The national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women has more than 200 recommendations. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

All Canadians have a role to play in ending MMIW ‘genocide,’ report says

GATINEAU, Que. — The national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women wants health service providers across Canada to develop programs that could help young people recognize the signs of being targeted for exploitation.

The inquiry’s final report, released publicly this morning with more than 200 recommendations to the federal government, 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 concludes.

“These abuses and violations have resulted in the denial of safety, security, and human dignity.”

The report is to be formally handed over in a two-hour ceremony in Gatineau, Que., across the Ottawa River from Parliament Hill, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in attendance.

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 writes.

The steps necessary to “end and redress this genocide” must be no less monumental than the combination of systems and actions that have been used to ”maintain colonial violence for generations,” the commissioners say.

The recommendations — framed in the report as “calls for justice” — include developing an effective response to human trafficking cases and sexual exploitation and violence, including in the sex industry. They are not optional, but constitute legal imperatives, it says.

Missing and murdered Indigenous women are believed to number in the thousands in Canada, but the report says that despite its best efforts to quantify the extent of the tragedy, ”no one knows an exact number.”

In 2005, the Native Women’s Association of Canada created a database tracking cases and produced a 2010 report documenting 582 missing and murdered Indigenous women. In 2014, the RCMP released a national overview and pegged the number of cases from between 1980 and 2012 at nearly 1,200. Other unverified estimates are far higher.

Responding to the report’s urgent conclusions is the responsibility not only of federal and provincial governments and law enforcement agencies, but all Canadians in both the immediate and long-term, it says.

“Individuals, institutions, and governments can all play a part…. We encourage you, as you read these recommendations, to understand and, most importantly, to act on yours.”

Just Posted

Trial: Red Deer RCMP officer accused of asking prisoner to lift up her top

A woman who has accused a Red Deer RCMP officer of urging… Continue reading

Former principals, staff and students celebrate 50 years of Westpark Middle School

In the mid-1970s, Paul Gowans became principal at Westpark Middle School, and… Continue reading

Central Alberta MPs seek stiffer punishment for rural crimes

Bill C-458 was tabled Friday, and proposes to amend the Criminal Code to account for rural residents

Trans Mountain pipeline expansion gets second green light from Ottawa

OTTAWA — The federal Liberal government is giving the Trans Mountain pipeline… Continue reading

WATCH: New RDC president has three decades of experience working at colleges and universities

Peter Nunoda says he’s ‘excited’ to help transition the college into a university

Blair says more gun-control action needed, signals no new steps before election

OTTAWA — Crime Reduction Minister Bill Blair says more must be done… Continue reading

Pricey tours of decaying Titanic shipwreck delayed until June 2020

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Adventure tourists who paid $168,000 each to help… Continue reading

Police searching for suspect after shooting at Toronto Raptors rally

Toronto police are still looking for a suspect after Monday’s shooting that… Continue reading

The corporate winners and losers from the Toronto Raptors’ historic win

We The North mania spread across Canada as the Toronto Raptors created… Continue reading

Efforts continue to raise profile of New Brunswick sprint champion from 1900s

HALIFAX — A New Brunswick sprinter who achieved world-class success in the… Continue reading

Campaign to eradicate rodents puts other animals at risk

The bird was a female cardinal. It was on the ground and… Continue reading

Opinion: Throwing cold water on fee for calling firefighters

There’s never any upside to adversity. Whether it’s the loss of a… Continue reading

‘This is our story:’ Winnipeg General Strike commemorated on screen, stage

WINNIPEG — A moment in history that changed Canada forever is headed… Continue reading

Most Read