The report unequivocally and undeniably describes to Canadians the shameful decisions and the unspeakable actions taken in our names that together are now being appropriately described as a genocide.
For decades, Canada’s first-nations communities have sounded the alarm that a disproportionately large number of indigenous women and girls were vanishing or being killed. They warned that police investigations of these crimes were careless, and told us that their pleas for help were being ignored.
The government-appointed commission that has been investigating the claims for three years announced its explosive conclusion: Canada’s indigenous women and girls are “under siege,” and their deaths and disappearances amount to “a race-based genocide.”
The Canadian Human Rights Commission released this public statement today endorsing the final report of the commission. Chief Commissioner Marie-Claude Landry’s words resonate with me as I ask myself how Canada as a country ever allowed this situation to exist, and why it took until 2019 to finally get to this point.
June 3, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Human Rights Commission
Following the release of the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, issues the following statement:
“Today we congratulate the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls on releasing its final report.
“For too long, systemic discrimination and violence against Indigenous women and girls, including those who are 2SLGBTQQIA, has gone unacknowledged, undocumented, uninvestigated, and unexamined. Indigenous women and girls are rights-holders, and their voices and stories must be heard.”
“The CHRC commends the Inquiry for taking a broad human rights and Indigenous rights approach that considered the root causes of the violence and systemic discrimination against Indigenous women and girls within our society. The Calls for Justice contained in this report touch on many different facets of life, from health and wellness, to culture, education, and the right to self-determination. Many of the practical changes proposed will make our society more just — not only for Indigenous women and girls, but for all of us.
“We support and endorse these Calls to Justice. As the report reminds us: these recommendations aren’t just about what governments must do. We must all play a role. The Canadian Human Rights Commission will do our part, and we encourage everyone in Canada to do the same. We must honour the words of the families and survivors, and allow their stories to motivate action to change our country for the better.”