing and murdered Aboriginal women, are being killed by Aboriginal men, yet assumptions are being made by the Globe and Mail, which implies that all Aboriginal women are killed by Aboriginal men and that this is an “Aboriginal only” problem. The article by Jeffrey Simpson states: “Although the report does not say so directly, the data strongly suggest that aboriginal women were (and are) largely being victimized by aboriginal men, which means that solutions to the problem lie not within a public inquiry, but within aboriginal communities about why this is happening – and, of course, in a wider reflection on the disadvantaged situation of aboriginals in Canada.”

“The RCMP report, nor any of the research results completed by NWAC, makes reference to the race of the perpetrators who have been convicted of killing Aboriginal women, so to throw these generalizations out there is both dangerous and perpetuates racism against Aboriginal men,” said NWAC President Michèle Audette. Although the research results demonstrate that most homicides are most often perpetrated by spouses or someone known to the victim, it does not state that anywhere that Aboriginal women are married to Aboriginal men and that all their known acquaintances are Aboriginal. To assume that the spouses are Aboriginal is a false assumption.

“For the Globe and Mail to insinuate that the 1200 cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal women are nothing more than the result of violence within Aboriginal communities is irresponsible and detracts from the real issue, which is that there are significantly more Aboriginal women than non-Aboriginal women being killed in this country, and that investigations have not been conducted in a way that leads to their resolution, and that there are major problems with the justice and public response to these crimes,” continued Ms. Audette.

NWAC is asking that the Globe and Mail retract their unfounded statement and that other media be conscientious about fueling racism against Aboriginal Peoples in Canada when reporting on issues such as these in the news.

The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote, and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of First Nations and Métis women within First Nation, Métis and Canadian societies. As a national organization representing Aboriginal women since 1974, NWAC’s mandate is to achieve equality for all Aboriginal women in Canada.

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For more information, please contact:

Claudette Dumont Smith, Executive Director
1-800-461-4043 or cdumontsmith@nwac.ca

14.08.27 NWAC Discouraged by Racist Assumptions by Globe and Mail