Deathscapes

Targeting of Indigenous Women 2i - The Targeting of Indigenous Girls: lethal delays

Deathscapes

Indigenous Girls: lethal delays

[imagecaption] NAIDOC rally, Narrm (Melbourne), Kulin Nations, 2016. Photo: Charandev Singh. [/imagecaption]

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Crimes against children and cases of their disappearance should be treated with the utmost urgency by law enforcement agencies. In the case of Indigenous girls in Canada, the US and Australia, however, the experiences of families are often characterised by lethal indifference, disbelief on the part of authorities and delays in issuing alerts and conducting missing persons investigations. It is clear that the safety and protections afforded to Indigenous girls are not equal to those given to other children.

CBC’s database of missing and murdered Indigenous girls in Canada names almost 50 girls. Leah Anderson a 15 year old Cree girl is one of them. She left home to go ice skating one night with friends, but did not make it back by her curfew. Her body was discovered two days later. Six years on, her family are still searching for answers.

In the US, in May 2016 Ashlynne Mike, an 11 year old Navajo girl, was abducted while walking home from school with her younger brother, in Shiprock, New Mexico. Her brother managed to escape and was picked up and brought home. Ashlynne’s family immediately attempted to contact law enforcement agencies, urging them to issue an amber alert. The following day her body was discovered, with indications of her having been subject to rape before her brutal murder. Although her killer was apprehended soon after, if the Amber Alert had been issued sooner, could Ashlynne have been found, and saved? In the case of Monica Still Smoking, who was 8 years old when she disappeared on the Blackfeet Reservation in 1979, despite her body being found within two weeks of her disappearance, over 30 years later her killer remains unknown.

 

 

 


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