We’d like to take this space to send our thoughts and prayers out to Rinelle Harper and her family. Many of us at Windspeaker have children, grandchildren Rinelle’s age and our hearts exploded in pain when we heard of the assault on her. We can only imagine the nightmare she is living. The brutality endured by this 16-year-old child should make the blood boil in every Canadian. Let us say clearly, no child, no woman, no man should ever have to experience such violation.
And yet, in Canada, in this shiny part of the world where such events should be as rare as hen’s teeth, we come face to face with our ugly reality. Such viciousness is all too common here, and more likely to occur against our people.
At what point does this federal government stop looking away and help us protect Indigenous women and girls by committing to an inquiry into the systemic issues that adversely impact Aboriginal people in Canada.
By the lack of response from the federal government, we can only conclude that racism is at the root of inaction. First Nations people are throw away, it would seem.
“What is it that is so feared about a national inquiry into the murdered and missing women,” asked Rose Laboucan, chief of the Driftpile Cree Nation in northern Alberta. “What is it that people fear is going to be found?” she asked.
Perhaps what’s going to be found is that government has failed monumentally on so many fronts that it is overwhelming to comprehend; that by not stepping up to the plate with enthusiasm and vision, to right the wrongs of the past and move with conviction into a future of reconciliation, we are faced with the horror that Renelle and other young women have had to endure.
This has to be corrected. Now.