SASKATOON - A Saskatchewan senator is challenging the RCMP and the federal government to release statistics proving that 70 per cent of aboriginal females killed in cases solved by police have died at the hands of other aboriginals.
Lillian Dyck, who was in Saskatoon for a panel on missing and murdered aboriginal women, says the RCMP has not released the data that backs up that conclusion.
RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson released the statistic earlier this year in a letter addressed to Chief Bernice Martial of Cold Lake First Nation in Alberta.
Martial had asked Paulson to verify the number, questioning whether the figure, earlier spoken of by Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt, was accurate.
Paulson said the data from nearly 300 contributing police agencies "has confirmed that 70 per cent of the offenders were of aboriginal origin."
Dyck says she wonders if the federal government pressured the RCMP to back them up.
"I don’t think it’s true, someone should challenge them to release that data," she says.
Dyck says the lack of transparency is more reason to call for a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women.
She believes the situation stems from attitudes born in the residential school system that continue to linger.
“Two of the biggest factors are racism and sexism which we don’t really talk about," Dyck says. "You mix sexism and racism together then you have a potent cocktail that makes aboriginal women and girls vulnerable so mostly men feel they can pick on them, assault them and make sexual advances."