Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
The families of murdered and missing indigenous women and girls want to be heard. The government has made solemn commitments, as we all have. We want the inquiry into murdered and missing indigenous women and girls to go well. We want the families to be heard. We want to get resolution to the reason so many were lost, to the reason that so many families have not been willing to put their trust in police.
The inquiry commission's last count only listed a couple of hundred names of murdered and missing indigenous women and girls. The RCMP thinks there are 2,000. The Native Women's Association of Canada has counted more like 4,000.
On National Aboriginal Day, which is starting tomorrow, we honour the families left behind and the women and girls lost, but we have a long way to go to achieve closure for the families who have suffered through the loss or disappearance of a loved one.
Indigenous women are disproportionately the victims of violence, including murder. Indigenous women are seven times more likely to be murdered than non-indigenous women. Indigenous women make up 4% of the female population, but they make up the majority of missing and murdered women.
The suspicion around the reason there are so few names in the inquiry website is that there are privacy and process concerns. We have talked with the minister about whether the government is in fact doing everything it can to get those files transferred over, but it has not been totally clear.
Over the past few weeks, the minister has said, “We are confident that the commission has the tools, the resources, and the networks to ensure that voices of families are heard and that they have the support they need.” However, that is not what we are hearing the families and survivors saying.
During the pre-inquiry process, there were 17 face-to-face meetings with more than 2,000 survivors and their families, as well as the front-line service providers. The RCMP says there are 1,200 women and girls, but the inquiry has really just a handful in comparison.
Dawn Lavell-Harvard, when she was the president of the Native Women's Association, said that the names of the missing women were in fact shared with the Liberal cabinet ministers during the pre-inquiry phase, so my question tonight is this: why is there such a discrepancy between the data that we know the government has and what has been given to the commissioners?