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Leaked govt. inquiry hints at 'genocide’ of Indigenous women in Canada

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A mural honoring missing and murdered Indigenous women is erected in Winnipeg, Canada, May 13, 2019.

A landmark government report has concluded that the disproportionate number of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada amounts to "genocide."

The violence perpetrated against the First Nations, Inuit and Métis for decades “amounts to a race-based genocide of Indigenous peoples," according to the 1,200-page document which was leaked to a number of media outlets.

The leaked report compiled in more than two and a half years titled Reclaiming Power and Place is to be released on Monday.

“State actions and inactions rooted in colonialism and colonial ideologies” were a key driving force in the disappearance of thousands of Indigenous women, the report said.

The commissioners investigating the matter found that the murders and disappearances were the product of a Canadian society that has eroded the rights of Indigenous women.

For years, activists and Indigenous peoples had urged the government to investigate the high number of Indigenous women, who have either gone missing or been killed.

In 2014, a Statistics Canada report determined that Indigenous women were six times more likely than non-Indigenous women to be  victims of homicide.

However, the previous Conservative government of Stephen Harper rejected the idea of an inquiry. Harper ignored police reports acknowledging the murders and disappearances.

After years of demands by Indigenous groups and others, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals ran on a campaign promise of directing state efforts to determine the scope and extent of the disappearances.

Eventually, the inquiry was officially started in September 2016 and the four commissioners investigating the matter gathered information from more than 2,380 people.

They recorded the accounts of 468 family members of victims and survivors over the course of their investigation.

The inquiry concluded that the government was to blame for an estimated 4,000 Indigenous women who have gone missing.

“We do know that thousands of Indigenous women ... have been lost to the Canadian genocide to date,” said the report.

Trudeau has promised justice to the victims and the families of the “Canadian genocide.”

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