Posts made in April, 2009


http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/090430/national/missing_women By Sue Bailey, The Canadian Press OTTAWA – Police and public safety officials are failing native women who vanish or are murdered at startling rates amid public indifference, says a new report. The Native Women’s Association of Canada says 520 girls and women have disappeared or been killed since 1970. About half the cases now entered in the group’s Sisters in Spirit database have occurred in the last nine years. Sixty-seven per cent of the total – 348 women – were murdered and almost one-quarter are still missing. No one has been charged in 150 confirmed homicides. The other cases involve suspicious death or are still being researched. Association president Beverley Jacobs says native girls and women still don’t get the same attention from police or the media when they disappear. Time and again, families are told by police that their daughter likely ran away or just wants some time alone, she said Thursday. Compare this to the blizzard of police and media attention given similarly tragic but non-native cases. “We’re still dealing with racism, stereotypes, discrimination,” Jacobs told a sparsely attended news conference on Parliament Hill. She fought tears as she called on federal public safety officials to come up with national policing strategies to ensure every disappearance is taken seriously. Young aboriginal women – particularly those under the age of 30 – are especially targeted, she said. Pretty and smiling, they stare out from the pages of the report in which they’re featured, often surrounded by the families who now grieve them. Many vanished without a trace. Jacobs suspects human trafficking and the international sex slave trade could be a factor. But she stressed that the official research project has neither the means nor the scope to pursue such avenues. The proportion of missing women has held steady at about 25 per cent in the last two years despite regular updates to the database, says the report. “This suggests a trend of ongoing disappearances: for every woman found alive and removed from the database (or found deceased and re-coded as a case of murder), the name of another missing woman or girl is added. “This demonstrates the ongoing severity and urgency of the issue.” Researchers stress they can’t accurately say whether there has been a surge in recent decades because they don’t have enough information on similar cases before 1970. Details from earlier decades are often sketchy and record-keeping is spotty. The federal government committed $5 million over five years for the Sisters in Spirit research project – half of what the association requested to build a database, reach out to native communities on working with...

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On va avoir plus d’information en français bientôt. Si vous voulez aidez avec traduction, prenez contact avec justiceformissing [a] gmail.com

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Maisy Odjick and Shannon Alexander have been missing from Maniwaki, QC since September 2008. Please join in a search led by Search and Rescue Global 1. For more information and to find out how to get involved, go to:...

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Tiffany Morrison,  a 25-year old Mohawk woman from Kahnawake, outside of Montreal, was last seen on June 18th, 2006. Tiffany was seen at a bar in the nearby town of LaSalle, Quebec on the night she disappeared. She shared a taxi back to Kahnawake with a man from the community. He has told police that she remained in the taxi after he was let out at his own house. Although taxi drivers are required to report their fares, they don’t always do so. To date, the police have not been able to identify the taxi company or locate the driver. Tiffany’s bank account and credit card have not been used since that night. The Kahnawake Peacekeepers, the police force for the Kahnawake First Nation, is treating Tiffany’s disappearance as a criminal investigation. They have been in contact with police forces in Quebec and Ontario. Ed Stacey, Investigator with the Kahnawake Peacekeepers, says that after  publicizing Tiffany’s disappearance on missing persons networks, the force has heard numerous false sightings and other rumours but so far has turned up little that is credible. However, he remains convinced that there are members of the public who know something about what happened but have not come forward yet. Tiffany and her daughter live with her mother Carol. Her family describe her as energetic and completely devoted to her daughter. At the time of her disappearance, Tiffany had just completed an entrepreneurial training program. She planned to apply for a loan so she could go into business for herself. “Tiffany always had a plan,” her mother recalls. “She wanted to get her and her daughter their own home.” The Kahnawake Peacekeepers have asked that anyone with information on the disappearance of Tiffany Morrison contact Ed Stacey at 450-632-6505. information source:...

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BILL CURRY The Globe and Mail April 13, 2009 at 8:39 PM EDT OTTAWA — Parliament has less than a year to craft a new definition of “Indian” before Canadian native policy risks tumbling into chaos as the existing rules for determining native status are thrown out by the courts. The clock is ticking after the B.C. Court of Appeal set the tight deadline for the minority Parliament. It’s a ruling that has experts in native law scratching their heads, wondering how such a contentious issue can possibly be resolved in time. Some lawyers say the ruling means hundreds of thousands of natives are now 12 months away from losing status entirely. Conversely, writing a new definition that complies with the Charter of Human Rights could mean a dramatic increase in the number of Canadians eligible for status. “It’s going to be a mess,” said Winnipeg lawyer Norman Boudreau, who represents natives living in Treaty 1 territory. “If you take that a step further, if you no longer have Indians, then some reserves will no longer be in existence because the reserves are set aside for Indians. So if there’s no Indians any more, then the reserve itself falls by the side as well.” Mr. Boudreau is among the many legal experts both outside and inside government currently grappling with the potential implications of this month’s B.C. Court of Appeal ruling, in what is known as the McIvor case. Mitchell Taylor, who represented the Crown in the case, disputes the interpretation of Mr. Boudreau and others. He said natives would not lose status if nothing happens by the deadline. However, new individuals would not be able to register if the definition was struck down, he said in an interview. “That’s obviously an unacceptable situation and something would need to be done,” he said. Mr. Taylor said there are several options available over the coming 12 months, including a request for a deadline extension, a new law in Parliament or a potential appeal to the Supreme Court. A spokesman for Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl said the government is considering its options. The outcome will have a significant impact on native communities and families, who have long struggled with social divisions created as a result of the Indian Act’s definition. The existing six-part definition is a complicated one, based on family ancestry as well as several side-arrangements. An expansion of the definition would also have an impact on the public purse, as status Indians currently qualify for federal coverage of non-insured health benefits such as prescription drugs and can apply for postsecondary assistance. In the case at hand, Sharon McIvor...

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