The inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) in Canada has just released its final report. In it, investigators point to "persistent and deliberate human and Indigenous rights violations and abuses" as "the root cause behind Canada’s staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people," the inquiry website states.
These efforts, the inquiry concludes, amounts to a genocide. "The thousands of stories of violence heard by the National Inquiry over the three intense years of its mandate lifted the veil over the existence of a genocide perpetrated by the Canadian state against Indigenous peoples. This genocide was enabled by colonial structures and policies maintained over centuries until the present day,"reads the supplemental report.
In the days since the release of the report, many Canadian federal officials have spent more time debating the nuance of the definition of genocide than addressing the issues that the inquiry report highlights. The prime minister, too, at first refrained from labelling Canadian policy as genocidal acts after reviewing the report.
Today, however, Trudeau has announced that he "accepts" the complete findings of the report, "especially with regard to the genocide,"according to Radio-Canada. These acts and their ongoing consequences "[prevent] Canada from being the country we want to be," he continued.
The release of the report, and Trudeau's acceptance of it, mark a monumental moment in Canadian history. But much work remains to be done. "To put an end to this tragedy, the rightful power and place of women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people must be reinstated, which requires dismantling the structures of colonialism within Canadian society,”said Commissioner Michèle Audette in a press release.
"This is not just a job for governments and politicians. It is incumbent on all Canadians to hold our leaders to account."
To read the entire report from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, refer to its website here. To learn more about what you can do to actively participate in reconciliation, review the Reconciliation Canada website here.