A headline in yesterday’s StarPhoenix stated that “1,026 aboriginal women killed merits inquiry”.
Don’t all murders merit inquiry? According to Stats Canada counts of homicide victims, in 2011 there were 598 homicides — 422 men, 276 women. Based on the RCMP report cited in the StarPhoenix article by Stephen Maher, 16% of murdered women are aboriginal. Therefore, we can extrapolate that 44 aboriginal women and 232 non-aboriginal women were murdered in 2011. Why does one group merit a special inquiry?
It is possible that many of the murdered women share characteristics which might provide clues about where to focus prevention strategies. Examining only aboriginal victims assumes that race is the primary factor and limits the power to identify other risk factors. For that matter, this discussion also ignores the far greater number of murdered men.
*If 1026 murdered aboriginal women represent 16% of all women murdered, the total number of women murdered over 30 years equals 6412.