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It's time to stop waiting for a full government inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women

There is nothing about love, courage, respect, honesty, wisdom, humility or truth in pulling a 15-year-old girl's dead body from the Red River.

Rage and Pain are not part of the Grandfather Teachings. But right now there is only rage and pain and a force that keeps these fingers moving across this keyboard, with the music turned up.

As community members on and off reserve mourn the death of Tina Fontaine, there seems no scream loud enough to wake Conservatives that there is a crisis of death that has been sweeping across Canada for years; flowing with its cold, ugly grasp onto every reservation or urban centre to snatch up lives young and old.

If we're not pulling dead bodies from rivers, then people are trying to burn them alive.

Why are the lives of Indigenous women worth so little? A little ink, a little space on the newswire and then for all society's intents and purposes, they are gone. They names remembered only by family and frozen in time contained in a current database that lists 824 missing and murdered Indigenous women. Time to increase the count. As I'm sure we'll have to do again. And again. And again.

It seems that the death of the young, severing the ties from one generation to the next, is the most painful.

The death of young Indigenous lives has become a weapon used against First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities to further knock their legs from out under them.

I'm not sure what it's going to take for Canada to wake up and demand a real, authentic inquiry into the root causes of these deaths and disappearances. That is what I mean by a national, authentic inquiry. That is what Indigenous and Canadian allies have been waiting for.

Maybe it's time to stop waiting. Death is relentless. It does not wait on statistics.

Tina Fontaine -- whose body was pulled from the Red River on the weekend was from Sagkeeng First Nation -- yes, even though she had run away from her group home, she came from somewhere. She had family.

She had a future. She was only 15 years old.

Her body, wrapped in a garbage bag, was recovered on Sunday, August 17, 2014, from the river near the Alexander Docks off Waterfront Drive.

I can tell you one thing, she didn't put herself into that garbage bag and throw herself into the river.

Let's not deceive ourselves -- and I stress Stephen Harper in this message -- Indigenous girls and women are dying and something has to be done about it.

And if the government cannot protect and defend these girls and women, maybe we're all waiting on nothing but dust and air and another staged apology.

There is no way around it: for example, in British Columbia, the Oppal Inquiry did little to stem the flow of deaths and it's the public's mistake to assume that just because Robert Pickton is behind bars that all are safe.

Oh, the things that we tell ourselves at night.

In fact, the Mohawk of Tyendinaga knew better as they started a blockade stemming from their disatisfaction at the Oppal Inquiry.   

More or less, there are two choices since the sun has set on any integrity with Harper and his government.

1. In communities large and small, women (and this is already happening in communities like Toronto when a group of First Nations community members and allies patrol the Downtown East Side) continue to desperately try and keep themselves safe and gamble on who will win the 2015 election in the hopes of a more compassionate regime change.

The upshot to this approach is that it might have the power to seriously politicize a large portion of the potential First Nations vote.

2. The second option is similar to the first, as I believe people will be waiting for nothing if they think Prime Minister Stephen Harper will call an honest, accountable inquiry.

The difference here is that First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples will have to give up all hope of any government inquiry ever happening.

So the waiting stops.

And people step in to fill the void. This inquiry would be non-government and independent.

Now I'm the first person who is not terribly sure how an truly independent inquiry would work; would it open to all status or non-status families affected; will chiefs and councils be allowed to be part of the solution -- especially since in some cases they have been implicated as part of the problem? But placing the power back into the communities is a first good step.

Gotta start somewhere. 

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