Genocide against Indigenous women and girls ‘obvious,’ says chief commissioner

VANCOUVER — The chief commissioner of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls says the final report has started difficult conversations, but Canada must know the truth before it can achieve reconciliation.

Marion Buller made the remarks in a speech in Vancouver at a conference on the topic held by the University of British Columbia in collaboration with Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

The inquiry’s final report, released last week, details a deliberate and persistent pattern of abuses against Indigenous Peoples that it said amounts to nothing less than a “genocide.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not directly answered questions about whether he agrees with this finding, but has said he accepts it, while others, including Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, have rejected the conclusion of genocide.

Buller says the inquiry’s finding that the disappearances, murders and violence experienced by Indigenous women and girls amounts to genocide was ”pretty obvious” to her, but “apparently it’s controversial.”

She adds commissioners heard family members and survivors share heartbreaking stories of love, loss and grief, but they also heard stories of courage and resistance against colonialism.

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