Published: Tue, June 04, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

"It's Genocide": Final MMIWG report says Canada must do more

The findings of the so-called National Inquiry Into Missing Indigenous Women and Girls are due to be publicly voiced at a ceremony on Monday.

Meantime Grand Chief Garrison Settee of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc., which represents a group of First Nations from northern Manitoba, responded to the release of the report by acknowledging families, survivors and members of the Two Spirit community impacted by the issue, as well as the spirits of those who went missing or were murdered.

"I hope that knowing these truths will contribute to a better understanding of the real lives of Indigenous people and the violations of their human and Indigenous rights when they were targeted for violence", Buller writes.

The report was leaked to Canada's national broadcaster CBC which published details on Friday.

"I think it has to be understood as a very distinct type of genocide from the Holocaust", she said. "As well as to address sexual violence against Indigenous women and girls through human trafficking".

"Things like reforming child and family services that recognize the inherent rights of Indigenous peoples, protecting Indigenous languages, and continuing to invest in things like women's shelters housing and education that is equitable for Indigenous people and women, and safety in terms of transportation routes that are remote or hard", she said.

The report released Monday calls on all governments to make "imperative" changes addressing rights, culture, health, wellness, security and justice.

"If we were to ask the court to do this, such as the International Court of Justice, then it would be: Is there a genocide, and is Canada liable?" she said.

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It calls the violence against First Nations, Metis and Inuit women and girls a form of "genocide" and a crisis "centuries in the making".

Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Labour, Patty Hajdu, said the action plan has to have concrete steps to build on the work already being done by the government.

Dumas said the AMC supports the report's recommendation to see Canada immediately implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.

Buller said she and her three fellow commissioners are holding up a mirror to the country, reflecting what they heard from more than 2,300 people over two years of cross-country public hearings and work to gather evidence. "Otherwise, we all knowingly enable the continuation of genocide in our own country".

It also made sweeping recommendations to prevent future violence against indigenous women.

"Genocide is the sum of the social practices, assumptions, and actions detailed within this report", it said.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police revealed in 2014 that 1,017 aboriginal women had been murdered between 1980 and 2012. It sets out a series of acts done with "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group", and lists as examples killing members of the group, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, imposing measures meant to prevent births within the group, and forcibly transferring children to another group.

"Time and again, we have heard of their disappearance, violence, or even death being labelled low priority or ignored", Mr Trudeau said.

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