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Don Woodstock deserves an apology from everyone. The Black Rod puts the Truth into Truth and Reconciliation.

What better way to mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation than by injecting some truth into the Truth column.

Then the Reconciliation can follow with the critics of Winnipeg Mayor candidate Don Woodstock issuing their apologies to him for telling the truth at an all-candidates forum held by the  Council of Women of Winnipeg .

Woodstock stirred a mini-tempest when he addressed the topic of ways to improve safety for women. Another  candidate had raised the issue  of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and Woodstrock responded by saying  Indigenous men bore much of the blame and needed to do more to stop violence against women.

The knee-jerk reaction wasn't long in coming.

MKO Grand Chief Garrison Settee was interviewed by CBC.

"Settee said on the path toward reconciliation, Indigenous people are trying to meet non-Indigenous people halfway and don't need someone like Woodstock spreading stereotypes.

"He should drop out of the race and work on his own personal life," said Settee."

Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs deputy Grand Chief Cornell McLean called the comments appalling and inaccurate. and said Woodstock needs to take a cultural sensitivity course. 

If CBC had real reporters, their story would have pointed out that the reason they were talking to the deputy Grand Chief was because the Grand Chief Arlen Dumas had been removed earlier in the year over allegations of sexual assault.

Candidate for Mayor Rana Bokhari was at the forum and stormed out after hearing Woodstock.

“I don’t think I needed to sit here and listen to him spew that absolute disgraceful, disrespectful, completely inaccurate, factually incorrect, perpetuating-more-violence-against-women comment.“

Factually incorrect? This isn't the first time this issue has been debated, challenged and refuted. 

Again, if there were any true journalists working in Winnipeg they would have done a simple Google search and found this Globe and Mail story:

70 per cent of murdered aboriginal women killed by indigenous men: RCMP
Gloria Galloway Parliamentary Reporter, Ottawa April 9, 2015

RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson has confirmed assertions by Canada's Minister of Aboriginal Affairs that 70 per cent of the aboriginal women who are murdered in Canada meet their fate at the hands of someone of their own race.

Mr. Paulson's decision to back up statements by Bernard Valcourt comes after several chiefs said the minister should be fired for blaming aboriginal men for the tragedy, a position they dismissed as unsubstantiated and demeaning.

Mr. Paulson wrote on Tuesday to Bernice Martial, the Grand Chief of Treaty Six in central Saskatchewan and Alberta, who was among the native leaders to express concern, saying the RCMP has not previously released information on the ethnicity of the offenders in the spirit of "bias-free policing."

The RCMP released a report on Canada's missing and murdered aboriginal women last May based on statistics from police agencies across the country. It said at least 1,181 indigenous women and girls were murdered or went missing between 1980 and 2012.

Noting that Mr. Valcourt has now divulged unreleased information about ethnicity collected by the RCMP, Mr. Paulson wrote: "The consolidated data from the nearly 300 contributing police agencies has confirmed that 70 per cent of the offenders were of aboriginal origin, 25 per cent were non-aboriginal, and five per cent were of unknown ethnicity."

Despite Mr. Paulson's statistics, Ms. Martial is unconvinced that responsibility for the tragedy can be pinned on native men.

"How are they collecting and compiling all this information? To me, it just doesn't drive," she said in a telephone interview on Thursday. "The RCMP is under the federal government, they have to comply with their policies and whatever they are told, they have to do. What I would like to see is an independent national inquiry."

Mr. Valcourt and other members of the federal Conservative government have rebuffed calls for an inquiry, saying enough studies have been done and they are addressing the problem through broad public safety and criminal justice measures.

Last fall, Mr. Valcourt said the deaths and disappearances came down to a lack of respect among aboriginal men on reserves for aboriginal women, and urged chiefs and councils to take action.

He sent a wave of anger rippling through First Nations on March 20, when he told a private meeting of chiefs in Calgary that unreleased RCMP statistics show "that up to 70 per cent of the murdered and missing indigenous women stems from their own communities."

Several chiefs, including Ms. Martial, emerged from that meeting to demand that the RCMP release numbers to support Mr. Valcourt's claim and any other data about the crimes it has withheld.

Mr. Paulson told Ms. Martial in his letter that the race of the offender is not relevant to the RCMP in tackling the issue but the offender's relationship with the victim.

The force's report of last May did not contain information about the ethnicity of the known perpetrators. But it said that, in 62 per cent of the cases, aboriginal females who were victims of homicide were killed by a spouse, family member or intimate relation. It also said the number was higher – 74 per cent – for other Canadian women who are murdered.

The RCMP says it is releasing a second report on missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in mid-May that is expected to be an update on the force's response to the numbers released last year.

Even though the RCMP have now confirmed Mr. Valcourt's numbers, the minister may have difficulty repairing his relationship with some of the chiefs.

Chief Bernard Ominayak of the Lubicon Lake Nation said in an e-mail on Thursday that the opinion of the RCMP commissioner is irrelevant to demands for a national inquiry, and the statistics he presents "are useless without the documentation that backs up his claims."

"The government of the Lubicon Lake Nation duly supports all our indigenous women in their continued call for an independent inquiry," Mr. Ominayak said, "and we believe if the minister cannot commit to doing so, he should resign."

Of course, Nahanni Fontaine, the Ayatollah of Woke for the NDP, chimed in--on Twitter.

@NahanniFontaine. ·. Sep 23. Don Woodstock's comments are not surprising. He's not the first, and certainly won't be the last, to regurgitate a colonial discourse blaming Indigenous men for violence against women and girls as a means of shifting blame. Hence why some men shouldn't be elected.

Fontaine failed to mention that the leader of the NDP, Wab Kinew, was himself charged with domestic assault on his common-law wife in 2003. The two charges were allowed to expire by the Crown which claimed they couldn't find the complainant, though she said in 2017 she was mystified by that excuse as she was ready, willing and able to testify.

The allegations against Kinew, reported in the Winnipeg Free Press by columnist Gord Sinclair are horrifying:

"Hart’s 64-year-old mother, Wendy Bird, and her older sister, Melanie Hart, had described other details about the alleged attack when we spoke last weekend, beyond what Tara had already said about being thrown across a room and suffering severe rug burns to her knees. Bird said her daughter was also dragged out the door and down the hall of her downtown apartment building that night. And how frightened her daughter was when Kinew allegedly threatened to throw her off the balcony."

Fontaine has said she believes the woman's story, but she sticks by Kinew because he is no longer the violent, drunken young man he used to be. He's changed she's said.

Part of that "change" is painting his former common-law wife as a liar.

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