Dear Mr. Hayes,
I am writing to express my discontent for the comments you made on Wednesday, March 4th, 2015 in regards to missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada.
You are reported to have said, “…we know who the murderers are…it’s not like they happened yesterday”. These comments were, in my opinion, unnecessary, hurtful and uneducated.
For instance, the report by the RCMP titled “Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women”: A National Operational Overview”, released in 2014 stated: [There are 225 unsolved cases of either missing or murdered Aboriginal females: 105 missing for more than 30 days as of November 4, 2013, whose cause of disappearance was categorized at the time as “unknown” or “foul play suspected”].
How is it with statistics such as these that you can publically state that you ‘know’ who the murderers are?
Why is it that the RCMP recognizes that report is merely a first step, and much more needs to be done, but you fail to realize it yourself?
I spoke to Chief Lyle Sayers and he informed me that you did not attempt to consult with him or any Aboriginal people in regards to the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women prior to making your comments in a public forum. It’s interesting that you expected Chief Sayers to contact you personally prior to utilizing the media to express his disagreement with your decisions. It’s interesting because you did not offer him, or anyone else, the respect of consultation to ensure your comments incorporated their feelings, were reflective of the truth and culturally appropriate.
It would appear that once again, the Conservative government has chosen to utilize one of its own as a pawn to a greater political agenda, which is bred in Eurocentric viewpoints, fueled by ignorance and an absolute disregard for the preservation of human rights and social justice in Canada.
The sad truth is, there are many unsolved missing and murdered cases of Aboriginal women across the country, and you and your party appear to lack the sincerity, dedication, and respect for culture it will take in order to progressively work towards a solution which protects our Aboriginal women from these tragedies occurring, and to provide our families and communities with a sense of security and understanding for what will be done to prevent history from continuing to repeat itself.
It is a shame to learn that you made such comments, without first consulting with the people it impacts the most. How do you think the families of these missing and murdered women feel hearing such hurtful words?
As a non-Aboriginal male, residing in Garden River, with a partner and 2 daughters who are Aboriginal; I know there is much more that all of us can do, and we look to the leaders for inspiration, not ignorance. I strive to become more culturally competent in all that I do, and I hope of you the same.
I urge you to support a National Inquiry into the matter and also; to provide a public apology to Chief Lyle Sayers and any others you may have offended with your remarks throughout our community and our country.
In the future, I hope you put forth an honest effort to foster a cooperative and respectful relationship with all members of your community.