I ask myself: “why is all the focus on missing aboriginal women and girls?” What happened to the men and boys? Are they not equally important to Canadians? I also wonder why it is that there are very few comments regarding the statistics that clearly confirm that there are far more missing men and boys as compared to women and girls. What happened to this conversation? Why do these aboriginal men and boys not matter?? Do they not fit into the sociopolitical rhetoric today that seems to focus largely on violence against women and children? One statistic confirms that 71 percent of the 2,500 aboriginal murders between 1982 and 2011 were men. This was brought forward by the Chief Council for the Cheam First Nation in B.C., Canada. This is one article out of dozens regarding the issue of murdered and missing aboriginal women and girls, which is why men and boys have been lost in the media fog. I think there needs to be more and more organizations standing up for fairness and a balanced gender approach to ensure that everyone matters rather than strictly women and girls. An example of one organization that has stood up is Equality Canada; they have started to ask questions regarding the absence of men and boys in the equation. They have been inviting people to gather and have conversations under the leadership of individuals who have been researching the issue.
It is my hope that by sharing the above statistics and through the writings and engagement by individuals such as professors Kim Anderson and Robert Alexander Innes’ recently released book, Indigenous Men and Masculinities that more and more awareness will be raised around the importance of including aboriginal men and boys in the conversation around missing First Nations people in Canada and beyond. I hope that more and more mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles will come forward to continue to ask about their missing family members who are male. I hope that organizations like Equality Canada raise more questions in the media. I hope the conversation becomes inclusive and fair.
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