A national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women is not an end. But it could be a means to a very important end.
In the Toronto Star recently, Sylvia Maracle, executive director of the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres, urges the chorus of supporters of a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women to avoid seeing this as the goal.
It seems likely that one way or the other, this inquiry will take place. And many supporters, indigenous and non-indigenous, will welcome this.
They will forget Oka and the Royal Commission on Indigenous People that was to heal the rift between Canada and indigenous people. It didn’t. Most of the recommendations of the commission were ignored. Is this inquiry likely to be any different? Only if there is a serious government commitment to follow up on the inquiry.
It is high time that the relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous Canadians was put on solid ground, and that means facing the justice issues that divide us, including the missing and murdered aboriginal women.
2015, an election year, would be good time to start.