TORONTO, ONTARIO — The nation’s leading charity for the health and welfare of boys and men, the Canadian Association for Equality (CAFE), is demanding that the government, RCMP and the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) treat male aboriginal homicide victims with the same degree of severity and concern as female aboriginal victims.
This past Fathers Day in Edmonton the first annual rally for murdered and missing Aboriginal men and boys was organized by mothers whose sons were murdered or missing.
CAFE applauds those mothers. Sons are equally important to daughters and our approach to crime must be gender inclusive.
“There’s nobody for our men and boys,” Gina Degerness, whose son disappeared in 2007, was quoted as saying at the rally.
“The Canadian Association for Equality believes fundamentally that policy must be led by evidence and not dictated by politics or ideology,” said CAFE Spokesperson Adam McPhee. “Articles in Postmedia News and the Toronto Star over the last week have exposed the inconvenient truth that the murder rate of aboriginal men is twice as high as that of aboriginal women.”
But the RCMP report in May 2014 “Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women: A National Operational Overview” ignored male homicide victims entirely. The RCMP recently reiterated their refusal to broaden their mandate to be inclusive of all Aboriginal People. They decline even to compile statistics on missing aboriginal men. This deprives Canadians of the evidence required to properly inform public policy.
The CHRC similarly refused to include boys and men in their recent call for a public inquiry.
“CAFE demands that any public inquiry into aboriginal homicide be founded on evidence and this will inevitably lead to gender inclusivity and the equal treatment of boys and men,” said McPhee.
The need to treat male and female victims equally is reinforced by the statistics on serious violent crime, in which both genders are disproportionately affected by certain forms of crime. Women are more often victims of sexual assault and men are more often victims of aggravated assault and assault causing bodily harm.