These issues were certainly not being raised for the first time…..Muriel Stanley Venne pointed to the National Aboriginal Women’s Summit of 2007, and the fact that no action had been taken on the recommendations made there. The Liberal, NDP and Bloc members all had questions relating to the impact on Aboriginal people of the government’s law and order agenda and crime bills, and the resulting decision to build new prisons at a large cost to the public. Some members (e.g. Crowder and Demers) were critical of the ongoing federal policies of colonization and assimilation, with Demers asking in despair at one point, “Qui sommes nous?” (”who are we”, referring to the settler society and all we have wrought). Demers also asked a question about whether the mandatory long form census should be reinstated as one way of gathering information about the circumstances of Aboriginal women. Witnesses agreed with this point, yet also noted that action rather than information gathering was required.
As a companion piece, consider
UN Special Rapporteur Investigates Epidemic of Violence Against American Indian Women in the United States: http://t.co/8D3qxa5