May 16, 2014 3:40 pm

By the numbers: Missing or murdered aboriginal women in Canada

Laurie Odjick holds a sign with photo of her missing daughter, Maisy, who went missing along with Shannon Alexander in 2008 at age 16. Odjick was taking part in a rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, October 4, 2013 by the Native Women's Assoiciation of Canada honouring the lives of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls.

Fred Chartrand/The Canadian Press

The RCMP has released a breakdown of the grim details about missing or murdered aboriginal women in Canada.

After confirming there are nearly 1,200 cases on file, the Mounties carried out a comprehensive review that showed a disproportionate number of aboriginal women in this country have been killed compared to non-aboriginal women.

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“Every file we reviewed represents a mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt or friend,” RCMP Commission Bob Paulson said. “We cannot lose sight of the human aspect of these incidents and we call upon partners and communities to work together to find solutions to this issue.”

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Aboriginal women represent only 4.3 per cent of the total female population, yet 16 per cent of all female homicide victims over more than three decades were aboriginal, the RCMP detailed in its findings released on Friday.

But, if you look at the rate for 2012 alone it’s 23 per cent, while it was just 8 per cent in 1984.

The RCMP notes the number of cases solved are about the same: 88 per cent of cases involving aboriginal females, 89 per cent for non-aboriginal females.

The findings also showed details about the victim-offender relationships, vulnerability factors–including criminal activity, sex work and use of intoxicants–and the characteristics of the perpetrators of crimes against aboriginal women.

Below is a look at the numbers.

Aboriginal women by the numbers

Murdered aboriginal women between 1980 and 2012

While the numbers below show that aboriginal women make up 16 per cent of the total number of murdered women, between 1980 and 2012, the homicide rate for aboriginal women in specific provinces was drastically higher.

Take for example Manitoba, where 55 per cent of all female homicide victims were aboriginal. That number was only slightly lower in Saskatchewan where 49 per cent of the female homicide victims were aboriginal.

And while the rate is 16 per cent nationwide, aboriginal women were only 4.3 per cent of the Canadian population.

Aboriginal women murdered

Missing aboriginal women as of Nov. 2013

Aboriginal women missing

Vulnerability factors among aboriginal women

Aboriginal women vulnerability factors

Homicide offender characteristics

aboriginal women homicide offenders

Breakdown of victim and offender relationships

Aboriginal  women vicitim offender relationship

© Shaw Media, 2014