The CBA urges inquiry on murdered, missing Aboriginal women

  • March 12, 2014

Ottawa — The Canadian Bar Association (CBA) says the report of the House of Commons special committee on violence against indigenous women released on March 7, 2014, has missed the mark by not calling for a national public inquiry.

In a letter to then Justice Minister Rob Nicholson (PDF) on Oct. 18, 2012, and later in a resolution passed by the Association (PDF), the CBA has called on the federal government to work with Aboriginal communities and undertake a national inquiry into the underlying issues surrounding murdered and missing Aboriginal women.

“The CBA advocates for the rule of law – to ensure equal benefit of the law and equal protection under the law for all persons, including Aboriginal women,” says Aimee Craft, past chair of the CBA’s National Aboriginal Law Section. “That equal status just isn’t the current Canadian reality.”

The CBA notes the report does not go far enough to address the complex root causes of the problem. “While public awareness and education are important, it is our hope that a national inquiry will focus on practical solutions that will help break the intergenerational cycles of violence that are so destructive to Aboriginal women, and fully address the problem of missing and murdered Aboriginal women,” says Aimee Craft. 

The CBA further urges the federal government to:

  • work with Aboriginal communities to end societal acceptance of violence against Aboriginal women;
  • fund programs and services to address violence, inequality and human rights violations against Aboriginal women; and
  • engage a national strategy to address violence against Aboriginal women.

The Canadian Bar Association is dedicated to support for the rule of law, and improvement in the law, and the administration of justice. Members include some 37,500 lawyers, law teachers, and law students from across Canada.