The document (New window) paints an unenvious portrait of the treatment meted out to women by national police detachments in the North, particularly in Nunavut, and to the Inuit in particular.

He recalls that the Legal Services Board of Nunavut called for a systemic review of policing in Nunavut after repeatedly warning about the prevalence of police abuse.

Request for systemic review left unanswered

In particular, the Commission wrote two letters to the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP (CRCC), one in 2019 and the other in 2020.

The first missive summarizes incidents of violence and racism and notes the lack of training of officers, who are mostly men, for cases related to sexual assault.

Deaths related to RCMP in Nunavut are nine times higher than police-related deaths in Ontarioshe also says.

We learn that 14 deaths linked to the RCMP occurred from 1999 to 2016 in the territory, several of which gave rise to official recommendations for change.

In the second letter, in 2020, the Legal Services Board of Nunavut regrets that despite an indication that the CCETP was considering a systemic review of the RCMP of Nunavut, nothing was done.

She highlights two other incidents involving strip searches of Indigenous women. In 2020, the CCETP examined the national policy of RCMP in matters of strip search and judged it ambiguous and inadequate.

The report of theDID also echoes another report published in 2020 by Pauktuutit Inuit Women in Canada in collaboration with Dr. Elizabeth Cormack and which looks at violence against women in the four regions of Inuit Nunangat.

Many of the issues reported, such as slow response times, and encounters with racist or violent police, echo the findings of the letters from the Legal Services Commission.

Following the publication of this report, the Inuit organization had signed an agreement with the RCMP to improve the protection of women, children and Inuit people.

High rate of unfounded complaints in the North

L’DID also mentions unfounded complaints in its document which it defines as one of the main problems in Canada. According to a survey by Globe and Mail carried out in 2017, one in five assaults is deemed unfounded by the police.

Rates of unfounded complaints were generally higher in the North, Northwest Territories (30%) and Nunavut (28%), where RCMP is the only police department.

The overclassification of cases as unfounded stems from entrenched sexist attitudes and myths, as well as the systemic failure of police to address the realities of sexual assaults and victim behaviors.

The report also recalls that in February 2021, the RCMP suddenly shut down a Yukon Unfounded Cases Committee made up of local agencies and the RCMP. The latter invoked the respect of privacy to justify this decision.

This review process was particularly important because theDID suggests that the Yukon has a sexual assault rate 3.5 times higher than the national average and a 25% rate of unsubstantiated allegations.

The feminist organization generally concludes that it is time for an external review and a major restructuring or dismantling of a police force that is no longer a symbol of national pride […].

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