ABOVE: An RCMP review has revealed the shocking and sobering truth about missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada
WINNIPEG — A shockingly disproportionate number of female homicide victims in Canada are aboriginal, according to a newly released RCMP report into missing and murdered women.
Aboriginal women represent only 4.3 per cent of the total female population, yet 16 per cent of all female homicide victims are aboriginal.
The RCMP review looked at cases from 1980 to 2013 and found 1,181 aboriginal women fell into the missing or murdered category — almost double earlier estimates.
Various aboriginal groups had previously pegged that number at 580 to 800 women.
Of those 1,181 women, 164 were missing and 1,017 murdered.
In Manitoba, the numbers paint a similarly bleak picture. Almost half of the female homicide victims – 49 per cent — during this period were aboriginal. Aboriginal people comprise 16.7 per cent of the population of Manitoba.
The RCMP review compiled data from 300 different organizations and also documented risk factors of victims and identities of perpetrators.
While female aboriginals are over-represented as victims, the rate at which police solve the homicides of aboriginal and non-aboriginal women is almost the same, with 88 per cent of aboriginal female homicides solved versus 89 per cent for non-aboriginals.
The figure, provided by RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson, is hundreds more than previously believed, and prompted several calls for a national inquiry.
The federal Conservative has so far resisted calls for a national inquiry, saying the issue has been studied enough and it’s time for action.
On Monday, a United Nations official who spent nine days in Canada last year studying aboriginal issues also called for a national inquiry.
James Anaya said even though some steps have been taken, an investigation into missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls is still necessary.
Earlier this month, Metis actor and singer Tom Jackson also added his voice to calls for an inquest.
“If we don’t protect the people who live around us, what does that say about us as a society?” Jackson said May 8 on Parliament Hill.
— With files from the Canadian Press