The thousands of Indigenous women and girls who have been killed or have vanished in Canada in the past decades are victims of a “Canadian genocide,” a report obtained by CNN partner CBC says.
The violence these Indigenous victims have faced over the years occurred through “state actions and inactions rooted in colonialism and colonial ideologies,” CBC reported, quoting from the leaked report of a national inquiry.
The report, titled Reclaiming Power and Place, includes testimonies from more than 1,400 family members and survivors and 83 knowledge-keepers, experts and officials, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls said in a statement last month.
The inquiry was launched in 2016 by the Canadian government after calls from Indigenous families, communities and organizations to investigate violence against Indigenous women.
The four commissioners who make up the inquiry work to “gather evidence, and to examine and report on the systemic causes of all forms of violence,” by looking at patterns and underlying factors.
“For far too long, Indigenous women and girls have been publicly devalued or ignored,” the inquiry states on its website. “People’s general perceptions have been shaped by harmful colonial stereotypes. People forget that every Indigenous woman or girl – no matter how she died or what she had been through – had an inherent strength and sacred worth.”
The $92 million national inquiry will present the final report to government officials on Monday.
Another report on definition of genocide
The report says there is disagreement over what can be defined as genocide, and there will be a “supplementary report on the Canadian genocide of Indigenous peoples according to the legal definition of genocide,” CBC reported.
In the June 3 report, genocide is “the sum of the social practices, assumptions, and actions detailed within this report,” CBC quoted the leaked document as stating.
“The national inquiry’s findings support characterizing these acts, including violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA (two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual) people, as genocide,” the report states.
What should be done
The more than 1,200 page report makes 231 recommendations on what should be done in response to the “genocide.”
One of those recommendations calls for the transformation of the policing system, CBC reported, to reduce racism in police forces. Another recommendation addressed options for reporting gender.