Premiers Call for Other Measures to Curb First Nations ‘Crisis’

Despite the recurring denials by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the premiers have once again urged the federation to launch a public inquiry into missing and murdered native women, while also considering other options to tackle the crisis.

Saskatchewan Premier, Brad Wall, mentioned in his remarks on Wednesday that “part of the problem is just the sheer numbers we’re talking about here,” explaining that “for‎ example, in Saskatchewan today there are 31 missing people — 17 of them are aboriginal women.” Consequently, Wall stressed that “that’s how important this issue is — 50 per cent of the missing people in Saskatchewan are aboriginal women and they only . . . account for about 7 per cent of the population.” According to the figures maintained by the RCMP, approximately 1,017 aboriginal women have been murdered since 1980.

Meanwhile on the other hand, Premier Kathleen Wynne highlighted that prime minister has said that “we should not view this as a sociological phenomenon,” which means the premiers must seize the reins. Wynne added that “whether it’s in economic development, whether it’s in education, whether it is in living conditions, I think there are things that we as provinces can agree need to happen in the immediate term.” During the meeting between provincial and territorial leaders and aboriginal officials, Wynne stressed that “we will continue to support the aboriginal leaders’ call for a public inquiry, but I agree that there are things that we can do as provinces,” adding that “we can find ways to co-ordinate our actions on education, on economic development, on living conditions.”

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