Canada: Deaths of indigenous women were ′genocide′ | News | DW | 03.06.2019
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Canada: Deaths of indigenous women were 'genocide'

A Canadian government inquiry has concluded that the deaths of thousands of aboriginal women and girls in recent decades amounted to a "national genocide."

A 1,200-page report was released Monday detailing a Canadian government inquiry into thousands of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. It concluded that the deaths and disappearances of the women in recent decades constituted a "national genocide." 

The report, titled "Reclaiming Power and Place," was the result of a national inquiry commissioned by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2016.

Read more: Canadian MPs vote for papal apology over abuse of aboriginal children in schools

What the report said 

The inquiry criticized "long-standing discrimination" against indigenous people and Canada's failure to protect them.

  • The safety of indigenous women and girls cannot be realized without "upholding and implementing social, economic, and political rights."
  • A "housing crisis" is a significant contributor to violence, and "improved economic and social services, including better employment opportunities and safer housing, are necessary. 
  • Canada "has failed to ensure" that the health and wellness needs of indigenous people have been met. 

'A legal imperative'

It was presented during a ceremony in Gatineau, Quebec, near the Canadian capital, Ottawa. The ceremony was attended by Trudeau, along with some of the hundreds of family members of those missing or murdered.

"Calls for justice are not mere recommendations or optional suggestions, they are legal imperatives," said the inquiry's chief commissioner, Marion Buller. 

The findings were collected during dozens of community meetings and based on testimony from well over 2,300 Canadians.

In 2014, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police estimated that 1,017 aboriginal women had been murdered between 1980 and 2012.

Read more: Canada suspends police over aboriginal sexual abuse allegations

wmr/rt (dpa, Reuters)

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