What happened to these Indigenous women and girls?
It was the data that got me. Not just the number of data points, but the shape of the data. The shape reminded me of a Holter monitor recording of a not-quite-right heart rate. Fitting, perhaps, as something definitely wasn’t right.
There is a person gone for each square. A person with friends, family, and a mystery. Each one was murdered or is missing. What happened to these nearly 300 Indigenous women and girls? This is the question that Connie Walker and her team at Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) News set out to answer with the series Missing & Murdered: The Unsolved Cases of Indigenous Women and Girls, started in 2015. The number of cases grows, but so does the attention paid. Finally.
Look at the date at the top left of the figure above. It took until August 2016 to get a government inquiry launched. That’s 2 years after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police released a report that said ~1,200 Indigenous women went missing or were murdered between 1980 and 2012. Twelve hundred. That’s over 3 dozen Indigenous women gone a year for 32 years. If those numbers shock you, prepare yourself. The Native Women’s Association of Canada says the number is ~4,000.
With numbers like these the individual can be lost. So let us start with just one – Alberta Williams. Who killed Alberta Williams? Learn about Alberta and her case in a podcast hosted by Connie Walker. Some questions will be answered, but more will be raised.
Featured image is from CBC News