Women's rights slipping, equality 'under attack,' says Canada's PM Trudeau

CBC News

Deaths of indigenous women 'a Canadian genocide', leaked report says

The Liberal government says it will increase Canadian funding for women's health worldwide to $1.4 billion every year starting in 2023, with half of this money dedicated to sexual- and reproductive-health rights.

Despite the brief outburst, the crowd loudly applauded when he acknowledged that the report concluded that violence against Indigenous women amounted to nothing less than a genocide.

For his part, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stopped short of using the term - despite being directly asked to do so in a call from the crowd - when he spoke after accepting the report.

Settee said MKO will work to implement the many recommendations detailed in the robust report, but called on all levels of government to find a plan that works.

Calling for "an absolute paradigm shift", the report makes recommendations for all sectors of society, but most relevant here are those about education and child welfare and those intended for ordinary Canadians.

For decades, Canada's indigenous people have warned that a disproportionately large number of their women and girls were vanishing or being killed, that police investigations of these crimes were careless, and that their pleas for help were being ignored.

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The report by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, titled "Reclaiming Power and Place", states that Canada, from before its pre-colonial past to today, enacted policies to "destroy Indigenous peoples physically, biologically and as social units", a supplement to the report said.

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". "It is shameful, it is absolutely unacceptable and it must end".

"We do know that thousands of Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA (two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual) have been lost to the Canadian genocide to date", per the leaked report.

Recommendations: The report contains more than 200 recommendations.

According to B.C.'s submission to the inquiry in December, more than 100 Indigenous women and girls had been murdered or gone missing in the province.

But she said she hopes Canadians recognize it isn't a thing of the past.

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These moves are not optional, but constitute legal imperatives, the report says.

"The reserves are underfunded, there is like chronic lack of housing, there is no safe drinking water", she said.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police revealed in 2014 that 1,017 aboriginal women had been murdered between 1980 and 2012.

Michele Audette, one of the commissioners of the inquiry, said they heard from women and family members that the justice system did not work for Indigenous people. Other unverified estimates are far higher.

The prime minister didn't say what he was referring to, although last week he said he planned to talk to U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence about the growing number of American laws that restrict abortion.

Teachers from elementary to post-secondary school are encouraged to educate their students about missing and murdered Indigenous women, including the root causes such as residential school, poverty and colonialism.

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