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

Motorcyclist collides with bear in Coombs

The man was transported to hospital

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

Parksville volunteer hits her $10,000 target

LeMoine raises funds for Camp Goodtimes

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Vancouver Island leads nation in medically assisted deaths

Island residents choose assisted death five times more than other Canadians

Jagmeet Singh says marijuana pardons are not enough

Trudeau government will streamline pardon process for Canadians convicted of simple possession of marijuana in the past

Caregivers banned from smoking, growing cannabis around children-in-care: MCFD

Ministry has limited cannabis use for caregivers, stating it may “pose a risk to children and youth.”

Cheaper strains sell out within minutes on online BC Cannabis Store

Province says new strains will become available in the coming months

Only 40% of B.C. car dealerships have electric cars available: report

Researchers found buyers frustrated at the lack of options

VIDEO: Millionaire Lottery returns to give back and win big

Since 1996, Millionaire Lottery has raised $52 million for the VGH+UBC Hospital Foundation

Test case challenges a politician’s right to block people from Twitter account

3 people say Watson infringed their constitutional right to freedom of expression by blocking them

Most Read