Canada’s national police service can’t — or won’t — reveal what it spends investigating cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, despite a national inquiry’s conclusion that violence against Indigenous women is “deliberate race, identity and gender-based genocide.”
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This week marks one year since The Tyee asked the RCMP, through a freedom of information request, how much it spent over the previous year investigating unresolved cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
It has never provided a response, despite a complaint to the Office of the Information Commissioner.
Advocates say the RCMP’s lack of transparency on efforts to protect Indigenous women is matched by its failure to communicate with families affected by the murders and disappearances.
Sue Brown, director of legal advocacy and policy for Justice for Girls, said building trust through transparency is critical to reconciliation and required to address the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and the recommendations of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
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“Being transparent about the work that they’re doing to investigate these cases would be the bare minimum that they would need to be doing in response to the recommendations from the MMIWG commission,” Brown says.