Skip inquiry, address problems on reserves, say experts

Jessica Hume, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 6:20 PM ET

OTTAWA — Rather than calling for a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women, governments, First Nations leadership and communities should be asking why those such as 15-year-old Tina Fontaine are choosing to run away and risk life on the streets instead of staying with their families on reserve, experts say.

The body of the First Nations teen, a homicide victim found two weeks ago in Winnipeg's Red River, led to renewed calls for a national inquiry.

University of Toronto professor of political science Nelson Wiseman said he isn't confident an inquiry "would bring us any closer" to solutions and questioned why the federal government should play a lead role in what he sees as "an aboriginal problem."

"It's specifically a reserve problem," he said. "Look at the education levels on reserves. Where's the employment? Where's the welfare? Reserves are (generally) an abject failure by those criteria."

 

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