expression — Ethnicities
women, mostly Aboriginal, whose disappearances or murders have gone unsolved by police.
Type: 6. Memorial — The expression missing and murdered women refers to cases where police have been said to have been negligent in their investigations, either because of a bias against women in the sex trade or Aboriginal women or both. Most of these unsolved cases concern women of Aboriginal ancestry (see the 2009 quotation); thus, the term often appears in the form of "missing and murdered Aboriginal women" (see the 2004 and 2014 quotations). As stated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, there is an urgency to "address the fact that Aboriginal women face considerably higher risks of violence and homicide" (see RCMP reference). Accordingly, the Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC) composed a database solely concerned with missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls (see the 2014 quotation).
Because these cases connect to large social issues, including sexism and racism, as well as the impact of residential schools and colonization on Aboriginal people, they have generated much debate.
As seen in Chart 1, the term is almost exclusive to Canada.
See also: residential school Royal Canadian Mounted Police
- 2001  The Mounties have joined forces with the Vancouver police department to review files related to the homicides and disappearances of 31 prostitutes in the city. RCMP Const. Danielle Efford said police will take a long and methodical look at the files of the missing and murdered women using the VICLAS computer system previously not available to the Vancouver police force. [...] Sex-trade workers in Vancouver's downtown eastside have feared a serial killer is responsible for the disappearance of several women since 1995. Vancouver police launched a poster campaign of the missing women in 1999 and have said many may have moved on.
- 2004  The report focuses on the stories of nine missing and murdered aboriginal women in Western Canada, which, it says, were chosen because they demonstrate the roles racial discrimination and sexism play in the response of police, other authorities and the media. Darlene Osborne, who has lost a granddaughter and cousin in the last three decades, made an impassioned plea for police officers and governments to get serious about combating violence and solving the cases of the missing and murdered women.
- 2006  She was one of the first in a series of missing and murdered women since 1990 who now collectively define the so-called Highway of Tears -- the span of roadway between Prince Rupert and Prince George.
- 2008  When Danielle Boudreau hits the streets on Valentine's Day, she hopes to be joined by hundreds of people. She is organizing the third annual memorial march for all the missing and murdered women in Edmonton.
- 2009  Walk 4 Justice is aimed to raise awareness about violence against women; particularly the growing number of missing and murdered women across Canada, most whom are from Aboriginal ancestry.
- 2010  By hosting the Olympics, we apparently are ignoring "the pressing issues of homelessness, gentrification, missing and murdered women, poverty, and criminalization in the DTES," according to the press release. Quite a grab bag.
- 2011  Over the last five years, 582 indigenous women have been identified as missing or murdered in Canada. For the last three years, the Memorial March for Missing and Murdered Women has sought to remember those who are lost.
- 2014  Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) has created a database of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls. NWAC has worked hard to research every case, yet we believe there are still many more cases to document. The statistics below are based on NWAC’s database as of March 31, 2010.
Chart 1: Internet Domain Search, 22 May 2014