While the knowledge of past genocide became a reality, as detailed in the Commission's final report, just three days later, we learned that in addition to unsolved rape and murder, Canada's Indigenous population is also being killed slowly by exposure to biological and dangerous chemical pollutants.
United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, Baskut Tuncak, said Thursday that Canadian Indigenous communities are disproportionately affected by toxic waste and other hazardous materials.
These two reports begs the question, O Canada, when are you going to do right by these people, when?
Getting away with Murder ... in Canada
A preponderance of the 1200 Unsolved Murders of Indigenous Canadians were killed by non-Indigenous Canadians
Eric LaMont Gregory
… balancing civil liberties and public safety, and justice with the truth
The reality of a significant number of unsolved indigenous female murders that are attributable to persons from outside the indigenous communities, led former PM Harper and the former AG of British Columbia to oppose an inquiry vehemently. Neither could fathom that reality playing out on a daily basis while they were praising themselves for being tough on crime ...
The most important question is, what do we do now with what we now know?
The participation in murder by those under the colour of authority, however, is not the cruelest understanding of the high incidence of unsolved missing and murdered indigenous women and girls to be arrived at. The fact is that in many instances the disappearance or murder of indigenous women presents a multi-jurisdictional dimension.
There is a dramatic fall off in the solution of crimes when they involve more than one jurisdiction. As the size of the area that has to be covered increases, so does the material and people power costs of the investigation, and in relation to the missing and murdered indigenous women and girls cases, it is not for the most part the single jurisdictional cases that remain unsolved.
And, consider the following statement by the FBI concerning the likelihood of a successful outcome when faced with the expansive nature of some criminal investigations, " ... in the case of mobile multiple and serial killers, the place where the victim was selected and engaged may not be where they were held. If the victim was imprisoned in the cab of a long-haul driver for some time, the venue of the victims selection could be a considerable distance from where they were killed, and the site where the body was disposed of could be in another location again some great distance from the other parts of what is an expansive, multi-jurisdictional crime scene. Unlike law enforcement, multiple and serial killers, highway serial killers and other violent offenders operate outside the limits of city, county, province and even national boundaries."
At the same time, what is also understood, and this addresses the importance of the current inquiry directly:
If (and this might appear rather obvious), crimes involving Indigenous Canadians are investigated and prosecuted properly, Indigenous Canadian victimization rates will fall significantly. And (not so apparently), killings between non-indigenous and indigenous Canadians of a pre-emptive nature, such as the recent killing of an indigenous Canadian by a non-indigenous Saskatchewan prairie farmer, would show a rate-wise decline.
(Pre-emptive murders - describes those murders committed that are driven for the most part by a fear of being killed. And, when it is generally known and accepted that deaths in certain communities are less likely to be investigated and prosecuted, there is an observable tendency not only to continue to be killed, but also for those so victimized to become more likely to kill preemptively themselves.)
As a consequence, and this may be the least obvious and yet the greatest benefit to be derived from the current inquiry for Canadians as a whole, is that once crimes involving Indigenous Canadians are investigated and prosecuted properly, non-indigenous murder and victimization rates will also decline. To gain a further understanding of victimization, and the role it plays in fostering crime, the reader is encouraged to consult the professional criminology literature.
This author can only trust that the members of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls will read the previous paragraphs properly and with due regard to their content and context.
Every Canadian should insist that the long-standing tradition of no statute of limitations on acts of murder be upheld, and a rigorous investigation of each and every one these cases ought to ensue. Eric LaMont Gregory, NIMMIWG 2016
A balancing act, by definition, describes a conscious attempt in often difficult situations, to try to maintain what we cherish, when faced with circumstances that suggest that at least for a period of time, we may have to give up what we cherish in order to preserve ultimately what we cherish most in the long term.
For example, a government attempts to provide security for its citizens against indiscriminate acts of terror (insurgency), involves, in the minds of some, a need to curtail civil liberties, that is, to impose special measures which may infringe upon basic charter rights, in order to identify, track and interdict those who would upset the peace and security of the nation.
Recently, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, addressed the conundrum between liberty and security with these words, “All Canadians expect their government to do two things: to keep Canadians safe and to defend and uphold the values and rights that all Canadians hold dear. Getting the balance right isn’t always easy … but it’s extremely important.”
Richard Fadden, the outgoing head of CSIS, whose last two years in office were spent, let us say in language that is kind, monitoring the terrorist debacle in British Columbia, suggested that special measures were necessary, and a curtailment in civil liberties was justified, in fact inevitable, in order to preserve national security.
It will have not gone unnoticed that in the incident in Ottawa, which local police describe as their acting in the last possible moment, was the result of US authorities, the FBI, having monitored the internet postings of the suspect and when the suspect made a public pledge to the leader of ISIS, the FBI notified the Canadian authorities who acted on the information.
The FBI had come to realization that in most cases involving acts of terror carried out by the so-called self-radicalized, occur within 24 hours of their public posting of their allegiance to the ISIS leader. The suspect posted the pledge and the FBI informed the Ottawa authorities accordingly.
At this juncture some authors would say that this is not rocket science, but this author would disagree. This is exactly what rocket science is; a matter of trajectory.
Once you know where you are, and where the target is, projecting the missile or other air or space craft from the former to the latter is straightforward, it is rocket science.
In a discussion of balancing safety and liberty, the fact that the FBI routinely monitors (remembering that a routine only works when deployed systematically) the internet postings of Canadian citizens and non-Canadians domiciled in Canada might be important. What is known is that Harper and Fadden, the former Prime Minister and the former head of CSIS, cooperated with the Patriot Act request (demand) from American security officials to an extent that sober reflection cannot reconcile.
The notion that liberty and security occupy the opposite faces of the same coin is a false analogy, as both liberty and security stand or fall under there own weight. Once you accept the argument of either or, you have already sacrificed some liberty, but not gained one iota of increased security. Security threats will come and go, wax and wane, but charter rights are so important to mounting a defense when one must be mounted that to weaken liberty in anyway is to court disaster.
In a recent report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, detailing the decades-long abuse of some 150k aboriginal children required to attend Christian schools, (schools which were established with the specific purpose to rid First Nation children of their native cultures and languages and integrate them into mainstream Canadian society), describes the residential schools system as one of the "darkest and most troubling chapters in our (Canadian) collective history."
The report is the result of a six-year long study of Canada's former government policy requiring Canadian aboriginals to attend such schools, schools which were more often than not scenes of physical and sexual abuse.
There is mounting evidence to substantiate, what some First Nation leaders have maintained for decades, and that is that the legacy of abuse and isolation is an attributive, if not a root cause of an epidemic of substance abuse on reservations.
And, because of an inability (for those traumatized from being torn from the safety of their homes as children) to foster certain self-preservation characteristics in generations of their young, there is at least an associative psycho-social link, although largely unexplored, with the high rate of suicides in those same communities.
From the 19th century until the 1970s, more than 150,000 aboriginal children were required to attend Christian schools to rid them of their native cultures and languages. A policy propagated with the noble sounding goal of their eventual integration into mainstream Canadian society, where they would be welcomed once they were culturally de-First-Nationized.
More than 130 residential schools operated across Canada.
. . . the less missing, and the less dead
The shooting death of a First Nation youth at the hands of a prairie farmer at the dawn of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) portends.
The National Inquiry into the unresolved missing and unsolved murdered Indigenous women cases, like the commission into the residential school cultural genocide, were structured to explore underlying causes, not to resolve or to solve any ongoing unresolved missing persons or unsolved murder case or cases, specifically.
One might state that these are two different although necessary inquiries.
If, the goal was to address the missing and unsolved murder cases, a series of Major Incident (MI), Cold Case Task Forces would have been established to pursue each and every case as an ordinary, or extraordinary, police investigation.
Under those circumstances there would be two rather distinct classes of unsolved murder cases, namely; those cases in which the murder or murders were committed by a member or members of the indigenous communities themselves. And, those in which the murder or murders were committed by a person or persons from outside the indigenous community.
It was the reality of the existence of a significant number of unsolved indigenous female murders that are attributable to persons from outside the indigenous communities that led former PM Harper and the PM and former AG of British Columbia to oppose an inquiry vehemently. Neither could fathom that reality playing out on a daily basis while they were praising themselves for being tough on crime, which largely consisted of dishing out cruel and unusual punishments (the judgement of the Supreme Court of Canada), and swelling the prison population under mandatory sentencing regimes for minor drug offenses concentrated mostly on the poor and ethnic urban youth.
In a straightforward series of murder investigations, given the large number of cases involved, a Major Incident (MI) Task Force would be aided by a wealth of murder case knowledge and statistics developed over many years.
So much so that a thorough, by the numbers analysis, of the missing and murdered data on indigenous females reveals some interesting facts about both the disappearance of those currently categorized as unresolved missing persons cases, as well as, the hundreds and hundreds of unsolved indigenous murders and their perpetrators.
However, before proceeding, this author will not presume that the phrase straightforward murder investigations, is understood universally.
In a nutshell, in a murder investigation one looks for patterns in victim selection, targeting (how the victim is engaged once the selection is made), how the victim is controlled or restrained, how the victim(s) were killed (asphyxiation, stabbing, blunt trauma), and finally, how the body was concealed (disposed of). And, it is often the means of concealing or disposing of the remains that gives the killer their media name, such as, I-70 Killer and Green River Killer, respectively.
Crime scene recreations and forensics play an increasingly important part in all murder investigations, however when the crime scene(s) are expansive in nature like many of the current unsolved indigenous female murders, " ... the mobile nature of the offenders, the high-risk lifestyle of the victims, the significant distances and involvement of multiple jurisdictions, the lack of witnesses and forensic evidence combine to make these cases almost impossible to solve using conventional investigative techniques. In many cases, they are impossible to solve at all (employing conventional investigative techniques)," according to the Behavioral Science Unit at Quantico, Virginia. One fact, some indigenous women unsolved murder cases in the BC area of Vancouver were, without a doubt, victims to one or more of the serial killers that were prolific in that area, over at least two periods of time when the incidence of missing and unsolved murder cases among indigenous women peaked in that area.
And, there is a distinct possibility that some of the indigenous women died at the hands of a serial killer from Alaska, who had crisscrossed the United States and Canada and killed on the east coast as well as the west and many places in between.
The reasons people commit murder are in the sense of the science of criminology well known.
Again, a by the numbers analysis of why young girls are murdered, indigenous or otherwise, shows that a significant number of them are murdered to conceal the nature of an inappropriate relationship. This includes, for the large part relatives, spouses and partners of single mothers, as well as an assortment of rapists, the mentally ill (both acute and chronic) and those who show a propensity for violence, and those whose propensity for violence is largely directed towards females. Prostitution and the sex trade, drugs and gangs also make a significant contribution to the nearly 1200 unsolved cases that constitute the necessity for the current inquiry.
It is often discovered, in relation to murders committed to conceal an inappropriate relationship with an indigenous girl, that when their bodies are found, it is also discovered that the girl was pregnant at the time of her death.
A large percentage (no less than 15%) of those classified currently as missing are in fact murder victims. Nearly half that percentage again were actually taken and forced into the sex trade, and there is a group who were initially runaways, who simply fell into the mean streets, and all the horrors that falling into mean streets occasion.
There is a classification of perpetrators, those who by socialization come to view or believe that they are not actually committing a crime when they attack an indigenous female, because they (indigenous persons) do not occupy the same social standing (worthiness) as the perpetrator, because they (indigenous persons) are children of a lesser God, as it were.
This fact, exists because of a social environment which either encourages the less worthiness belief by certain members of its population in relation to indigenous persons, or fails to correct the behavior which this belief engenders when it manifests itself. There was a time, for example, when it was impossible to bring to trial and convict a Caucasian male for raping or murdering an African American, Hispanic American or Native American woman or girl, regardless of the age of the victim, or the nature of the evidence against the perpetrator anywhere in the United States.
A word about the unresolved missing persons cases among indigenous women and girls.
As a matter of course, routinely, missing persons are classified by the police into one of several probable cause options, i.e., accidents, wandered off/lost, runaway, unknown and foul play suspected, respectively. The category runaway is usually reserved for those under the age of 18, and there is an option concerned specifically with parental abductions, with or without custody.
In a review of the unresolved missing indigenous women and girls of record, it is not reasonable to assume that a significant number are victims of accidents, such as, being swallowed up by an avalanche on a ski trip or drowning in a boating mishap. There is also little evidence that more than a few of the missing wandered off or might be lost, as happens when a person in a confused state leaves a hospital or mental institution or becomes disoriented in the deep woods while hunting or hiking.
The missing person report classification unknown, however, was designed to classify missing persons where the police had little or no exculpatory evidence, or alternatively, insufficient background information concerning the person or the nature of the disappearance reported to categorize the missing person under any of the other probable cause options. Again, in a review of the missing person cases that are to be the subject in the current inquiry, rarely was the person not known and there was in the vast majority of cases someone who could speak to whether or not the person being reported missing had a history of just leaving their home and or community without telling someone something about their circumstances.
Often, that is, more often than not, the information provided to the police when a indigenous woman or girl was reported missing was sufficient for proper classification purposes, and in most cases, from an investigatory point of view, the information provided was, actionable.
As we shall discover, through a rather laborious process of elimination, is that the most reasonable, that is professionally competent classification and therefore categorization of the majority each of the reported missing indigenous females was that of - foul play suspected, which was rarely assigned to any of the victims.
In fact, in most cases where an indigenous missing persons remains have been found, it is readily discovered that few of them had a history of disappearing for extended periods of time. In fact, most of them not even for short-time periods without telling someone, either a family member or friend, where they were going and leaving some possibility for a family member(s) or friend(s) to contact them, even if that contact was through a third party.
There is a lot more to it, but given the facts as they are known, it is reasonable to conclude that the scant police investigations into the disappearances of indigenous women and girls were blatantly inadequate. A further knowledge of these women leads one to the inescapable conclusion that no serious investigations were undertaken in these cases because of a lack of respect for the women involved, who were poor, minorities, associated with drugs and some of them, at least occasionally, worked in the sex trade.
Although, the probable cause option classification of unknown, on missing persons reports, was meant to reflect those persons on whom the police had no record or insufficient background information to categorize otherwise, nevertheless, the unknown option is also used in the same sense that Steve Egger used the term the - less dead - to describe unsolved murders of little interest to the police. Therefore, it is just as likely that the unknown category is also used by the police to describe what E LaMont Gregory termed the - less missing - missing persons cases that are of little interest to the police.
And, by the numbers, it will be discovered that a small but shocking number of the unsolved murders of indigenous women and girls were committed by those who come into contact with young girls through their remit as acting under the colour of authority. Such occupations as teachers, coaches, probation officers, social workers and those who represent the top of the food chain of those who operate under the colour of authority, those who wear the badge. This fact, as it is stated here, is clear and unequivocal.
The participation in murder by those under the colour of authority, however, is not the cruelest understanding of the high incidence of unresolved missing and unsolved murdered indigenous women and girls cases to be arrived at. The fact is that in many instances the disappearance or murder of indigenous women presents a multi-jurisdictional dimension.
There is a dramatic fall off in the solution of crimes when they involve more than one jurisdiction. As the size of the area that has to be covered increases, so does the material and people power costs of an investigation, and in relation to the missing and murdered indigenous women and girls cases, it is not for the most part the single jurisdictional cases that remain unresolved and unsolved.
And, consider the following statement by the FBI concerning the expansive nature of some criminal investigations, " ... in the case of mobile multiple and serial killers, the place where the victim was selected and engaged may not be where they were held. If the victim was imprisoned in the cab of a long-haul driver for some time, the venue of the victims selection could be a considerable distance from where they were killed, and the site where the body was disposed of could be in another location again some great distance from the other parts of what is an expansive, multi-jurisdictional crime scene. Unlike law enforcement, multiple and serial killers, highway serial killers and other violent offenders operate outside the limits of city, county, states and even national boundaries."
At the same time, what is also understood, and this addresses the importance of the current inquiry directly, is that:
If (and this might appear rather obvious), crimes involving indigenous Canadians are investigated and prosecuted properly, indigenous Canadian victimization rates would fall significantly. And (not so apparently), killings between non-indigenous and indigenous Canadians of a pre-emptive nature, such as the recent killing of an indigenous Canadian by a non-indigenous Saskatchewan prairie farmer, would show a rate wise decline.
(Pre-emptive murders - describes those murders committed that are driven for the most part by a fear of being killed. And, when it is generally known and accepted that deaths in certain communities are less likely to be investigated and prosecuted, there is an observable tendency for those so victimized to become more likely to kill pre-emptively themselves. The extent to which pre-emptive murder is a factor in many homicides is underestimated grossly, and this fact carries with it enormous consequences, both for crime investigation and prevention.)
As a consequence, and this may be the least obvious and yet the greatest benefit to be derived from the current inquiry for Canadians as a whole, is that once crimes involving indigenous Canadians are investigated and prosecuted properly, non-indigenous murder and victimization rates will also decline.
This author can only trust that the members of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls will read the previous paragraphs properly and with due regard to their content and context.
It is this authors thesis that the current inquiry and establishing the wherewithal to actually conduct proper police investigations into both the unresolved missing and the unsolved murder cases of indigenous females ought to run contemporaneously, actually. However, if the current government persists (as seems most likely) that the present inquiry should run its due and proper course, then the Major Incident, Cold Case Task Forces can be instituted and the missing and unsolved murder cases, resolved upon its completion.
However, since the incidence of both missing and murdered indigenous women and girls is an on-going problem, a Major Incident Task Force ought to be established, and that unit ought o have as its first case the disappearance of Christine Wood. The 21-year-old First Nation woman who went missing on 19 August 2016 from a hotel in the St James area of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
In final analysis, we must address the issue of the truth as to why there is such high incidences of unresolved missing and unsolved murder cases of indigenous women and girls in Canada, and whether we address the issue of justice for the victims and their families, first, at the same time, or one after the other, will be of little consequence ultimately. Since there is no statute of limitations for the crime of murder.
As long as, in time, we address both truth and justice.
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The Ultimate Vanishing Act, read it before everything you thought would last a lifetime, is gone forever.