Ida’s death, like Mary Anne Ropers, is not a death in custody, but it does show how the public and courts in British Columbia can ignore a violent death when the victim is a First Nations man or women.
Terry Glavin is a brilliant writer from British Columbia who does not get the respect his work deserves. He wrote about Ida Elkins when he was a reporter at the Vancouver Sun:
“Her husband, Fred Rankin, a white man, was charged with murder in 1982 after he severely beat Elkins on the streets of Williams Lake while passers-by – some of whom testified the sight of an Indian woman being beaten wasn’t at all unusual – looked the other way. “
- Between 1997 and 2000, homicide rates of First Nations females were almost seven times higher than those of non-First Nations females.
- 1,017 women and girls identified as First Nations were murdered between 1980 and 2012—a homicide rate roughly 4.5 times higher than that of all other women in Canada.
- Five percent of women in Canada are Indigenous. Twenty-four percent of the 1,000 women murdered in Canada between 2015 and 2020 were Indigenous.
- Rates of poverty for First Nations women are double that of non-First Nations women.
- 63 percent of First Nations women are sexually or physically assaulted at least once by the age of 15, compared to 45 percent of non-First Nations Women.
- First Nations women are 3.5 times more likely to experience violence than non-First Nations women.
- 54% of First Nations women reported severe forms of family violence, such as being beaten, being choked, having had a gun or knife used against them, or being sexually assaulted, versus 37% of non-First Nations women
- 44% of First Nations women reported “fearing for their lives” when faced with severe forms of family violence, compared with 33% of non-First Nations women.
- The rate of self-reported sexual assault of First Nations people is almost triple that of non-First Nations people