Kelly Ellard is a murderer, and, according to recent reports, she is also about to be a mother. She was granted a conjugal visit while serving a life sentence for the murder of 14 year old Reena Virk, whom she beat to death under a bridge when she was only 15 herself. She was sentenced in 2005 to life in prison, a term of 25 years in Canada, with no possibility of parole for 7 years. She is now 33 years old and 8 months pregnant with the child of a heroin addict who is serving a jail sentence himself for breaking into homes to finance his addiction. Read more
“Who is walking with our brothers?”
There are few academics and media outlets who focus on the epidemic of violence that is a reality for the Aboriginal peoples in this country but it is undeniable. First Nations Canadians are 6 times more likely to die as a result of violence as compared to Caucasian Canadians. In total this group comprises a mere 5% of the population and yet accounts for 23% of its homicides.
This is shocking and it is unacceptable.
Those who do shed light on the brutal reality facing our Indigenous communities primarily focus on the plight of female victims alone, portraying the missing and murdered among this group as “human beings, worthy of justice”, and advocate that these mothers, sisters and daughters “should not be forgotten”. Let me be clear that these victims are most certainly deserving of justice, and this process often requires advocacy. For this reason, this treatment is both necessary and kind and should be applauded and encouraged.
Sadly this compassionate dignity is not often paid to male victims, which defies both reason and logic in the context of the science on this topic. Aboriginal men are nearly 3 times more likely to die than their female counterparts, meaning that slightly over 70% of all violent deaths in this community are of men and boys. Being male and Native in this country is clearly a dangerous birthright, yet as blogger Mônijâw so aptly opines:
“Aboriginal men are murdered extremely often, relative to all other groups, and their homicides are more rarely solved. And nobody really cares. And you can even say you don’t care in public, as a representative of the police. Because you know nobody else really cares either.”
Following this script closely, the Trudeau government has yet to even speak to the reality of the violence that faces Aboriginal men. As they push forward with their proposed inquiry into murdered and missing women and girls with an almost smug sureness that few among us will fact check the numbers on this issues, or be that bothered by what they show, I have to wonder – are they right? Does anyone besides the families of these murdered and missing men care if they receive the justice that they are equally worthy of?
I am not sure how an inquiry which neglects almost 3/4th of victims is meant to produce solutions, I just hope it somehow still does. The need for them is clear and urgent, and this sad fact is evidence based.
There is a petition for a gender inclusive inquiry here.
Please take a minute to show your support.