Trudeau pledges action after Canadian government report details indigenous “genocide”
Indigenous youth present the final report to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the closing ceremony for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Gatineau, Quebec., on Monday, June 3, 2019. | Adrian Wyld / The Canadian Press via AP

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was forced to confront the “hard truth” this week as a damning report accused the Canadian state of perpetuating “race-based genocide” against indigenous women and girls.

The report, which was commissioned by the government in 2016, exposes the systemic mistreatment of Canada’s indigenous women and girls through the implementation of policies that led to increased rates of violence, death, and suicide.

Across over 1,200 pages, the report draws on testimony from 468 family members and survivors of violence as well as expert witnesses, tribal elders, and officials. It took 24 hearings over almost two years to compile.

It found that indigenous women were 12 times more likely to be killed or to disappear than other women in Canada.

Inquiry chief commissioner Marion Buller said: “Despite their different circumstances and backgrounds, all of the missing and murdered are connected by the economic, social, and political marginalization; racism; and misogyny woven into the fabric of Canadian society.”

The report repeatedly accused the Canadian government of consistently ignoring “race-based genocide.”

“The genocide has been empowered by colonial structures evidenced notably by the Indian Act [regulating indigenous people’s reserves in Canada], the Sixties Scoop [a discontinued policy that took indigenous or mixed-race children from parents to be adopted by white families] … leading directly to the current increased rates of violence, death, and suicide in the indigenous populations,” the report said.

It warned that “genocide is the sum of the social practices, assumptions, and actions” that facilitated it.

Trudeau did not challenge the report’s findings, promising instead to develop a “national action plan” to deal with the violence.

“Facing the hardest of truths is a difficult and necessary step to addressing them. And the hard truth is that we have failed the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls … But we will not fail you any longer,” he said.

Morning Star

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Morning Star
Morning Star

The Morning Star is the socialist daily newspaper published in Great Britain.

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