President Kenyatta graces Women Deliver 2019 Global Conference in Canada

Jo Lloyd
June 5, 2019

After two and a half years of hearings, a Canadian inquiry Monday released its final report on the disappearance and death of hundreds, if not thousands of indigenous women, victims of endemic violence it controversially said amounted to "genocide".

Other commissioners pointedly use the word and the report devotes pages to developing the argument that the deaths of Indigenous women and the generations-long suppression of their rights and cultures is genocidal.

Al Jazeera's Shihab Rattansi reports from Ottawa.

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.

"And they don't try to fit it in some political rubric or pre-existing framework", said Rebecca Thomas, a Mi'kmaw activist and former Halifax poet laureate.

"If it had not been the advocacy and the grassroots influence of the families, predominantly in Manitoba, we wouldn't be having this conversation today", Dumas said.

It has heard from more than 2,000 witnesses since 2017 - including survivors of violence and family members of missing women.

Almagro noted Canada's powerful voice around the world on human rights but said experts from the outside could "clarify the accusation and denunciation of genocide in your country".

"This", she said to a growing chorus of cheers and applause, "is genocide".

The report made scores of recommendations, and Trudeau vowed to develop and implement a national action plan to prevent future violence.

The 2014 murder of an indigenous teenager, Tina Fontaine, galvanised national support for the better protection for indigenous women and girls.

Though Justin Trudeau is now embroiled in some questionable affairs, including SNC-Lavalin scandal and the revelations of the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls, the announcement should come as no surprise to anyone as Trudeau prides himself on being a champion for feminism.

According to official estimates, nearly 1,200 indigenous women and girls went missing or were killed between 1980 and 2012, out of a community of 1.6 million people. "We really want to stop and end violence against women and girls", he said.

In response, the federal government announced that it would provide $9.6 million over five years to support the RCMP's new national investigative standards and practices unit to provide national oversight to major investigations.

Recommendations: The report contains more than 200 recommendations.

"What we're seeing is donors like the United States limiting, eliminating their funding, especially around - but it's not even limited to - reproductive health", she explains, saying this type of behaviour is behind the growing gap.

The report cited abuses such as forcing indigenous children to attend government run residential schools, and police and justice system failure to address the concerns of indigenous women, according to the Times. "However, as for tangible actions and results, I think that might be further out than we would like", said Thomas.

Trudeau acknowledged that the justice system has failed missing and murdered Indigenous women.

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