Investigations and Searches
In Ontario Indigenous men are 2 times more likely to be murdered than Indigenous women.
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has released a report on cases of missing and unsolved murders of indigenous people, in the hopes that it will lead to new tips or information to further the investigations.
Members of the OPP and First Nations leaders released the report Wednesday morning during a news conference. The report covers the period spanning from 1956 to 2014.
The report comes as the federal government is preparing to launch an inquiry next year into missing and murdered indigenous women in the country. The RCMP has estimated more than 1,200 indigenous women have gone missing or been killed in Canada between 1980 and 2014.
The report found that from 1956 to the end of 2014:
Female indigenous homicides/ missing persons
- There were 54 homicides involving indigenous females. Eight of them remain unsolved and 46 were solved.
- Of the 46 solved cases: Nine of the victims were murdered by a family member; 17 were murdered by a domestic partner or spouse; 19 were murdered by a person known to the victim; and one was of “unknown circumstances.”
- The solved or “clearance” rate for homicides involving an indigenous woman was 85.2 per cent.
- There were eight missing indigenous females reported to the OPP, and all remain missing.
- Foul play is possible or suspected in one of these cases.
The report found that from 1978 to the end of 2014:
Male indigenous homicides/missing persons
- There were 126 homicides involving indigenous males. Only one of these cases remains unsolved and 125 of them were solved.
- Of the 125 solved cases: 35 were murdered by family members; 10 were murdered by a domestic partner or spouse; 70 were murdered by a person known to the victim; nine were of “unknown circumstances”; and information for one of the cases is not available.
- The solved or “clearance” rate for homicides involving an indigenous man was 99.2 per cent.
- There were 39 cases that involve a missing indigenous man.
- The OPP believe foul play is possible or suspected for 22 of these cases, and 17 of these individuals are considered missing persons.
The OPP’s overall homicide solved or “clearance rate” from 2010 to 2014 was 92.3 per cent, the report said. The OPP defines a homicide investigation to be solved, when charges are laid, regardless if the charges result in a conviction, officers said at the news conference.
“There may be additional persons who are missing or murdered that should be included but their family and/or loved one have not identified them to the OPP as indigenous,” the report noted.
“We recognize that there are many unanswered questions and that we cannot reverse the outcomes for the families and loved ones of those [who] have gone missing or were murdered,” said OPP Commissioner Vince Hawkes in a release, adding he hopes the information “generates further discussion, potential leads, and resolution for the families and communities who have suffered loss.”
Chief Isadore Day, Ontario regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said the OPP report on missing and murdered First Nations is a “good starting point” in working towards the process of reconciliation.
Det.-Supt. Dave Truax said the OPP does not believe that any of the homicides are “serial” in nature, meaning they’re likely not the result of a serial killer.
The OPP began reviewing all cases involving indigenous victims starting in 2011.
The report, which can be downloaded here, includes a compilation of case file information, except in a few cases where families didn’t consent to their release.