The on-going crisis of the Harper government oppressing Aboriginals all over Canada

by Florence C. on September 29, 2014 - 6:55pm

           The article “A National Inquiry For Aboriginal Women Should Not Be a Partisan Issue” written by Carolyn Bennett at the Huffington Post on July 22 this year, denounces the present Canadian Conservative government’s lack of concern towards the social problems affecting it’s Indigenous population. Over the last decade, hundreds of aboriginal women and girls have gone missing or been killed, nonetheless the Harper government has refrained from initiating a national public inquiry. Additionally, there is a drastic over-representation of First Nations in homicide victim statistics, which increases continuously as years go by. Carolyn Bennett explains her view that it is time for the government to step-in and make the societal changes necessary to end this on-going crisis of inequality oppressing Aboriginals. The failure to guarantee and prioritize the security of Indigenous people equitably, as is the case for the rest of the White population, reflects the racist social order still present in Canada.  

             Subsequently, this article is eye-opening and plays a significant role in raising public awareness regarding Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who neglects the well-being of ethnic minorities. In her article, Bennett insists on the benefits that would stem from a national inquiry; from providing proper justice and healing for the survivors and victim’s families to ending this racial violence once and for all. These on-going offenses targeting Indigenous people, unveil the discrimination and relentless oppression aboriginals face on a day to day basis, having to live in fear of the violence and hardships awaiting them due to their ethnicity and “race”. The article includes pertinent statistics taken from a 2012 RCMP report, giving insight on the fact that one in four female homicide victims is aboriginal, despite the fact that native women embody only four percent of the female population. The use of statistics to back up statements made throughout the article rids the reader of uncertainty by providing clear numbers and evidence. Moreover, thoughtful connections are made between Canada’s aboriginal population’s current social problems versus that of decades earlier during the implementation of residential schools. Systematic racism is addressed throughout the text, as Bennett exposes the institutional racism that takes place when the individuals leading crucial institutions carry out discriminatory practices due to prejudices.  By doing so, the reader can compare and contrast Canada’s progress and regression with regards to the treatment of our Indigenous citizens over time. The mention of past events also sheds light on the cycle of exploitation, cruelty, and manipulation natives have had to endure. Just as the article’s title is poignant and thought-provoking, its entire content is informative and effective at exposing the corruption and racism present in our government’s judicial system. Nonetheless, in order to improve this article, perhaps the specific case study of an aboriginal victim could have been incorporated, along with comments made by the individual’s relatives to shed light on the tragic reality so many Natives have had to endure over the last decades. This being said, in my opinion the author is dead-on when stating that our current Conservative government is explicitly eluding the facts and reports surrounding this current tragedy, to avoid the whole story from being known. I believe that if the government implements a national public inquiry, the repercussions would not only result in diminishing the violence and disappearances of indigenous women, but also address the discrimination experienced by Canada’s Indigenous population  

 

Bennett, C. (2014, July 22). A National Inquiry For Aboriginal Women Should Not Be a Partisan Issue. The Huffington Post. Retrieved September 26, 2014, from http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/hon-carolyn-bennett/aboriginal-national-inq......

Comments

First off, I just want to say how delightful it was to read such a well- written article. From your summary of the article, I agree to its opinions about the lack of action, on the government's part, in concern to the disappearance and violence against the aboriginal community. Something that peaked my interest was how this violence was directed principally towards women during the last decade.I find that the link between racism and sexism is prominent in this situation. Do you think that the government would have taken more action if it was a majority of men involved in these disappearances and homicides? Looking at this from an angle focused on gender may shed light on why the predominantly male Canadian government and Prime Minister Stephen Harper himself overlooks these incidents. One may believe that Harper overlooks this issue because of the probable rape culture acceptance by him and like men of his stature.

For a little more explanation on the link between racism and sexism in this situation, check out this link. http://www.canadianprogressiveworld.com/2013/02/19/report-confirms-sexis...

I would like to begin by saying that the title caught my attention, as I’ve always been against racism, and that I generally feel for the Indigenous population.

The statistics and historical background are in line with what I know of the situation. The indigenous were sent off to schools in the centuries past, forced to submit to ethnic cleansing of sorts. A few years ago in another anthropology course I had the pleasure of making an acquaintance with someone from the indigenous community. I’m not sure if you are aware of this but there is a clause within the Canadian Charter that denies indigenous citizens from having the rights guaranteed to everyone else under the Charter, as said representative once told me. To that end I wholeheartedly agree with your post as I am sympathetic to the plight of the indigenous community.

I wonder how long Harper can ignore the situation before having to intervene…?

I completely agree with you, the fact that Harper is refusing to even look at the problem is horrible. Then again this is Harper we are talking about. He only cares about exploiting Canada's resources for maximum profit. He doesn't care about the well being of its citizens let alone the horribly oppressed aboriginals. He is corrupt and needs to be removed asap, if he refuses to acknowledge the issue it shows how much he cares. Canada has never been kind to its native population and this just adds on to the overwhelming evidence. I hope someone does something about this because its ridiculous.

Your article exposes some issues that are worthy of being heard by everyone and I salute you for your action.
I want to clarify that the aboriginal woman fall into this term called intersectionality which is a phenomena that victimizes a person from a few oppressed and discriminated social groups. These differences can overlap and the result can be a multiple times greater than only one difference. For the aboriginal women, they are part of the aboriginal community that is constantly overlooked by our government and come with many bad stereotypes, and they are also females, that still aren`t equal to men when it comes to salary and other aspects of our day to day lives.
What is sad about this story is that it took a large number of missing women before a person realized that this is currently an issue and now some organizations have been interested by it. Maybe one day we will find a solution to this conflict.