What You Need to Know About Canada’s Indigenous ‘Genocide’

By some counts, over 4,000 Indigenous, Native American women and LGBT+ people have either been murdered or “disappeared” in recent decades in Canada. However, after an official government investigation released a report, it seems likely that this number is much higher. The report labels this trend an ongoing “Canadian genocide” borne from European colonialism.

Commissioned in 2016, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada officially released its thorough, in-depth final report documenting the widespread victimization taking place against Indigenous women and LGBT+ individuals. Statements taken from more than 2,300 people helped to assemble the more than 1,200-page report.

The findings state that “state actions and inactions rooted in colonialism and colonial ideologies” have long enabled this continuing tragedy — one rooted in silence, institutional neglect and outright oppression.

The inquiry’s investigators say thousands of Indigenous women have been killed or gone missing — and, all too frequently, law enforcement fails to follow through on criminal probes. The report notes that although they subpoenaed almost 479 records from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and other agencies, the committee was often met with a lack of cooperation. They eventually only obtained 174 such records, many of which were heavily redacted.

Additionally, the report notes that although the RCMP says that the majority of perpetrators behind these crimes are Indigenous men, their lack of proper criminal investigations and record keeping makes this claim extremely flimsy.

Unaddressed and ignored violence against Indigenous women is just one form of crime and injustice documented by the inquiry. It also uncovered systematic acts of oppression that include forced and coerced sterilization of Indigenous mothers, economic marginalization — such as mass homelessness and food insecurity — and a historical pattern of political exclusion.

The report also documents how Canada’s educational system undermined the truths of colonial trauma inflicted against Indigenous peoples, as well as erasing Indigenous culture and supplanting it with Western teachings.

The issues fleshed out by the commission are numerous and complex — and, naturally, they require a variety of long-term solutions. The report details 231 specific actions that the Canadian government could pursue to make amends and to protect Indigenous women going forward: These include but are not limited to law enforcement reform to address racism and LGBT+ bias, greater access to health care in Indigenous communities, a more inclusive educational curriculum and the official adoption of Indigenous languages.

It speaks volumes that this inquiry was able to unearth the breadth of this “Canadian genocide” of Indigenous women and LGBT+ people in just two and a half years. It was a process that, if it had not been needlessly hastened by Canadian courts and an institutional lack of general cooperation, would have undoubtedly come closer to exposing an even more accurate understanding of the incredible trials Indigenous communities in Canada still endure — even in this supposedly post-colonial age.

Take Action!

Don’t let this incredibly important report go ignored. Demand the leadership and lawmakers in Canada acknowledge and act on these findings. After centuries of genocide and oppression, Indigenous women and their communities are long overdue meaningful reconciliation. Add your name to this Care2 petition to urge Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Canadian Parliament to take action immediately!

Concerned about an issue? Want to raise awareness about an injustice? Join your fellow Care2 users by learning how to make your own petition and make your voice heard today!

 

Photo Credit: Fibonacci Blue/Flickr

55 comments

Paulo R
Paulo Reeson13 hours ago

petition signed. ty

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Chad Anderson
Chad Andersonyesterday

Thank you.

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Dr. Jan Hill
Dr. Jan Hillyesterday

The seventh fire ...

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O2 days ago

support women and get young women and girls out for good education

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O2 days ago

extraordinary

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O2 days ago

ok

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O2 days ago

th

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Peggy B
Peggy B2 days ago

I agree with Karen H.

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Karen H
Karen H2 days ago

Anne M - It doesn't matter whether the women were hitchhiking, walking, driving, bicycling, or anything else. They're missing or killed and the people who should be investigating aren't doing a damn thing. Yes, thousands of Caucasian women have been murdered, but those deaths are investigated, not ignored. Apologies from the government do nothing.

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Dr. Jan H
Dr. Jan Hill2 days ago

thanks

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