GATINEAU, Que. – On June 3, the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls finally released its findings.
Hundreds of families of victims filed into the Canadian Museum of History where the report was released.
The final 1,200-page report calls violence against First Nations, Metis and Inuit women and girls a form of “genocide” and a crisis that has been “centuries in the making.”
“As the evidence demonstrates, human rights and Indigenous rights abuses and violations committed and condoned by the Canadian state represent genocide against Indigenous women, girls, and (LGBTQ and two-spirit) people,” it concluded.
“These abuses and violations have resulted in the denial of safety, security, and human dignity.”
The report, the culmination of a three-year effort that was often beset by controversy, delays and personnel problems, documents what chief commissioner Marion Buller calls “important truths” — including that Canadian laws and institutions are themselves to blame for violating the human rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“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 wrote.
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The report had over 200 recommendations.
Buller gave an emotional testimony about listening to months of experiences from shattered families.
“The genocide will continue unless all Canadians find the strength, courage, and vision to build a new decolonized relationship with each other.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the systemic violence against Indigenous women shameful.
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He called it an important day that was long overdue, and vowed to take action.
“You have my word that my government will turn the inquiry’s call for justice into real, meaningful, Indigenous-led action,” he said.
Trudeau acknowledged that the justice system has failed missing and murdered Indigenous women.
“We will conduct a thorough review of this report and we will develop and implement a national action plan to address violence against Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ and two-spirit people,” he added
-with files from the Canadian Press