Canada: Vigil held for missing and murdered indigenous women

Deaths of indigenous women 'a Canadian genocide', leaked report says

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday he accepts the finding that Canada's treatment of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls amounts to genocide.

Grand Chief Arlen Dumas called Monday a "historic" and "significant" day in a conference call from Gatineau, Que., where the two-volume report, titled Reclaiming Power and Place, was delivered to the federal government at a morning ceremony.

Canada still needs an independent national police task force specifically created to meet the needs of family members and survivors of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people, it adds.

Now a national inquiry there is calling it genocide, the CBC reports.

"It was Canadians that stood with us shoulder to shoulder on the streets demanding justice, and an inquiry, that wasn't done by Indigenous women alone or it wouldn't have happened", says Maloney.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the deaths of indigenous women have been treated as a low priority for too long.

"To them I say, we as a nation can not afford not to rebuild", Marion Buller wrote. Several years in the making, it is the final report from the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls inquiry.

Trudeau, who was in Vancouver for the opening address of Women Deliver 2019, said that hatred is creeping in the public debate, with interest groups trying to roll back women's rights, while politicians are giving into the public pressure.

"This", she said to a growing chorus of cheers and applause, "is genocide".

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Instead, Trudeau said violence against Indigenous women and girls is "not a relic of Canada's past", but part of its present, and the justice system has failed them.

It uses the term "genocide" dozens of times, starting in the first paragraph of its preface: "This report is about deliberate race, identity and gender-based genocide", chief commissioner Marion Buller writes.

McGuire-Cyrette said referring to the experiences of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people as genocide is appropriate and representative of what Indigenous people have experienced throughout history.

After years of emotional testimony, those who demanded an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls can now focus on pushing for action on the recommendations made in a final report on the issue.

The recommendations include calls for action on human rights, policing, the justice system, corrections, health care, education, media, social work and child welfare.

"The reserves are underfunded, there is like chronic lack of housing, there is no safe drinking water", she said. It called violence against First Nations, Métis and Inuit women and girls a form of genocide.

According to official estimates, nearly 1,200 indigenous women and girls went missing or were killed between 1980 and 2012, out of a community of 1.6 million people.

"MKO will to work to implement recommendations but I also call on all other levels of government to do what they can", said Settee, noting a need for sustainable, long-term funding. In 2014, the RCMP released a national overview and pegged the number of cases between 1980 and 2012 at almost 1,200. Of those women, 164 were missing and 1,017 murdered.

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