The murder of Helen Betty Osborn has attracted much attention of journalists, police officers and writers. It should be noted that this crime could be significantly motivated by racism and sexism. More importantly, the failure to investigate this crime properly was attributed to many prejudices that governmental officials could held against Aboriginal people of Canada.
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This paper is aimed at discussing the way in which this problem was explored in different sources such as the report of the Aboriginal Justice Implementation Commission and the poem Helen Betty Osborne written by Marilyn Dumont.
Despite the fact that these sources differ dramatically in terms of style and form, they highlight the idea that the state can marginalize Aboriginal people in various ways. This is one of the main observations that can be made.
It should be noted that the report of the Aboriginal Justice Implementation Commission consists of three volumes. The second volume is supposed to address various issues that were related to the murder of Helen Osborne and the actions that were taken by the police (The Aboriginal Justice Implementation Commission unpaged).
In particular, the authors focus on the reasons why the investigation of this case was so prolonged. Much attention is paid to the problem of institutional racism. According to the results of this study, many police officers suspected mostly Aboriginal students and disregarded other people that could be involved in the murder of this woman (The Aboriginal Justice Implementation Commission unpaged).
Furthermore, the authors argue that many witnesses could be excluded from the investigation only because they were of Aboriginal origin (The Aboriginal Justice Implementation Commission). These are some of the main challenges that were identified in this source, and they suggest that in many cases Aboriginal people could be discriminated on the basis of their race.
The authors of this report want to present an unbiased evaluation of the key events. Additionally, they do not try to make any unbiased claims about the behavior of police officers and governmental officials. They do not argue that Helen Osborn was murdered because of her race.
Nevertheless, they give a very critical evaluation of police officials who were responsible for the investigation of this murder. These are the main stylistic peculiarities of this report. This document can be a good overview of this case, and it is more suitable for people who want to know more about the main circumstances of this event.
In turn, Marilyn Dumont’s poem also explores the tragedy of Helen Osborn’s death; however, she wants to discuss these problems in a literary form. She wants to speak about the collective experiences of many women who fallen victims of abuse.
Furthermore, the writer mentions such names as Donald Marshall, Richard Cardinal, or Anna Mae Aquash (Dumont unpaged). It should be taken into consideration that these are the people who became the victims of social injustice. In this way, the author shows that Helen Osborn was not the only victim of injustice (Dumont unpaged).
Additionally, in her poem, Marilyn Dumont wants to show that she was deeply touched by the death of Helen Osborn. This is why the first line of this literary work starts with the phrase, “Betty, if I set out to write this poem about you it might turn out instead to be about me” (Dumont unpaged).
This author also raises the problem or racism in Canadian society. In particular, she mentions that native women fail to reach the so-called “standards of womanhood” (Dumont unpaged). These are some of the problems that are of greatest importance to Marilyn Dumont.
Furthermore, this poem is aimed at highlighting some of the main stereotypes that people can have about Aboriginal people. For instance, many people spoke about the alleged promiscuity of Native Canadian women (Dumont unpaged). In this way, the author wants to explain why so many of these women could be victimized by the police because of racial stereotypes existing in the society.
Certainly, this poem differs dramatically from the report of the Aboriginal Justice Implementation Commission. Marilyn Dumont does not want to sound objective and she wants to discuss her own impressions.
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Nevertheless, her writing is extremely engaging and the poem raises a great number of thought-provoking questions about the relations between the state and Aboriginal community. It seems that her exploration of this problem is also important because Marilyn Dumont evokes compassion for people like Helen Osborn. This is one of the major achievements made by this writer.
Overall, this sources show that the death of Helen Osborn raises a great number of questions about society and the relations among various groups in this society.
The sources that have been discussed suggest that many Aboriginal women could be victimized only because of their gender and race. By looking at this case from different perspectives, one can better understand various issues that were related to the case of Helen Osborn. This is the main benefit of these readings.
Dumont, Marilyn. Helen Betty Osborne. 1 Aug. 2009. Web. <http://ladyaeroplanepilot.blogspot.com/2009/08/ibarw-2-poems-by-marilyn-dumont.html>.
The Aboriginal Justice Implementation Commission. The Death of Helen Betty Osborn.1999. Web. <http://www.ajic.mb.ca/volumell/toc.html>.