TORONTO – Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy is devastated by the news of Tina Fontaine, the 15-year-old girl found dead in the Red River Sunday and is demanding that federal government stand with all Canadians in their plea to launch a national inquiry into the missing and murdered aboriginal women across Canada.
“Enough is enough.” Regional Chief Beardy said. “Our condolences and our hearts go out to the family and community of young Tina Fontaine who was barely 15-years-old and was senselessly and brutally murdered. This is unacceptable in a country like Canada where we expect our children and our women to live without fear.”
In May, the RCMP issued a detailed statistical breakdown of 1,181 cases since 1980. The report said aboriginal women make up 4.3 per cent of the Canadian population, yet account for 16 per cent of female homicides and 11.3 per cent of missing women.
“I am not sure who else besides the Conservative government doesn’t want a National Inquiry. First Nation leaders and the Premiers of the Provinces in Canada unanimously back this call and the United Nations has called on Canada to support an inquiry. Why are Harper and the Conservatives not listening?” Regional Chief Beardy asked.
Numerous other civil society organizations both in Canada and internationally have done the same. A provincial working group and a federal special parliamentary committee have also been working to address violence against Aboriginal women but First Nations leaders say they are no substitute to an independent National Inquiry process which will hear directly from families and communities of victims and will lead to an examination of root causes and a national strategy.