Unequal Lives

by INeedSleep on December 14, 2017 - 8:40pm

This article discuses the inequality aboriginal women are continuing to face in British nb Colombia. It focuses on inaction towards the missing and murdered women in Vancouver and the surrounding area by presenting examples of this claim. The author believes that these women lives are viewed unequally   starts off the article by presenting a case from the 1990’s. In which a pig farmer named Robert William Pickton was able to prey on women from the impoverished Downtown East side for over ten years when the case was first opened. Women started disappearing, which sparked rumours of a serial killer prompting the police to check any leads in regards to the case. But when the police started looking into the missing women’s files they later denied there being a serial killer on the loose. They claimed that these women had simply succumbed to their “at-risk lifestyle”. It was only four years later, when two young officers were sent to the pig farmer’s property due to claims of illegal firearms that they discovered the truth. On the property they found the remains of 33 of the missing women. Later on, the farmer bragged that he had killed 49 times. Even with all this he was only convicted for the murder of 6 women. The author then describes the public’s outrage at the police’s inaction when they received reports of missing women or the rumours surrounding the farm. To this day the distrust and blame towards the police department grows and despite all the public apologies the sad truth remains that dozens of aboriginal women go missing every year. Sadly, according to the native Women’s Association of Canada, between 1980 and 2010, roughly 60 aboriginal women disappeared and 100 were murdered in the province of British Colombia alone. That being said it is not a problem unique to British Colombia, several provinces need to address the fact that the First Nation’s women are at a higher risk of violence then any other demographic in Canada.The main area that ties most of Vancouver’s missing women together is highway 16, also known as the Highway of Tears. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police launched the investigation; project E-Pana, in hopes of finding possible similarities between the cases. Their findings showed that most of the women seemed to come from impoverished parts of town and in consequence had an “at-risk lifestyle” by doing things such as hitchhiking. But their findings did nothing for the families who lost a love one, as they were left with little to no closure on the matter since the project was never able to come to a definite cause for the large number of disappearances.It was only in 2002, after the disappearance of a young Caucasian tree planter, Nicole Hoar. That the media and police started to truly pay attention to the fact that so many women vanish in that area every year. I personally agree with the author of this article as they explain the fact that aboriginal women are seemingly less valued by the police department and the government itself. Apologies to the families and the community have been repeated over and over again like a broken record. Promises have been made by the police and even our current Prime Minister. But rarely are they held up or is anything done to protect these women. Which I find horrible, due to the fact that they would be considered as something less or simply a victim of their circumstance. It’s time for the government to step up and take action in order to protect and equally value aboriginal women across Canada. What is standing inn their way of taking action?

 

Grant, Elizabeth. "Missing Women: Unequal Lives in Canada." OpenDemocracy, Nov 25, 2012, Research Library, https://proquest-crc.proxy.ccsr.qc.ca/docview/1197247541?accountid=44391.

 

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