Ms. Dunn has been located and is safe, as reported by CKNW.
The Merritt, British Columbia Royal Canadian Mounted Police have issued a plea for assistance from the public in locating a missing woman: Daisy Dunn.
Ms. Dunn was last seen at the Road Runner Motel in Merritt on February 10, but has not been seen since then. Family members report that it is “out of character” for the 30-year-old woman to be out of contact with them for such a long period.
The Merritt resident is described as a First Nations female, standing 5 feet 2 inches tall, and weighing 110 pounds. Daisy Dunn has long brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone who has seen or been in communication with Dunn since February 10 is asked to contact the RCMP in Merritt at 250-378-4262 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Government of Canada is set to launch a formal national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in the country.
On Monday, the Canadian minister for the status of women, Patty Hajdu, and Carolyn Bennett, the minister for indigenous affairs and northern development, completed nationwide talks in a fact-finding mission leading up to the start of the inquiry, as reported by the CBC.
The ministers have uncovered a huge divide in the number of missing and murdered women and girls reported, in what is seen as a national epidemic. The RCMP reports that about 1,200 indigenous women and girls have gone missing or been murdered since 1980, while the Native Women’s Association of Canada estimates the number may be as high as 4,232.
“The gulf between 1,200 and pushing 4,000 is huge. Even if it is somewhere in the middle, it is still an outrageous number to [not have been investigated] until this point. I think that’s why it’s so important that this inquiry happen,” Dawn Lavell-Harvard, the president of the native woman’s association, was quoted by the CBC.
It is believed that some deaths ruled as suicides or accidents by the RCMP may actually have resulted from foul play.
“The families want certain cases reopened, we heard that coast to coast to coast. But there’s also the common theme of the uneven application of justice, from the quality of the search to whether it’s called a murder or not, to the charges that are laid, to the plea bargaining… it seems to the families that this is very different if the victim is indigenous,” Bennett was quoted. “If there has been misconduct, then it needs to be addressed.”
In October, eight members of the Sûreté du Québec were suspended and Public Security Minister Lise Thériault broke down in tears when announcing to the media that an investigation had been opened into allegations of physical and sexual assault committed against indigenous women on the part of Sûreté du Québec officers, which included reports of “starlight” tours, as previously covered by The Inquisitr.
A starlight tour is described as a stranding in a remote location, sometimes in extremely cold conditions, sometimes as a punishment for not complying with officers, and sometimes as a means of intimidation after First Nations women have been sexually assaulted.
Using the figure provided by the RCMP of 1,200 missing and murdered indigenous women between 1980 and 2012 amounts to about 16 percent of all murders in Canada; using the higher figure provided by the native woman’s association could more than triple that percentage. Despite accounting for such a staggeringly high number of deaths, First Nations women are reported to only comprise 4.3 percent of the Canadian population.
It has also been observed that while the overall number of murders in Canada has decreased, the number of murdered aboriginal women has remained steady. This has resulted in the proportion of murders committed against indigenous women, relative to other women, to leap from near 10 percent in the 1980s to over 27 percent in recent years.
[Image Courtesy RCMP]