Canada launches national inquiry into missing, murdered indigenous women

Added On August 4, 2016

OTTAWA, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Canadian government Wednesday launched a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, an important step to end the unacceptable rates of violence against them.

The national inquiry, which is led by a five-member commission, will examine root causes of the high rates of violence against indigenous women, a national tragedy.

"The launch of the inquiry represents a concrete expression of the government's commitment to honoring the lives of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls," said Carolyn Bennett, minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, adding that the national inquiry "will play a pivotal role in helping all of us to define where best to continue to act to protect the human rights of all indigenous women and girls in Canada."

The inquiry will start from September this year and last to the end of 2018, and is expected to cost at least 53.8 million Canadian dollars (about 41.2 million U.S. dollars).

The government also announced 16.17 million Canadian dollars (about 12.4 million U.S. dollars) over four years to increase funding for victims and to create Family Information Liaison Units in each province and territory, which will provide centralized resources for families of missing or murdered indigenous women and girls and gather useful information for them.

A report issued by the United Nations in 2015 showed that young indigenous women were much more likely to die under violent circumstances than their non-indigenous counterparts.

In 2014, the statistics by Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) showed that 1,181 indigenous women and girls were killed or missing between 1980 and 2012.

Earlier this year, a remote aboriginal community of some 2,000 in northern Canada has declared a state of emergency after 11 people attempted to take their own lives over the weekend.