If this country were to take a serious look at the root causes behind the shocking number of murdered and missing aboriginal women, questions would have to be asked of many partners to this tragedy, not just governments and police forces.
The national aboriginal leadership, regional leadership and young aboriginal males must also provide answers to some of the cultural questions that have - again - been highlighted by the RCMP study, which determined there were 1,181 murdered or missing women in Canada over 33 years through 2012.
The Conservatives will not call an inquiry. But questions must be answered.
If there were 1,181 murdered or missing women in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, or any other Canadian city, would the government have already acted?
The answer is yes, of course, so that leads to questions of police bias and government indifference. Did police forces across the country, even unconsciously, put cases of missing aboriginals down the list of priorities?
RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson flatly denies bias, pointing to the fact that nine in 10 murders of women over that period were solved, whether aboriginal or non-aboriginal. But that figure drops precipitously when the victims were identified as part of the sex trade and a massive 2012 British Columbia study of the victims of serial killer Robert Pickton did find a police bias against, poor, addicted, aboriginal sex workers, even if commissioner Wally Oppal did not find the bias to be intentional.
Can the country's First Nations leadership finally come together?
There are more than 600 First Nations communities in this country and it is naive to think they could ever speak as one voice. But with the resignation of national chief Shawn Atleo earlier this month, there is a leadership void and no dialogue with Ottawa. The Assembly of First Nations will hold a special chiefs assembly in Ottawa next week to determine when a new national chief will be chosen, but in the meantime there is no national representative dealing with the Conservatives on an education bill (now on hold), pipeline projects or missing and murdered aboriginal women. On the question of the women, native leaders who are calling for an inquiry must also answer to their own vigilance and action when it comes to drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence highlighted in the RCMP report.
Do grassroots First Nations support a federal effort to improve aboriginal education? The gap between education funding on-reserve and off-reserve has long been shameful, but Atleo's resignation came after he faced fierce criticism by some regional chiefs critical of his support for the education bill. Opponents claimed the bill left too much power in the government's hands, believed more than $1.25 billion in funding was too little and takes too long to flow.
But were the chiefs actually speaking for aboriginals on the ground or were they using the bill to oust Atleo? Aboriginal leadership must explain why they walked away from legislation - however imperfect - that would have improved the education and future prospects of its youngest citizens.
Do inquiries spark action? On British Columbia's Highway of Tears, 18 women and girls have been murdered or gone missing in a period dating to the 1970s. Eight years ago native leaders urged a bus system be installed connecting northern communities to discourage women from having to hitchhike. Oppal repeated the recommendation in 2012. The B.C. government has done nothing.
Does money solve the problem? Many Canadians view First nations as one big money pit, but this federal government can also play a little smoke and mirrors with figures. It claims it is spending $25 million to get to root causes of the missing and murdered women, but that is spread over five years and is not strictly targeted to that problem. Moreover, auditor general
Michael Ferguson found a federally funded Native Policing Service, which has cost taxpayers more than $1.7 billion over two decades, to be haphazardly and arbitrarily administered by Ottawa, leaving the police services in substandard, overcrowded facilities with funding allocated with little or no consultation.
Does anyone care? Tens of thousands have signed petitions calling for an inquiry. Signing a petition is easy, but other actions are more significant.
High school students at Notre Dame College School in Welland, Ont., for example, raised $7,500 - and awareness in the community - with its No More Stolen Sisters campaign. The money went to the Native Women's Association.
"Young people in this country do care," said religious studies teacher Paul Turner.
Tim Harper is a national affairs writer.