Committee report a step backward in stopping violence against Indigenous women
A new report by the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women offers no real solutions to the widespread threats to the lives of Indigenous women in Canada.
Last March, the Committee issued an interim report that called for a comprehensive, strategic and coordinated approach to end the vastly disproportionate rates of violence against Indigenous women. The final report tabled in Parliament today drops the call for a comprehensive response and instead focuses primarily on government initiatives that are already underway.
Although the report discusses the housing crisis plaguing many Indigenous communities, the severe shortage of emergency shelters for Indigenous women, and the large numbers of Indigenous children being placed in foster care, the report offers no recommendations for countering these critical obstacles to Indigenous women escaping violence.
The only recommendation on the widespread impoverishment of Indigenous communities is a call to “work towards removing barriers to economic growth for on-reserve Aboriginal peoples.” The report calls only for further discussion to determine what more can be done for victims and their families within existing models and existing budgets.