Tag Archives: Murdered and Missing

Nearly Half Of Murdered Indigenous Women Did Not Know Killers, Star Analysis Shows

In the seemingly ceaseless tragedy of murdered indigenous women, the country has been left with one crystal-clear impression: the overwhelming majority of those women were in some sort of relationship with their killers.

This is not true.

A Torstar News Service analysis suggests 44 per cent of the women were victims of acquaintances, strangers and serial killers. This finding is based on a Star review of publicly available information on more than 750 murder cases. Of that number, 224 murders remain unsolved.

There are many public lists of murdered and missing indigenous women in Canada. Torstar compiled those lists into a single database then set out to verify as much information as possible. Relying on newspaper clippings and court documents, the Star’s database includes 1,129 names, dates and, when a case was solved, some information on the offenders.

Our review found 420 cases where details of the relationship between victim and offender were known. Some of them date to the 1960s. Of those:

  • Half of the victims were domestically related to the perpetrator. This includes all types of family and partner connections.
  • 16 per cent of the offenders were acquaintances; 15 per cent were strangers; and 13 per cent serial killers.

Aboriginal leaders who reviewed the Star’s findings say they show that the killers cannot be easily profiled and that reasons why indigenous women make up a disproportionately high percentage of homicide victims are not so neatly diagnosed.

Torstar also obtained details through an access-to-information request to suggest the “solved” rate is not as clear-cut as the public RCMP report into missing and murdered indigenous women suggests.

In two reports, the Mounties said the “known-to” category includes spouses, family members and acquaintances. The latter category can mean “close friends, neighbours, authority figures, business relationships, criminal relationships and casual acquaintances.”

What is a casual acquaintance? A friend of a friend or someone met online? In how many cases did the victim know the perpetrator only briefly, meeting them only once?

The RCMP will not say.

From the start, Alberta’s Cold Lake First Nation Chief Bernice Martial has not believed most indigenous women knew their killers and that they were mostly indigenous men: “I want the facts. I want the data. I want to see proof.”

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde wants the definition of “known to” clarified.

“It could be the corner store grocery man, or whoever brings milk to the door. It doesn’t necessarily mean the boyfriend,” Bellegarde says.

“You need to break this down further and define it. The way you looked at it, only 50 per cent are in relationships. If the RCMP said it was 90 per cent — well, there is a discrepancy already. It is alarming — the transparency and openness.”

In April, then aboriginal affairs minister Bernard Valcourt told First Nations chiefs that, in 70 per cent of the cases of murdered and missing aboriginal women, indigenous men had been the perpetrators.

“The notion of First Nations women only being killed by their boyfriends and spouses is a myth,” said Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler of Nishnawbe Aski Nation, which represents 49 northern Ontario First Nations.

Carolyn Bennett, the new indigenous and northern affairs minister, said she was “appalled” by Valcourt’s remarks.

“It was misleading for him to characterize it that way and I, at the time, was furious,” Bennett said.

RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson confirmed the number citing their database — even though the report issued by the Mounties last year had not noted the ethnicity of perpetrators. But Paulson added a caveat.

THE CANADIAN PRESS RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson says it's not the ethnicity of the offender that is relevant but the relationship between victim and offender with respect to prevention.

RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson says it’s not the ethnicity of the offender that is relevant but the relationship between victim and offender with respect to prevention. THE CANADIAN PRESS

“It is not the ethnicity of the offender that is relevant, but rather the relationship between the victim and offender that guides our focus with respect to prevention,” Paulson wrote to Martial.

Most homicides involving female victims of all ethnicities involve family or intimate partner violence, Paulson added, but the rate is actually lower for aboriginal women — 62 per cent compared to 74 per cent for non-aboriginal women.

In its follow-up report, the RCMP said in the past couple of years, the offender was known to the victim in every solved homicide of an aboriginal woman in RCMP jurisdictions.

Since the RCMP found that aboriginal women are significantly more likely than other women to be killed by an acquaintance — 17 per cent of the aboriginal female homicides involved casual acquaintances and 7 per cent criminal relationships — uncertainty surrounds hundreds of cases.

“You need to break this down further and define it,” said Bellegarde.

Are police forces working together, asks Bellegarde, by sharing correct information? And are there protocols to improve communications?

“This all speaks to the bigger realm of why there needs to be an inquiry coupled with an action plan,” he said.

Bennett, one of the ministers charged with establishing the national inquiry, said cases that involve family violence should be viewed through a wider lens.

“We’ve got to go way back upstream to actually look at the effects of colonization and residential schools on the indigenous population in Canada,” Bennett said.

Secrecy and the list

Torstar shared its database findings with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police two months ago and on two occasions since to check the accuracy of its research. Torstar also asked several questions about how the RCMP arrived at its findings.

In May 2014, the Star made an access to information request for the RCMP’s database of murdered and missing indigenous women and girls.

In early October 2015, some 16 months later, the RCMP released 2,000 pages related to work that led to its 2014 report. All names and personal details of the women and girls were redacted.

The RCMP cited several reasons for redacting information, including personal information, law enforcement investigations and information obtained in confidence. Their 2014 report notes that the Mounties were asked to sign an “Undertaking of Confidentiality” to obtain data from Statistics Canada and that other police services had to agree that Statistics Canada could share their data.

On Nov. 13, after more questions from Torstar, Janice Armstrong, deputy commissioner of RCMP aboriginal policing, welcomed media efforts to investigate, saying the cases of murdered and missing aboriginal women require “a co-ordinated response that addresses the underlying root causes of violence.”

Yet none of our questions was answered. The RCMP database — notwithstanding the RCMP’s already published interpretations of it — remains a secret.

Seeking clarity on a local level presented its own challenges. On Aug. 13, the Star contacted the Winnipeg Police Service requesting an interview with Project Devote, an integrated task force between the RCMP and Winnipeg police charged with the investigation of unsolved homicides and missing persons in Manitoba involving exploited and “at risk” persons. Ethnicity and gender are not predetermining factors for inclusion.

Across a period of more than three months, two trips to Winnipeg and repeated communications, including with the RCMP, Winnipeg police denied the request on Nov. 20. On that date, Winnipeg police did send a list of cases under investigation, but would not indicate which cases involved indigenous persons. Of a current case load of 28, including one male, the Star’s own research found 22 cases involving missing and murdered indigenous women. The number could be higher.

The lack of co-operation highlights the barriers to capturing accurately the necessary data. Asked how many members of Project Devote are indigenous, Winnipeg police responded via email that the “heritage of the investigators on the task force is irrelevant.”

The Ontario Provincial Police were also reluctant to answer questions about the deaths and disappearance of women in northern Ontario.

Police secrecy masks the scope of the problem, said Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler.

“What is the scope of the problem?” asks Fiddler. “There is really no definitive picture. If there was a collaborative effort we could get an accurate picture. There is no databank somewhere, no central place where you can find some answers. There is no co-ordinated effort. We know the Ontario Provincial Police has numbers, the RCMP has numbers and even the Native Women’s Association of Canada has numbers,” said Fiddler.

No one can answer simple questions: What is the status of these investigations? Which force is handling the investigations — the RCMP, the OPP or the Thunder Bay Police? Are they actively investigating these cases?

TORSTAR NEWS SERVICE “What is the scope of the problem?” asks Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler.

“What is the scope of the problem?” asks Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler. TORSTAR NEWS SERVICE

Solve rates

As of November, the Star’s research had identified 1,129 cases where an indigenous woman or girl was either murdered, died in suspicious circumstances, or is missing. It is by no means a complete list. In some cases, the Star could not verify details. For those reasons, Torstar is sharing an aggregate level analysis of the cases.

In 130 cases — 78 of which were from British Columbia — Torstar could not find information to verify the type of case (murdered or missing), nor any information to exclude them. Of the total, 937 cases are from 1980 to 2015. Looking at the solve rates of homicides, the annual ratio of unsolved to solved cases was higher during the 1980s and 1990s, and is gradually decreasing.

Overall, there are 768 murder cases with 20 identified as murder-suicides. Two hundred and twenty-four are unsolved and, of those, 186 involve killings since 1980.

Torstar can’t verify the RCMP’s claim that 88 per cent of all aboriginal female homicide cases have been solved. The Torstar analysis suggests a solve rate of 70 per cent.

Torstar analysis also identified 180 unsolved cases between 1980 and 2012; the RCMP cited 120 cases.

The Mounties provided no explanations for the discrepancies.

The RCMP data came from police-reported figures from more than 300 different agencies. The Star analysis is based largely on media reports.

In her letter to Torstar, Janice Armstrong, deputy commissioner of RCMP aboriginal policing, said commenting on the discrepancies would be “inappropriate,” citing differences in methodology and data sets.

A possible explanation can be found in the fine print of the 2014 RCMP report, which says solved cases include those where the suspect was “chargeable” but not charged. In other words, the police recommended the prosecutor lay charges but a charge may not have been laid.

How many homicide cases stalled with no one charged, tried or sent to jail? The RCMP will not say.

The phrase “suspect chargeable” appeared throughout the heavily censored 2,000-page document Torstar obtained from the RCMP.

Should police lump such cases into the same category as those that came with convictions and certainty for the families of victims?

“When you take that strict interpretation of solved — that becomes an issue unto itself. This does not bring any peace to the family, if they are charged and not convicted. Basically, when they do that, there is no justice or healing or closure for the family. The family’s pain and hurt is still ongoing. . . . That has to be reviewed,” said Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde.

Behind the numbers

There are many public lists of murdered and missing indigenous women in Canada, some more detailed than others. The Star compiled a single database from those lists and then went about verifying as much of the information as possible.

Five Star journalists and two Star librarians searched and read through thousands of news stories, obituaries and online legal documents to check the status of cases.

New cases were added and some were removed after the research revealed, for example, that a missing woman had been found or that a murdered woman was not indigenous.

At time of publication, the Star’s research had identified 1,129 cases where an indigenous woman or girl was either murdered, died in suspicious circumstances, or is missing.

It is by no means a complete list. In some cases, the Star could not verify details. For those reasons, the Star is choosing to share an aggregate level analysis of the cases.

Star reporters David Bruser, Jim Rankin, Joanna Smith, Tanya Talaga and Jennifer Wells; librarians Astrid Lange and Rick Sznajder; database specialist Andrew Bailey; and demographic experts Hidy Ng and Matthew Cole were involved in the research and analysis.

Caveats, data at a glance

In 130 cases — 78 of which were from British Columbia — Torstar could not find information to verify the type of case (murdered vs. missing), nor could the Star find any information to exclude them.

Of the 1,129 cases, 937 are from 1980 to 2015. Looking at solve rates for homicides, the ratio of unsolved to solved cases, by year, was higher in the 80s and 90s, and is decreasing graduallly.

Overall, there are 768 murder cases, of which 20 were identified as murder/suicides. Of the murders, 224 are unsolved, with 186 of those cases involving killings since 1980.

Solved totals in the Torstar analysis do not include cases where an accused was acquitted, but they do count cases where an arrest has been made and a trial is pending, or in instances where an accused has died. The Star also included as solved cases where the outcome was unclear, such as a case where there was a trial but the outcome could not be determined.

There are 171 missing women and girls in the Torstar database, which is nearly identical to RCMP figures from 2014, which tallied 164 missing cases, dating back to the 50s.

Between 1980 and 2012, the solved rate in the cases of murdered indigenous women compiled by the Star is 70 per cent, which is much lower than the 88 per cent solve rate the RCMP reported in its groundbreaking 2014 report for the same time frame. The RCMP report cited a solve rate for non-aboriginal female homicides to be 89 per cent, based on an analysis of Canada-wide homicides from 1980 to 2012.

The ratio of unsolved to solved murders is decreasing. Murders of aboriginal women and girls peaked in 2005.

Another difference between the Star research and RCMP findings is the number of unsolved cases. The Star analysis identified 180 cases between 1980 and 2012. The RCMP cited 120 cases for that same time period.

It is unclear why there are such large differences. The RCMP data came from police-reported figures from more than 300 agencies. The Star analysis is based largely on media reports.

Torstar shared a findings package with the RCMP and flagged the differences in letters to Commissioner Bob Paulson.

In a letter to the Star, RCMP Deputy Commissioner Janice Armstrong cited the differences in source material as a factor and wrote that it would therefore be “inappropriate” to comment on the differences.

The RCMP did not answer a long list of questions posed by Torstar.

Armstrong, in her letter to Torstar, said the RCMP welcomes “actions that result in positive outcomes in the lives of Aboriginal women and girls” and expressed appreciation that the Star conducted an independent investigation that can “further raise awareness among the public as to the reality of this tragedy. We commend your efforts in this endeavor.”

Unless stated otherwise, figures for murdered and missing indigenous women in Gone are for all years.

Murdered and missing indigenous women in Canada 2015 by torontostar


Edit: Link to their analysis (PDF)


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Native Leaders Call For Action, Not More Talk

Protesters handed out 1200 informational flyers on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls at the Ontario/Manitoba border. The flyers informed the public of the violence taking place in Aboriginal communities and the need for a national inquiry. June 19th 2015. File photo: Red Power Media.

Protesters handed out 1200 informational flyers on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls at the Ontario/Manitoba border. The flyers informed the public of the violence taking place in Aboriginal communities and the need for a national inquiry. June 19th 2015. File photo: Red Power Media.

By Sue Bailey, The Canadian Press

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Dawn Lavell Harvard says the time for well-intentioned but often empty talk is over.

The president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada, along with other national aboriginal leaders, will step up pressure for action when they meet Wednesday with provincial and territorial premiers in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, N.L.

They’re calling for detailed work plans to go with the photo ops and communiques from their yearly sit-down with the Council of the Federation.

“The most pressing concern we have right now in our communities is the ongoing level of violence,” Lavell Harvard said from Ottawa.

She believes provinces should step in as the federal Conservatives under Prime Minister Stephen Harper refuse to call a public inquiry into murdered and missing aboriginal women and girls.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt was among federal officials who attended a national roundtable on the issue last winter. They highlighted justice investments and a five-year, $25-million plan to reduce related violence as proof of action, saying an inquiry isn’t necessary.

“We want to see concrete action,” Lavell Harvard said. “Policing, access to justice, equity and discrimination issues.

“We need to push the provinces to do more.”

The 2011 National Household Survey suggests indigenous women make up 4.3 per cent of the national female population. But the RCMP has said they’re victims in 16 per cent of female homicides and account for 11 per cent of missing women.

The Mounties have reported that almost 1,200 aboriginal women have been murdered or have vanished since 1980, and that attackers are often known to the victims.

Perry Bellegarde, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said the issue will be front and centre Wednesday.

He also said the national Truth and Reconciliation Commission report released last month must not gather dust.

“The TRC recommendations and calls to action captured the whole country and the world,” he said in an interview. “We just need to give them life.”

The commission described as “cultural genocide” the suffering borne by generations of aboriginal children in once-mandatory residential schools.

It estimated more than 6,000 boys and girls, about one in 25, died in the institutions. Scores of others endured horrific physical and sexual abuse.

The commission made 94 recommendations toward reconciliation, urging Canada to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a framework.

Terry Audla, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, representing about 55,000 Canadian Inuit, said disproportionate numbers of aboriginal children in provincial care will also be discussed.

“If we could only get the federal government to the table, that would definitely go a long way.”

Harper’s long-standing absence from first ministers’ meetings sends a strong message, Bellegarde said.

“If we’re going to rebuild this country, we need all levels of leadership to be there.”

Provinces need to start hinging resource development on company commitments to consult, employ and share benefits with aboriginal people, Bellegarde said.

Todd Russell, president of the NunatuKavut Community Council, notes the meeting will take place near the $8.6-billion Muskrat Falls hydro development.

His group, representing about 6,000 Inuit-Metis in southern Labrador, says it wasn’t properly consulted and is challenging the project in court.

The Nunatsiavut government has also raised alarms about how potential mercury contamination from flooding could affect Lake Melville, a food source for 2,000 Inuit.

Host Premier Paul Davis said the province reached a major benefits agreement on Muskrat Falls with the Innu Nation.

“I think there is great value in ensuring it happens on a more consistent basis not only in Newfoundland and Labrador, but across the country,” he said in an interview.

Davis said the premiers’ working group on aboriginal affairs has been crafting action plans for several matters, including violence against women. Truth and Reconciliation Commission members Marie Wilson and Chief Wilton Littlechild will speak to the meeting in Labrador about how provinces can respond, he added.

The premiers move to St. John’s for sessions Thursday and Friday, including energy and economic issues, health care, trade and climate change.

The Canadian Press

Follow @suebailey on Twitter.


Preview: Boys don’t cry – Is it time we start talking about our murdered and missing indigenous men?

Grace Lafond-Barr with a photo of her son Jaron Tyler Jahnke, below, who was shot and killed by a 15-year-old in 2011 in Saskatoon. Photograph by: Michelle Berg, The Starphoenix, The Starphoenix

Grace Lafond-Barr with a photo of her son Jaron Tyler Jahnke, below, who was shot and killed by a 15-year-old in 2011 in Saskatoon.
Photograph by: Michelle Berg, The Starphoenix, The Starphoenix

By Jeremy Warren | The StarPhoenix

Indigenous men are more likely to be murdered than anyone else in Canada – possibly more than 2,000 in a 30-year period.

Grace Lafond-Barr believes healing starts in the home, so she moved her family to Muskeg Lake Cree Nation from Saskatoon two years ago to escape the city where murder took away her two brothers and a son.

Indigenous people in Canada are three times as likely to be victims of crime compared to non-indigenous people and the homicide rate for indigenous people is seven times that of non-aboriginal people — 8.8 compared to 1.3 victims per 100,000 people, according to Statistics Canada.

RCMP say 1,017 indigenous women were murdered between 1980 and 2012; a recently published article in Aboriginal Policy Studies suggested the number of murdered indigenous men in that period could be more than 2,000.

Jeremy Warren dug into the issue and spoke with Laford-Barr about her tragic story.

Read the full story online at TheStarPhoenix.com.

Read More:


Group calls out councillor, MP over recent comments

(FILE PHOTO: A demonstrator holds a sign during the Memorial March for Missing and Murdered Women in Sault Ste. Marie on February 18, 2015. Kenneth Armstrong/SooToday)

(FILE PHOTO: A demonstrator holds a sign during the Memorial March for Missing and Murdered Women in Sault Ste. Marie on February 18, 2015. Kenneth Armstrong/SooToday)

By: Kenneth Armstrong| SooToday

A group who holds annual rallies to raise awareness about murdered and missing women in Canada are taking two local politicians to task for comments made about the issue.

In a joint statement made late Wednesday, Womyn 4 Social Justice Sault Ste. Marie said they were “disheartened” by comments made by Ward 5 city Councillor Frank Fata and MP Bryan Hayes in regards to calls for an inquiry into murdered and missing aboriginal women.

Fata commented on a SooToday story on the February 18 Womyn 4 Social Justice rally for murdered and missing women, saying in part: “People have to take responsibility for raising their children. If these children were being raised in a healthy environment, they wouldn’t be hitting the trails, hitch-hiking and putting themselves in harm’s way.”

MP Bryan Hayes dismissed a call for a public enquiry during a recent speaking event and said, in part: “What doesn’t come out to the public is that of those 1,200 murdered and missing aboriginal women, 90 percent of the cases are solved and we know who the murderers are and this is over a 30-year period, it’s not like this happened yesterday.”

Hayes blamed “root causes” for the murdered and missing children, but did not expand on what those causes were.

The statement released today by Womyn 4 Social Justice said the organization stands in solidarity with these women and families and they will continue to work for justice and equality.

“Mr. Fata and Mr. Hayes’ implications that families are responsible for the victimization of their daughters are not only naive, but biased and discriminatory.  We sincerely hope that family members and loved ones of these women do not take these comments to heart. These individuals have encountered unimaginable grief and pain and this instance of victim-blaming only adds insult to injury.”

When contacted this morning, Fata said by phone that he often speaks his mind and was approaching this issue with the taxpayer in mind.

“I feel it is important to respect the taxpayer and if something is going to be done I hope it serves a purpose. Studies are not going to solve the problem,” he said.

Sister of slain Indigenous woman tells premiers, federal cabinet ministers: blood on your hands

Judy Maas

                                                               Judy Maas

By Jorge Barrera | APTN National News | Posted Feb 27 2015

Judy Maas’ turn arrived again to speak in the final moments of Friday’s national roundtable on murdered and missing Indigenous women and, facing federal cabinet ministers and provincial premiers, she told them they had all “failed miserably.”

Maas, whose 35 year-old sister Cynthia Maas was murdered by a serial killer in 2010, was one of four delegates chosen to represent the families of the murdered and the missing around the big table where the premiers of Ontario, Manitoba, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories sat along with the federal Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and the federal Status of Women Minister.

“In our opinion you have failed miserably. Canada must address the shame they have created by systematically taking the Indian from the Indian. This policy has put blood on your hands, the blood of innocent women and children who have suffered the greatest insults, the price of their lives,” said Maas, according to a recording of the closed-door meeting obtained by APTN National News. “My baby sister was worth more than the mere pittance of short term funding and solutions.”

The room was dead silent while she spoke, but erupted in applause after she ended, according to the recording.

Provincial and federal leaders, along with the heads of the major Indigenous organizations across the country, responded by agreeing to meet again next year and begin developing a national approach to dealing with the disproportionate number of Indigenous women and girls who face deadly violence.

The historic one-day roundtable held at the Marriott Hotel in Ottawa also produced a finalized framework to guide ongoing work on the issue leading up to next year’s meeting which will be held in Manitoba and focus on policing and justice issues. The meeting’s delegates also agreed to immediately begin developing a pan-Canadian awareness campaign about violence against Indigenous women.

“It is a national issue, it is not an issue for one organization or one province, it is a national issue. It is not even just an Aboriginal issue, this is an issue for every single one of us,” said Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. “We are together in this country and if one child is vulnerable and unsafe, then we all are.”

NWT Premier Bob McLeod, who chaired the meeting, and Wynne both said there were some issues that the two levels of government couldn’t reach immediate agreement on, but neither would describe them.

“(Ottawa) will have to answer the question on their own. The fact is that the provinces and territories and the Aboriginal organizations across the country are working very hard on these issues,” said Wynne. “We are on the same page, we are working to find a partner with the federal government.”

Status of Women Minister Kellie Leitch and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt both denied there were any disagreements during the roundtable.

“Actually, we supported each of the action items that were put forward on the table, whether it be the actual framework or the pan-Canadian action plan that Premier Wynne put forward, those were things we supported,” said Leitch.

What Ottawa did disagree with was a request from Wynne that all sides represented at the roundtable hold a joint press conference.

According to audio obtained from inside the meeting, Wynne asked the federal representatives to join the rest of the group.

“I heard a rumour that Canada was going to be doing a separate press conference. I just hope that’s not the case because I think it would be wonderful for everyone to be together,” she said.

Leitch, however, alluded to a possible security issue being the reason behind the decision to hold separate pressers, according to the audio recording.

“I’m in the hands of the RCMP, to be frank with you,” said Leitch, according to the audio recording.

APTN National News asked an RCMP officer who was part of the security detail at the Marriott Hotel whether security issues were keeping the federal ministers from joining the rest of the delegates at the press conference. The officer said the decision on press conferences was up to the federal politicians.

Leitch told reporters at the federal media event, which was held at the Delta Hotel across the road from the Marriott, that the decision was made in the best interest of the family members.

“Out of respect to the 20 organizations as well as to the families we felt that they should be able to get their message out,” said Leitch.

There was a minor security issue during the roundtable after some family members of murdered and missing Indigenous women, along with a hand-full of demonstrators entered the Marriott’s lower lobby demanding people walk out of the roundtable.

RCMP, Ottawa police and hotel security kept a wary eye on the group which was pacified to a degree by Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association President Cheryl Maloney who left the roundtable meeting to stand with the demonstrators and family members.

Back inside the roundtable meeting, Maas drew a line from Canada’s colonial history to the government institutions it created and the death of her sister.

“Some have enjoyed the benefits taken from our lands, but we, the first peoples, have not enjoyed that, nor have we enjoyed the freedom or the human rights. There are no dollar amounts that can bring back or replace our loss,” said Maas, according to the audio recording of her closing remarks. “Please do not insult my intelligence. I challenge you to take what you heard, to truly understand, to move forward out of the dark ages and create some measurable outcomes…I can take my sister as an example and measure her experience against the system, where it failed, how it failed and why it failed for her. The ministry of children and family was instrumental in putting the final nail on her coffin and her killer, only a means of physical death.”

Maas’ sister Cynthia Maas was murdered by serial killer Cody Legebokoff who was sentenced to 25 years in September 2014. Cynthia Maas’ remains were found at a park in Prince George, B.C.

“I can tell you that I and others know first-hand the underlying racism and hatred within all systems in Canada,” she said. “You as leaders have a duty and obligation to stand against the wrongdoings, immoral judgments unethical actions of your own.”