Is violence against Indigenous women in Canadian cities a new issue?
Certainly not. The patterns of discrimination and marginalization that lead to heightened risk of violence against Indigenous women are long standing. In our report, we point to the Manitoba Justice Inquiry conclusion that the RCMP was aware of a pattern of white men preying upon Indigenous women in The Pas, Manitoba before the abduction and murder of Helen Betty Osborne in 1971. In the Inquiry’s words, the RCMP “did not feel that the practice necessitated any particular vigilance.” It is true that there is a new growth of attention to the issue, largely through the efforts of Indigenous women’s organizations.