The Canadian Association For Equality (CAFE) has announced that the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls will be expanded to include the missing and murdered indigenous men and boys. The number of missing men and boys is estimated to be two or three times larger than the number of missing women and girls.
CAFE played a leading role in building the coalition calling for the inclusion of men and boys in the inquiry and hosted an event featuring Chief Ernie Crey, from Cheam First Nation, in Ottawa on December 7, 2016 to discuss the missing and murdered indigenous people.
CAFE released a statement to the media, reproduced in full here:
Media Advisory – For Immediate Release
*Coalition Applauds National Inquiry Announcement That Indigenous Boys and
Men Will be Included*
OTTAWA, ONTARIO — (January 30, 2016) The Coalition to *Expand the Inquiry* is applauding the recent announcement by the *National Inquiry Into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls* that boys and men will be welcomed to share their stories as part of this process.
On January 11, 2016, the Aboriginal People’s Television Network broke the news with a statement from the *National Inquiry*:
"There is no doubt that families of missing and murdered Indigenous men and boys are a potentially important source of information as the National Inquiry proceeds with its hearings and other information gathering processes. Furthermore, it has already been recognized that, particularly in domestic violence situations, the often male aggressor has often been the victim himself of sexual or other childhood violence thus perpetuating the cycle of violence so well documented. The National Inquiry is examining ways in which the testimonies and stories of men and boys might be collected in safe, respectful, and efficient ways, insofar as this potential information may be relevant to its overall mandate of examining systemic causes of violence, including sexual violence, against Indigenous women and girls.”
“To those families who contact me having lost a loved one, their grief and heartbreak is just as deep whether the loss is of a daughter or a son,” said Ernie Crey, *Expand the Inquiry* Coalition Chair and BC Indigenous leader. “Those families that have experienced the tragedy of a murdered or missing young man are heartened to know that there is now room at the table for their stories.”
“We are so pleased by this decision to provide a forum of inclusion and equality,” said Justin Trottier, Executive Director of the Canadian Association for Equality, a Coalition member organization and an educational charity working to integrate men’s issues within gender
equality. “The statement by the *National Inquiry* acknowledges the case we’ve been making that this initiative will only be effective at discovering the root cause of violence if we listen to all families who have experienced tragedy and if we incorporate all available data.”
Statistics Canada data on murdered Indigenous peoples over a 29 year period (1982-2011) show that over 70% of murdered Indigenous Canadians were men and boys.
With this green light, the Coalition to *Expand the Inquiry *will now work hard to ensure that no families are left out of this process and is proud to be playing a role in making the *National Inquiry *as successful as possible.
Chief Ernie Crey
Expand the Inquiry Coalition Chairperson
Executive Director, Canadian Association for Equality (coalition member