Inquiry: It's 'Canadian Genocide'

A long-awaited report is leaked in Canada
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2019 4:30 PM CDT
Inquiry: It's 'Canadian Genocide'
Images of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada.   (YouTube)

Violence has haunted Indigenous girls and women in Canada for decades. Now a national inquiry there is calling it genocide, the CBC reports. The four-member commission, which took nearly three years and cost about $68 million, looked into thousands of murders and vanishings across the Indigenous landscape. "We do know that thousands of Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA (two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual) have been lost to the Canadian genocide to date," per the leaked report. Its authors admit there's room to debate genocide, but say "the fact that First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples are still here and that the population is growing should not discount the charge of genocide." For more, including how genocides "evolve":

  • 'Actions and inactions': "Genocide is the sum of the social practices, assumptions, and actions detailed within this report," says the report, which adds elsewhere that violence against Indigenous women occurs through "state actions and inactions rooted in colonialism and colonial ideologies."

  • Genocides 'evolve': The inquiry quotes a 2013 Globe & Mail op-ed by Jewish advocate Bernie Farber and former Assembly of First Nations national chief Phil Fontaine: "Genocides rarely emerge fully formed from the womb of evil," they write. "They typically evolve in a stepwise fashion over time, as one crime leads to another and another."
  • Domestic violence: The report makes over 230 recommendations, like suggesting that murder of a domestic partner be prosecuted as first-degree homicide. But a federal minister for Indigenous relations saying such deterrents are rarely effective, per the National Post.
  • Medical facilities: The panel also criticized a lack of Indigenous medical facilities. That forces women to leave their community for "unsafe environments" to get treatment, says the report, per the Toronto Star.
  • An old stat: The commission cast doubt on an old notion that Indigenous men are behind 70% of the killings of Indigenous girls and women, calling it "unreliable." It also criticized the RCMP for holding back information.
  • 468 survivors: The panel was made after years of demands by Indigenous and other groups, the Globe & Mail reports. The commissioners heard from 468 survivors and relatives of the victims and amassed information on over 2,380 people.
  • A solemn ceremony: The report will be officially presented Monday "at a solemn national ceremony to honour the missing and murdered," says the inquiry in a statement.
(Read more Indigenous peoples stories.)

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