Aboriginal men 7 times more likely to be murdered: StatsCan

Published On November 26, 2015 | By HN Staff | News

Branden Liezert

A new Statistics Canada report has revealed that, in 2014, almost a quarter of all the homicide victims in Canada were Aboriginals.

In 2014, 117 of 516 homicide victims were Aboriginal, which is about 23 per cent, even though Aboriginals only account for five per cent of the total Canadian population.

Indigenous and Aboriginal affairs expert, John Steckley, said the numbers don’t surprise him.

“It doesn’t surprise me. It disappoints me. It worries me,” said Steckley, a retired professor from Humber College in Toronto.

The report, released Wednesday, said that Aboriginal males were seven times more likely to be victims of homicides than non-Aboriginal males.

Statistics Canada revealed that 117 of 516 homicide victims in 2014 were Aboriginal, which is about 23%, event though the Aboriginals only account for 5% of the total Canadian population.

StatsCan revealed that 23 per cent, even though the Aboriginals only account for five per cent of the total Canadian population. (Photo/flickr)

According to StatsCan, Aboriginal-women are six times more likely to be victims than their non-Aboriginal counterparts.

In Ontario alone, the rate of Aboriginal homicide victims per 100,000 people was six times higher than non-Aboriginal people in Ontario per 100,000 people.

Steckley said the statistics being released could be the driving force for action behind Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s vow to look into the cases of missing Aboriginal women.

“You need that kind of thing because then you can call the politicians on it and say ‘look, you can say your program is working, but look at the numbers,'” Steckley said. “It’s good for responsibility and for accountability.”

According to Steckley, Aboriginal males being seven times more likely to be victims of homicide in comparison to their non-Aboriginal counterparts has been, for the most part, steady for the past several years.

The report also said that Aboriginal males were three times more likely to be homicide victims than Aboriginal women.

“It’s part situational. One part of it is involvement in gangs,” Steckley said. “Another part of it is just putting yourself in danger – males are more likely to do that.”

The report said that in cases where the homicide victims were Aboriginal,  a higher percentage – 85 per cent – were solved. In comparison, 71 per cent of homicides where the victims were non-Aboriginal were solved.

When the question comes up as to how to lower the Aboriginal homicide victim percentage, Steckley indentified possible solutions.

“It has to be broad based. I think part of it is the financial development of reserves. That’s one,” Steckley added.

“Two is education – education about Aboriginal people. The discrimination is huge,” he said.

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