Winnipeg city council will be asked to support calls for a national inquiry or roundtable on missing and murdered indigenous women.

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This article was published 22/9/2014 (2630 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Dan Vandal

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Dan Vandal

Winnipeg city council will be asked to support calls for a national inquiry or roundtable on missing and murdered indigenous women.

St. Boniface Coun. Dan Vandal said Winnipeg needs to lend its voice to provincial governments and other groups calling for a national examination of the issue.

Coun. Dan Vandal says the homicide of Tina Fontaine (above)  underscores a much larger issue.

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Coun. Dan Vandal says the homicide of Tina Fontaine (above) underscores a much larger issue.

Vandal said while all provincial governments have recently called for a national inquiry or roundtable, the issue is particularly relevant to Winnipeg and other western Canadian cities that have large aboriginal populations.

"When we recovered Tina Fontaine's body, I think that really touched thousands of people in Winnipeg," said Vandal, who authored the motion and is being supported by Coun. Jenny Gerbasi. "This is simple advocacy for citizens we represent... It's important to give voice to the voiceless aboriginal women and girls."

Fontaine's body was found wrapped in a bag in the Red River last month. She was 15.

Vandal, who is not running for council re-election but will represent the Liberals in a federal election expected in 2015, said he does not share the sentiment that another study is not needed.

"This is a systemic issue... we need a systemic analysis to look at solutions, to look at what we could be doing better on a nation-wide level, while empowering police to continue to solve these crimes."

Vandal said a supportive motion from Wednesday's council meeting could prompt other municipalities to join the tide sweeping across the country demanding a national examination.

"Something that has that unanimity has to be acted upon," said Vandal. "I hope to have other cities jump on board."

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca