17 Saskatchewan Response and National Developments regarding Missing Persons and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Betty Ann Pottruff and Barbara Tomporowski

Betty Ann Pottruff & Barbara Tomporowski[1]

In 2008, Saskatchewan officials provided information to the Missing Women Conference in Regina regarding the actions of the Provincial Partnership Committee on Missing Persons (PPCMP) to better understand and respond to missing persons cases. This article provides an update about the PPCMP, discusses national developments regarding violence against Indigenous women and girls and missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG), and describes the work occurring in Saskatchewan to address these issues.

Public concern about missing persons, including cases of missing Indigenous women, led the Saskatchewan government to announce a plan to address the issues in fall 2005. The plan was based on three elements: increased resources to support police investigations, the development of a province-wide policy and protocol to standardize how reports of missing persons are received and investigated, and a strengthened partnership among government, police agencies, Indigenous, and community organizations to support families and communities when identifying and responding to missing persons cases. This led to the establishment of the PPCMP, which is unique to Saskatchewan. The PPCMP was formed in January 2006 with organizations that had a provincial scope and the expertise and perspectives regarding missing persons that would help them come together as a partnership of equals to improve collaboration and the support provided to families and communities when people go missing. While Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice officials have chaired the PPCMP since its inception, each member from participating organizations is responsible for developing and supporting the partnership by sharing the workload and contributing resources and expertise. The mandate established in 2006 is set out in Figure 1.

The PPCMP builds trust and cooperation between government, justice, and non-profit sectors. The original members included Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice (both Policing and Policy areas), Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Women’s Commission, Saskatchewan Aboriginal Women’s Circle Corporation, Child Find Saskatchewan, STOPS To Violence, Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan, Métis Family and Community Justice Services Inc., Search and Rescue Saskatchewan Association of Volunteers, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police. Over the last decade, membership has grown as more organizations contribute to this important work, including the Saskatchewan Chief Coroners Service, Victims Services, Caring Hearts Inc., municipal police services, and provincial ministries involved with child protection, education, health, and government relations. Each member is ultimately responsible to their organization for their participation and the partnership’s work.

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PROVINCIAL  PARTNERSHIP COMMITTEE ON MISSING PERSONS MANDATE

 Vision:

Work towards a future that ensures that when people go missing there is a full response that mobilizes all necessary participants and that recognizes the equal value of every life.

Goals:

  • to raise awareness of and support public education around the reasons why people go missing;
  • to promote prevention strategies;
  • to encourage cooperation and partnerships amongst agencies to better support families and communities where someone goes missing; and
  • to enhance capacity to respond to cases of missing persons at the family, community, and provincial level.

Principle:

The Partnership recognizes that people go missing for a variety of reasons and will work to respond specifically to each of these reasons, as brought forward by the members of the Partnership Committee, while addressing the needs of all missing persons.

Key areas where action will be taken or recommended

  • Raise awareness of and support public education on the risks to Saskatchewan citizens that lead to persons going missing.
  • Recommend, implement or promote prevention strategies.
  • Build a network of protective interventions to assist in deterring or responding to missing persons cases.
  • Develop supports to help families and communities identify missing persons cases, support their role in responding to these cases and in addressing the families’ immediate and long-term needs.
  • Identify best practices in responding to missing persons cases.
  • Improve understanding of roles and responsibilities to help agencies network and communicate (could require development of protocols).
  • Improve data and information collection and information sharing between agencies in missing persons cases.
  • Suggest improvements to police reporting procedures/policies on missing persons cases.
  • Suggest ways to work to improve media coverage of missing persons cases.

Figure 1: Mandate of Saskatchewan’s Provincial Partnership Committee on Missing Persons

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The Committee issued an interim report, met with families of missing persons in February and March 2007, and issued a final report containing twenty areas of recommendations to support families, raise awareness, prevent people from going missing, and improve the response by police and other services (Provincial Partnership Committee on Missing Persons, October 2007).

Around the same time the PPCMP was established and was developing its mandate, the Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police (SACP) developed and launched the province-wide missing persons website in spring 2006, which includes cases from 1935 onward. The website, which can be found at www.sacp.ca, contains photos and information about persons who have been missing for more than six months, and about unidentified human remains. It also contains information created by the PPCMP, such as a checklist for families to follow if someone goes missing and other public awareness materials prepared for the annual Missing Persons Week that has been recognized in Saskatchewan every May since 2013.

Characteristics of Missing Persons in Saskatchewan

As part of the initial work to support the PPCMP, Dr. Jeffrey Pfeifer (2006) conducted research that found 4,496 reports to police regarding missing persons in 2005. These reports represented 2,956 individuals, and the majority of missing persons were between the ages of nine and eighteen. The difference between the number of reports and the number of missing people results from individuals going missing multiple times during the year, particularly youth who repeatedly leave home or foster care and who were referred to as “chronic runaways” (8). The data also reveals that there is an equal distribution of missing males and females. The majority of missing persons where ethnicity was reported were Caucasian or First Nations/Aboriginal, but ethnicity was not listed for many individuals. The number of First Nations/Aboriginal persons reported missing was and remains disproportionate to their representation in the population.

While Dr. Pfeifer’s research has not been repeated to date, the available information suggests that the numbers and characteristics of those reported missing has not changed. This includes ongoing concerns about how to reduce the number of youth who repeatedly go missing. This contributed to the development of the 11 and Under Initiative, a collaborative partnership that supports children under the age of twelve who are exhibiting behaviors that put them at risk for criminal involvement or who are at increased risk for victimization. Children are referred to the 11 and Under Initiative through an early identification process, and an integrated case management system links them and their families to human service supports and community partners[2].

Over 99 percent of missing persons cases are resolved, often within a few days. Unfortunately, there are a number of long-term cases in which people have been missing over six months. These cases are profiled on the SACP website. Although long-term police investigations into missing persons reports are sometimes called “cold cases,” they remain open and under investigation until solved. As of the date this article was written in September 2019, the SACP website listed 134 missing persons between 1935 and March 2019 (ninety-seven males and thirty-seven females) in addition to nine cases involving unidentified human remains and twenty-nine located persons.

There has been considerable attention to the issue of missing Indigenous women in Canada. The SACP website uses the terms Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal status where known. As of March 2019, eighteen of the missing women were Caucasian and nineteen were of Aboriginal ethnicity. Since the SACP started recording long-term missing persons in 2006, the number of missing Aboriginal women in Saskatchewan has consistently been about 50 percent of total females missing. In comparison, only 11.3 percent of missing women in Canada were Aboriginal (Royal Canadian Mounted Police 2015, 13; Figure 5). This shows an overrepresentation of Aboriginal women among the missing, particularly when Aboriginal women accounted for only 16 percent of the female population of Saskatchewan (Status of Women Office, 2016). In contrast, the SACP website shows that fifty-three of the missing men in Saskatchewan are Caucasian, two are visible minorities, and forty-two are Aboriginal. Canada’s National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains (NCMPUR) doesn’t provide national ethnicity data but does indicate that 57 percent of missing adult reports involve males and 73 percent of missing child reports involve runaways (National Center for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains 2018).

It is sometimes assumed that people who go missing have fallen victim to violence. While this may be the case, the data and the experience of the PPCMP indicate that people go missing for many reasons.

  • Sixty-eight percent of missing person reports in Saskatchewan in 2005 involved children, according to Pfeifer’s research. These missing children were primarily runaways, as less than 1 percent of all missing children cases involve child abduction, usually by a parent based on NCMPUR data (National Center for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains 2018).
  • People with health concerns such as Alzheimer disease are at risk of going missing if they become lost.
  • People suffering from mental health issues may be at risk of suicide.
  • People can get lost and be reported as missing when engaging in outdoor activities such as hiking, hunting, and boating.
  • Foul play or criminal conduct can also cause people to be reported missing. This is a clear concern in the disproportionate number of missing Indigenous women.

Updates on the PPCMP

For the last decade, the PPCMP has been implementing and advocating for the implementation of the recommendations in its 2007 Final Report. The Committee met again with families of missing persons in 2009, which led to further recommendations on topics such as the need to work with jurisdictions outside Saskatchewan, support families financially or through networking, and the importance of continuing to build the partnership (PPCMP 2009). To follow up on these recommendations, in 2011 the PPCMP organized a meeting with officials from Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, the Yukon, and other partners to discuss how to work together to address the needs of families. This Regional Forum led to more recommendations for action on supporting families and how to support work within and across jurisdictions (Policy, Planning and Evaluation Branch 2011).

The PPCMP completed a Strategic Business Plan in 2012, which identified key areas of focus for the Partnership Committee regarding working together, raising awareness, and supporting families (Child Find Saskatchewan 2012)[3]. The PPCMP has implemented or made progress on implementing most of the recommendations from 2007, 2009, and the 2012 Strategic Business Plan. Examples include the following.

  • Missing Persons Weeks have been proclaimed annually in Saskatchewan since 2013 to promote public awareness and understanding by addressing myths regarding missing persons, profiling different types of cases from across the province, creating a hypothetical case for people to follow, highlighting the range of services for families, and reaffirming that those missing are not forgotten.
  • In 2009, Saskatchewan proclaimed The Missing Persons and Presumption of Death Act to assist families to administer assets of missing persons. The Act was amended in 2018 to allow law enforcement agencies access to a wider range of records to help in the search for a missing person.
  • The Saskatchewan Police Commission and Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police approved a policy for recording and investigating missing person cases which applies to all municipal police services in the province.  The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have a similar policy.
  • The SACP and Victims Services Branch agreed upon a new policy to ensure all families of missing persons who need support are referred to police-based victim services. In addition, three missing persons liaison workers in Regina, Saskatoon, and Prince Albert are available to support families and assist victim services across the province[4].
  • The PPCMP created materials that are posted on the Ministry of Justice website, such as a checklist for families, a media kit, an inventory of agencies, and an Agency Response Guide to assist agencies in supporting the families and friends of missing persons.
  • On September 19, 2014, the PPCMP dedicated an oak tree in Wascana Centre in Regina to remember missing persons. In 2016, the Place of Reflection for families at the RCMP Training Academy in Regina was formally dedicated. Members of the PPCMP contributed funds for this location.
  • In 2014, the PPCMP also began to focus on supporting families and assisting both service providers and families to understand the impact of trauma when a loved one disappears. That fall, the PPCMP held a series of workshops about how to cope with or support individuals experiencing ambiguous loss, which describes the feelings of those who are caught in a cycle of hope and grieving for a missing person whose fate is unknown (British Columbia Missing Women Commission of Inquiry 2012, 38). These workshops were held in Regina and Saskatoon and were broadcast in northern Saskatchewan via the Telehealth network. Since then, further training for over 6,400 service providers has occurred in partnership with Caring Hearts Inc. regarding trauma-informed practice. Caring Hearts Inc. provides these training sessions to Indigenous communities upon request and involves Elders in the sessions.

National Developments

In addition to its activities in Saskatchewan, the PPCMP’s recommendations have informed national work regarding missing persons and MMIWG. For example, the recommendation to develop a national police database was acted upon by the federal government with the creation of the NCMPUR[5]. The PPCMP’s work also contributed to the national dialogue regarding missing women, informed the report of the Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) Working Group on Missing Women (Coordinating Committee of Senior Officials, 2012), and was cited as a best practice in the British Columbia Missing Women Commission of Inquiry (2012, 160). Moreover, both the PPCMP’s work and the FPT report on missing women contributed to the national dialogue on violence against Indigenous women and girls (VAIWG), including MMIWG.

Over the past several years, there has been growing awareness and concern among Indigenous communities, provincial justice agencies, FPT governments, academics, and the public about the troubling issue of VAIWG. Figure 2 shows a continuum of violence that can result in Indigenous women and girls going missing and being murdered.

Figure 2. Continuum of Violence, Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice.

In January 2012, FPT Ministers Responsible for Justice and Public Safety agreed to continue to collaborate and develop a common approach to VAIWG. They directed their officials to develop a flexible justice framework to coordinate FPT justice actions to address VAIWG. The FPT Working Group on Aboriginal Justice reviewed thirty reports, found similar themes among the findings and recommendations, and prepared a draft justice framework. In November 2013, FPT Ministers agreed to publicly release the draft so jurisdictions could hold dialogues with Indigenous groups and other partners. FPT jurisdictions approached these dialogues in many ways. For example, Saskatchewan held twenty-two meetings with over 700 people, including the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, Métis Family and Community Justice Services, First Nations, Tribal Councils, community justice workers, court workers, victims’ services programs, interpersonal violence and abuse programs, both Saskatchewan universities, and other groups. The Ministry also supported the Saskatchewan Aboriginal Women’s Circle Corporation (SAWCC) in holding dialogues with Aboriginal women and in Aboriginal communities, and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations held dialogues as well.

While feedback was being compiled regarding the draft FPT Justice Framework, FPT Justice Ministers released a progress report in October 2014 with examples of activities already underway to prevent and respond to VAIWG. Next, several national events occurred to discuss VAIWG and MMIWG, such as the 2015 and 2016 National Roundtables and the Justice Practitioners Summit in Manitoba. The National Roundtables included leaders from Indigenous organizations and FPT governments, representatives from Indigenous organizations, families of MMIWG, and many others. Saskatchewan’s delegation to the 2015 National Roundtable included the Minister of Justice, government officials, and representatives from the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Women’s Commission and SAWCC. The Roundtable referred to the draft FPT Justice Framework to Address VAIWG and adopted the following principles.

  • Human Rights: VAIWG violates numerous human rights including the right to life, to security, to equality, and to be free of discrimination.
  • Shared responsibility: Preventing and addressing violence against Indigenous women and children is a shared responsibility, requiring shared commitments across governments and communities.
  • Community-based solutions: Solutions to prevent and end violence against Indigenous women and children must be led and delivered by Indigenous communities, which may need support to build community capacity to prevent and respond to VAIWG.
  • A focus on healing: Addressing violence against Indigenous women and children acknowledges the need for improved relationships based on respect and understanding among Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Canadians and the need for holistic approaches in concert with support for the healing of individuals and communities.
  • A collaborative focus: Indigenous Peoples must be partners in developing and implementing responses to address VAIWG.
  • Bringing about behavioral change: Addressing and preventing VAIWG requires a shift in societal attitudes and behaviours within individuals, institutions, and organizations, including men and boys, who are key agents of that change.
  • Changing the discourse: Mobilizing Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities to change how we talk about the issues can help reframe institutional responses, community perspectives, and individual attitudes.

The National Roundtable also led to a commitment to hold the Justice Practitioners Summit in January 2016 to bring together victims’ services agencies , police, prosecutors, and others to discuss the justice system response in cases of MMIWG. Results from the summit and other developments were the focus of discussions at the second National Roundtable in February 2016 in which Saskatchewan’s Minister of Justice also participated, along with the FSIN Women’s Commission, SAWCC, approximately twelve families of MMIWG, and provincial officials. Work continues on commitments from the 2016 National Roundtable, such as cultural competency training and improving communication and coordination between the justice system and Indigenous communities.

The FPT Justice Framework to Address VAIWG was finalized and publicly released by FPT Ministers Responsible for Justice and Public Safety in January 2016[6]. Its purpose is to assist FPT Ministers of Justice and Public Safety in taking a coordinated approach to working with Indigenous Peoples to stop the violence. Since it will be up to each FPT jurisdiction to work with Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners on responses that are effective and appropriate for their communities, the FPT Justice Framework provides principles and priorities rather than detailed recommendations. The principles include elements such as reconciliation and building trust, a shared responsibility for preventing and addressing violence, community-based solutions, and the importance of changing attitudes and behaviours. The priorities include:

  • improving the relationship between justice sector professionals (including police) and Indigenous people;
  • supporting Indigenous communities in the development of individual and community safety initiatives that respond to their unique cultural, traditional, and socioeconomic needs and realities;
  • engaging the whole community, including government departments, non-government agencies, families, and community-based organizations in prevention, intervention, and assistance for victims and offenders;
  • improving responses to violence within intimate relationships and families;
  • supporting alternatives to mainstream court where appropriate and effective;
  • identifying strategies within the existing justice system to support Indigenous women who are victims of violence and their children;
  • addressing the safety and healing of individuals (victims, offenders, witnesses), families, and communities; and
  • improving coordination across government departments and among provinces, territories, the federal government, and Indigenous communities.

While these inter-jurisdictional events were occurring in 2015 and 2016, Saskatchewan Justice officials continued to work with Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners including police, to discuss how the province could develop an inclusive approach to address VAIWG in families and communities. The principles approved at the National Roundtable in 2015 were reviewed, and the partners agreed to adapt these principles to the Saskatchewan context.

In summer 2016, the federal government announced the establishment of the National Inquiry into MMIWG, which was originally intended to operate from September 1, 2016 to December 31, 2018. The Commission was mandated to examine and report on the systemic causes of the violence experienced by Indigenous women and girls, “including underlying social, economic, cultural, institutional and historical causes” and “institutional policies and practices implemented in response to violence.”[7] To create a truly national inquiry, all provincial and territorial governments were asked to authorize the Commission to review matters within the jurisdiction’s area of responsibility. This had never been done before, and it took time to work out the technical and legal requirements for each jurisdiction. Saskatchewan publicly supported the National Inquiry in September 2016 by passing an Order in Council mirroring the federal terms of reference.

The Commission met with families and survivors of violence and held a number of events across the country. This included fifteen community hearings, statement taking events with families of MMIWG and survivors of violence, institutional hearings, and Knowledge Keeper and Expert Hearings. According to the National Inquiry website, as of April 20, 2018, the Commission had heard 1,484 testimonies from families and survivors. The Expert Hearings considered topics such as Indigenous laws, decolonizing perspectives, human rights, racism, and international law. There were hearings about the criminal justice system, the child protection system, and sexual exploitation, in addition to a number of guided dialogues to gather perspectives from two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersexual, and asexual (2SLGBTQQIA) people, the Métis and Inuit, and those in Québec. The Institutional Hearings, which examined the systemic causes of VAIWG and violence against 2SLGBTQQIA people, covered matters such as policing and government services. The Commission heard testimony about the PPCMP during the Institutional Hearing into Government Services from May 28 to June 1, 2018.

Provincial officials worked throughout the National Inquiry’s term to support this important national process, to respond to Commission requests, and to support families by establishing a Family Information Liaison Unit (FILU). The FILU is funded by the federal government to assist families in accessing information regarding a family member who may be missing or murdered. Several Saskatchewan Indigenous groups also played vital roles in supporting families during the National Inquiry, such as SAWCC, the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Family Information Liaison Office, Regina Treaty/Status Indian Services, Iskwewuk Ewichiwitochik (Women Walking Together), and the Prince Albert Grand Council Women’s Commission.

The National Inquiry’s Final Report, Reclaiming Power and Place, was released at a ceremony in Gatineau, Quebec, on June 3, 2019. It contains 231 Calls for Justice directed at governments, institutions, industries, the media, and all Canadians. The Calls for Justice address a wide range of topics, including health and wellness, education, social services, housing, justice, and governance. The release of the Final Report was attended by the Prime Minister of Canada, provincial and territorial ministers, Elders and Knowledge Keepers, families of MMIWG, representatives from Indigenous organizations, victims and survivors of violence, representatives from justice agencies, and many other groups.

The Commission found that a “significant, persistent, and deliberate pattern of systemic racial and gendered human rights and Indigenous rights violations and abuses . . . is the cause of the disappearances, murders, and violence experienced by Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people.” The Final Report calls for “an absolute paradigm shift . . . to dismantle colonialism within Canadian society, and from all levels of government and public institutions” (National Inquiry, “Executive Summary” 2019, 60). This will require work to address four pathways that have sustained colonialism: historical, multigenerational, and intergenerational trauma; the social and economic marginalization of Indigenous people; institutional lack of will; and ignoring the agency and expertise of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people (National Inquiry, “Executive Summary” 2019, 11).

Indigenous groups, community-based agencies, governments, institutions, professionals, academics, and members of the public are analyzing the Final Report and considering how to make progress on these and other important issues. Many of the Calls for Justice relate to VAIWG, and two focus specifically on missing persons. Call for Justice 5.6 is, “We call upon provincial and territorial governments to develop an enhanced, holistic, comprehensive approach for the provision of support to Indigenous victims of crime and families and friends of Indigenous murdered or missing persons.” Call for Justice 5.8 is, “We call upon all provincial and territorial governments to enact missing persons legislation.” As previously discussed, Saskatchewan has some responses that are consistent with these calls, such as The Missing Persons and Presumption of Death Act, access to victims services for families, and the missing person liaison positions. There may be other things that could be done to address the needs and concerns of families of MMIWG and victims and survivors of violence. The Final Report mentions the importance of trusting relationships with Indigenous people as one vital step for Indigenous women and 2SLGTBQQIA people to experience justice[8].

Final Thoughts and Next Steps

The PPCMP recognized its tenth anniversary in 2017 and released a ten-year progress report in 2018 regarding how the original twenty recommendations from 2007 were implemented. The PPCMP reviewed the actions taken over its ten-year history in order to reflect on the good work that has occurred, take stock of current issues, and develop further actions. The resulting progress report indicates that fourteen of the twenty recommendations had been completely or substantially implemented, such as enacting legislation, standardizing police practices in missing persons cases, developing supports for families, and the establishment of a national database (Provincial Partnership Committee on Missing Persons 2018). The progress report also highlights the need to continue raising public awareness about matters related to missing persons and indicates that four recommendations are ongoing. The ongoing recommendations include matters related to search and rescue and increasing the capacity of Indigenous communities to respond when someone goes missing. Additionally, two of the original twenty recommendations were considered outside the scope of the PPCMP to significantly influence. One of these two recommendations relates to media sensitivity when reporting about missing persons. The other concerns the role of school-community councils in educating people about these topics.

The process of reviewing its history and progress led the PPCMP to consider new initiatives. The Committee is currently reviewing its mandate and developing a new work plan with additional ways to enhance communications and public education.

The National Inquiry into MMIWG will undoubtedly lead to more attention regarding the reasons why Indigenous women and girls are disproportionately reported missing and become the victims of violence, including homicide. The Commission’s findings will help inform the future work of the PPCMP and many organizations in striving to support individuals, families and communities to live in safe communities that reflect the PPCMP’s mandate of “the equal value of every life”.

References

British Columbia Missing Women Commission of Inquiry. Forsaken: The Report of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry. Volume III: Gone, but not Forgotten: Building the Women’s Legacy of Safety Together. 2012.

http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/law-crime-and-justice/about-bc-justice-system/inquiries/forsaken-vol_3.pdf.

Child Find Saskatchewan. Strategic Business Plan: Addressing the Needs of Missing Persons and their Families. June 2012. http://publications.gov.sk.ca/documents/9/86191-Strategic%20Business%20Plan.pdf.

Coordinating Committee of Senior Officials (Criminal). Missing Women Working Group Report and Recommendations on Issues Related to the High Number of Murdered and Missing Women in Canada. January 2012. http://publications.gov.sk.ca/documents/9/86178-FPT-%20Missing%20Women%20Report-2012.pdf.

Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers Responsible for Justice and Public Safety. Federal-Provincial-Territorial Justice Framework to Address Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls. January 21, 2016 http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/law-crime-and-justice/about-bc-justice-system/publications/fpt-justice-framework-english.pdf.

Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers Responsible for Justice and Public Safety. Federal-Provincial-Territorial Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Justice and Public Safety – Progress Report – Addressing Violence Against Aboriginal Women and Girls. Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat. October 17, 2014. http://www.scics.gc.ca/english/Conferences.asp?a=viewdocument&id=2246.

National Center for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains. “Background, 2018 Fast Fact Sheet.” http://www.canadasmissing.ca/pubs/2018/index-eng.htm.

National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Vol. 1. June 2019. https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/final-report/.

———. “Executive Summary of the Final Report.” In Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Vol. 1. June 2019. https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/final-report/.

Pfeifer, Jeffrey. Missing Persons in Saskatchewan: Police Policy and Practice. November 2006. http://publications.gov.sk.ca/documents/9/86185-Jeff%20Pfeifer%20Report%20on%20Missing%20Persons%20-%20Police%20Policy%20and%20Practice.pdf.

Policy, Planning and Evaluation Branch, Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice. Report on the 2011 Western Regional Forum on Supporting Families of Missing Persons. May 26, 2011. http://publications.gov.sk.ca/documents/9/86189-Report%20on%20the%202011%20Western%20Regional%20Forum%20Report%20-%20Final.pdf.

Provincial Partnership Committee on Missing Persons. Progress Report 2007 – 2018. 2018. https://pubsaskdev.blob.core.windows.net/pubsask-prod/106938/106938-Provincial_Partnership_Committee_on_Missing_Persons_Progress_Report_2007-2018.pdf.

———. Provincial Partnership Committee on Missing Persons Family Meetings – October 14 & 16, 2009. Online: http://publications.gov.sk.ca/documents/9/86188-Report%20on%20Family%20Meetings%20from%20October%202009.pdf.

———. Final Report of the Provincial Partnership Committee on Missing Persons. October 2007. http://publications.gov.sk.ca/documents/9/86177-Final%20Report%20on%20PPCMP%202007.pdf.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women: 2015 Update to the National Operational Overview. 2015. http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/en/missing-and-murdered-aboriginal-women-2015-update-national-operational-overview.

Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice. Runaway Children and Youth: Saskatchewan Policy and Practice. May 2010. http://publications.gov.sk.ca/documents/9/86190-Runaway%20Children%20and%20Youth%20Research%20Report.pdf.

Status of Women Office. Indigenous Women of Saskatchewan. Demographic and Socioeconomic Profiles of Saskatchewan Women, Report 1. Prepared for Saskatchewan Status of Women Office by Doug Elliot. August 2016. http://publications.gov.sk.ca/.


  1. The authors were co-chair and chair of what was originally named the Provincial Partnership Committee on Missing Persons, but which at the time of this publication is now named the Saskatchewan Missing Persons Partnership. Although one of the authors is employed with the Government of Saskatchewan, this article solely reflects her personal views. It does not reflect the views of the Government of Saskatchewan, Ministry of Justice and Attorney General, or Ministry of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety.
  2. The 11 and Under Initiative can be found at http://11andunderinitiative.ca/.
  3. These and the previously referenced documents can be found on the Ministry of Justice website at https://www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/family-and-social-support/help-for-families-of-missing-or-murdered-persons.
  4. Information about victim services for the families of missing persons can be found at: http://www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/justice-crime-and-the-law/victims-of-crime-and-abuse.
  5. Can be found at http://www.canadasmissing.ca/.
  6. The framework, which is designed to be flexible so it can evolve over time, is available at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/law-crime-and-justice/about-bc-justice-system/publications/fpt-justice-framework-english.pdf.
  7. See the terms of reference at https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/terms-of-reference.pdf.
  8. National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (June 2019). Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Vol. 1, 715.

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Global Femicide by Betty Ann Pottruff and Barbara Tomporowski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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