Oh No They Didn’t! responds to ‘Those Who Take Us Away’

Posted: March 5, 2013 by amanbains23 in RCMP Accountability and Oversight, Systemic Racism

This post is a response to the following article:

Oh No They Didn’t! (2013). Those Who Take Us Away, a Human Rights Watch report (TW) Mission, vision and values. Retrieved March 1, 2013 from http://ontd-political.livejournal.com/10445760.html

The article begins with the story of how Summer Star (C.J.) Fowler’s murdered body was found. The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) mentions the statistics of how many indigenous women and girls have been murdered or gone missing since the 1960s. Based on the statistics international and national human rights authorities have advised that changes need to be made. However, the article notes that no such changes have been made by Canada. The article also summarizes some of the main points from the Human Rights Watch report ‘Those Who Take Us Away’. Not only have indigenous women and girls received little protection from the RCMP but they have also suffered abuse at the hands of the RCMP. Additionally, the report mentions the lack of accountability for police misconduct. This has led the Human Rights Watch to advise for a civilian led investigation of these cases to ensure accountability for the RCMP officers involved. Although, the Independent Investigations Office (IIO), which is a provincial civilian led investigations office, has been created, their authority is limited to cases involving dead or serious bodily injury. The article concludes that clearly further measures are required.

The comments responding to this article are limited however, of the comments there are, the general consensus seems to be that what is going on is “utterly disgusting” and something needs to be done. A couple of the commenters are very disappointed in the governments’ lack of action, one commenter stating that “the government is essentially shrugging their shoulders” at the problem (ONTD, 2013). This very same commenter goes further and criticises the actions that have been taken by the government, “Wow, studies and tasks forces. Yeah, that’ll fix it” (ONTD, 2013). Additionally, another commenter is not surprised by the RCMP’s attitude towards indigenous women and girls, and suggests this attitude is not limited to the RCMP. This commenter mentions a “recent report on a serial killer in Vancouver who was ignored by police for years stated that it continued because the women were poor, indigenous, addicts and sex workers” (ONTD, 2013).

My response to this article would be that the Human Rights Watch is right, something needs to be done. Additionally, I do not understand why it is taking so long for the government to take action. The statistics mentioned by the NWAC demonstrate that this is a big problem and government action is needed. The government needs to look into why indigenous women and girls are not receiving protection from the RCMP as well as why the RCMP are the sources of abuse for these women. Reading the cases of abuse the indigenous women and girls suffered at the hands of the RCMP, I am disgusted especially since the RCMP is suppose to uphold the law not violate it. Part of the RCMP’s commitment to communities is to provide “unbiased and respectful treatment of all people” (RCMP). Do RCMP officers forget this when they interact with indigenous communities?

References

Oh No They Didn’t! (2013). Those Who Take Us Away, a Human Rights Watch report (TW) Mission, vision and values. Retrieved March 1, 2013 from http://ontd-political.livejournal.com/10445760.html.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police. (2006). Mission, vision and values. Retrieved March 4, 2013 from
http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/about-ausujet/mission-eng.htm.

Advertisements
Comments
  1. Mike Larsen says:

    Quick question: How would you describe ‘Oh No They Didn’t!’? Is this a journalistic outlet? Is it a blog? A content aggregator? I am curious. The article is unsigned. Who wrote it? Why did you select this article, especially given the small number of comments posted in response?

    Regarding your comment, you propose that there is ample evidence of a persistent problem, and that “government action is needed”. Fair enough – but what kind of action, and by which government(s)? Is this a matter of provincial concern? Is it a federal issue related to the organization and functioning of the RCMP? Who precisely should step forward and take concrete action?

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s