The Tachie reserve in northern British Columbia. In Carrier, the indigenous language in Tachie and many indigenous communities in northern BC, the literal translation of the word for police is “those who take us away.” An RCMP report on the historical involvement of the police in Canada’s residential school system found that “The police were not perceived as a source for help but rather as an authority figure who takes members of the community away from the reserve or makes arrests for wrong-doing.”
The Canadian government should set up an independent national inquiry into the violence experienced by indigenous women and girls and create a system for greater accountability for police misconduct, Human Rights Watch said today. Representatives from Human Rights Watch testified on January 30, 2014, before the Special Committee on Violence Against Indigenous Women in the Canadian House of Commons. They also urged officials to hold police responsible for misconduct.