My thanks to Dean Henderson for the invite to write on his blog about the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls epidemic (MMIWG), an issue currently affecting Indigenous people in Canada and the United States, including the First Nations, Inuit, Métis and Native American communities. It’s described as a Canadian national crisis. It is unclear exactly how many missing cases there are in Canada.
Native women support bill in Arizona on missing and murdered Indigenous women. (Photo-Navajo Nation)
An investigative committee
National Inquiry Deems Missing, Murdered Indigenous Women Canadian Genocide; Leaked Report
The report was leaked by CBC News, which published the details on Friday.
The report found that about 1,200 women and girls have been murdered or gone missing since 1980, some advocates believe the actual number is far higher.
The report concluded that what happened in Canada consisted of a disproportionate level of violence facing indigenous women and girls in the country, spurred by “state actions and inactions rooted in colonialism and colonial ideologies.”
“Genocide is the sum of the social practices, assumptions, and actions detailed within the report,” the summary said. “As many witnesses expressed, this country is at war, and Indigenous women, girls…are under siege.”
The report acknowledged disagreements over what constituted genocide but concluded: “The national inquiry’s findings support characterizing these acts, including violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA [two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual] people, as genocide.”
The report also concludes that colonial violence, racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia against Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people has become embedded into everyday life, resulting in many Indigenous people becoming normalized to violence.
The report urges all actors in the justice system, including police services, to build respectful working relationships with Indigenous Peoples by “knowing, understanding, and respecting the people they are serving.”
Actions should include reviewing and revising all policies, practices, and procedures to ensure service delivery that is culturally appropriate and reflects no bias or racism toward Indigenous Peoples, including victims and survivors of violence, says the report.
During the course of the inquiry, it notes, policing representatives acknowledged the “historic and ongoing harms” that continue to affect First Nations, Metis and Inuit families, as well as the need to make changes to how non-Indigenous and Indigenous police work to protect safety.
CBC said it contains more than 230 recommendations.
The 2014 murder of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine in Winnipeg sparked public outcry and renewed calls for a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.
The inquiry was launched by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government.
It has heard from more than 2,000 witnesses since 2017 – including survivors of violence and family members of missing women and girls.
The final report of the $92-million inquiry is slated to be released to the public in Gatineau, Que., on Monday.
The Closing Ceremony will be live streamed:
By RPM Staff, Updated June 2, 2019