Canada to act on landmark national inquiry | Daily News
Violence against indigenous women

Canada to act on landmark national inquiry

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday said his government accepts a report on the murders and disappearances of indigenous women and girls across Canada in recent decades and would work with indigenous leaders on the next steps to be taken.

The Prime Minister was speaking at a side event at the ongoing Women Deliver 2019 international conference in Vancouver.

The 1,200 page report released on Monday included 231 recommendations for government, lawyers and police to address the levels of violence endured by indigenous women and girls and 2SLGBTQQIA (two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual) people.

The report said indigenous women and girls made up almost 25 per cent of all female homicide victims in Canada between 2001 and 2015 alone.

The report describes the killings as an act of ‘genocide’ and Trudeau acknowledged that the word has been used correctly in the report.

The national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls found that indigenous women and girls are 12 times more likely to be murdered or to go missing than members of any other demographic group in Canada — and 16 times more likely to be slain or to disappear than white women.

“There are many debates ongoing around words and the use of words. Our focus as a country, as leaders, as citizens, must be on the steps we take to put an end to this situation,” Trudeau said. “We cannot ignore this injustice. This has been going on for decades. We cannot pretend to honour these findings if we do not do anything about it. There will be an action plan in the coming months on responding to these findings.”

Trudeau said the report also highlighted the fact that systems have failed repeatedly for decades. “Now our focus is on putting an end to this situation and building a better future for everyone. We will focus on the community and ensure justice,” he added.

He reiterated the Canadian government’s commitment towards gender equality and pledged that Canada would invest up to US$ 1.4 billion for empowering women and ensuring their health and wellbeing around the world over the next several years.

The Premier, who called himself a feminist, said Canada and other countries should step up and take concrete action on a range of issues affecting girls and women.

He said Canada itself has problems such as the gender pay disparity. Canada was committed to addressing such issues.

The Prime Minister also spoke at the opening ceremony of the conference.


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