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.

 

Just Posted

Election signs trashed on Langley’s 208th Street

Someone apparently knocked down a block of signs in Willoughby.

Car crash, wires down cause power failures in Langley

Hundreds of people spent some time in the dark Friday and Saturday.

VIDEO: Scarecrow festival kicks off in Port Kells

Fourth-annual event will be on until Halloween

Businessman sets sights on Langley Township council seat

Sunny Hundal is running for election.

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants earn a 3-1 victory over Everett in season-opener in Langley

Langley’s major junior hockey team opened the season at home with a victory over the Silvertips.

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

Remainder of Vancouver Whitecaps season filled with ‘must-win’ games: coach

With Vancouver currently sitting four points out of a post-season spot, each contest is crucial

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

B.C. nanny charged with sex abuse of 3 children

Saanich Police seek potential victims of Johnathon Lee Robichaud from Central Saanich

‘I’m no quitter’ on climate change issues, McKenna says at G7 ministers meeting

David Suzuki says if McKenna believes what she’s saying, she too should quit

VIDEO: Inside an eerily empty mall in Canada

Only nine of 517 retail spaces are open for business as the grand opening postponed to next year

B.C. wildfires burned large areas affected by mountain pine beetles: Experts

The mountain pine beetle epidemic affected more than 180,000 square kilometres in B.C.

Most Read