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......