This week, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls released its final report.
Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls confirms what Indigenous peoples have been saying for a long time.
The report “reveals that persistent and deliberate human and Indigenous rights violations and abuses are the root cause behind Canada’s staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA [two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual] people… It is time to call it as it is: Canada’s past and current colonial policies, actions and inactions towards Indigenous Peoples is Genocide.”
The Council of Canadians supports the more than 2,380 family members, survivors of violence, experts and Knowledge Keepers who shared their stories and experiences over two years of cross-country public hearings.
We call for the implementation of the 231 individual Calls for Justice directed at governments, institutions, social service providers, industries and all Canadians.
The report notes that “The steps to end and redress this genocide must be no less monumental than the combination of systems and actions that has worked to maintain colonial violence for generations. A permanent commitment to ending the genocide requires addressing the four pathways explored within this report, namely: historical, multigenerational, and intergenerational trauma; social and economic marginalization; maintaining the status quo and institutional lack of will; and ignoring the agency and expertise of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people.”
It is our collective responsibility to put an end to ongoing colonialism and genocide that our governments are responsible for through their actions and inaction.
As the report notes, the Calls for Justice “are legal imperatives – they are not optional. The Calls for Justice arise from international and domestic human and Indigenous rights laws, including the Charter¸ the Constitution, and the Honour of the Crown. As such, Canada has a legal obligation to fully implement these Calls for Justice and to ensure Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people live in dignity.”
The Council of Canadians commits to pushing for the implementation of the Calls to Justice in this report. We stand in solidarity with Indigenous peoples and will lift up and amplify their voices. Together, we will work to dismantle colonialism within Canadian society and from all levels of government and public institutions and reject the ideologies and instruments of colonialism, racism, and misogyny, both past and present.
Suggested resources for learning:
- National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Our Women and Girls Are Sacred: The Interim Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Women and Girls.
- National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Their Voices Will Guide Us: Student and Youth Engagement Guide.
- Transcripts, testimonies, and public statements offered during the Truth-Gathering Process, available at www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/transcripts/ and http://www.mmiwgffada.ca/part-ii-and-part-iii-knowledge-keeper-expert-and-institutional-hearing-transcripts/
Suggested resources for being a good ally to Indigenous peoples:
- Amnesty International. “10 Ways to Be a Genuine Ally to Indigenous Communities.”
- Dr. Lynn Gehl. “Ally Bill of Responsibilities.” (PDF)
- Indigenous Perspectives Society. “How to Be an Ally to Indigenous People.”
- Montreal Urban Aboriginal Community Strategy Network. “Indigenous Ally Toolkit.”