The Canadian national broadcaster CBC has obtained a leaked copy of a 1,200-page document that reportedly blames the disproportionate level of violence suffered by First Nations women on the government’s inaction coupled with historic colonialism.
The findings of the so-called National Inquiry Into Missing Indigenous Women and Girls are due to be publicly voiced at a ceremony on Monday.
The report, which was prepared over the course of 40 years, is long-awaited in the country, which is home to 1.6 million people with First Nations heritage. According to Robyn Bourgeois, a campaigner for the issue who talked to the BBC, the report was essentially made possible because “indigenous women have been on the ground making noise about this”.
The report suggests that about 1,200 aboriginal women had been murdered or gone missing in Canada since 1980, with some activists cited as stating that the number could be much higher.
The document detailed disagreements over what constituted 'genocide', summing up the general stance: "The national inquiry's findings support characterizing these acts, including violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA [two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual] people, as genocide."
The inquiry focused on the systemic causes of violence against indigenous women as well as on prevention, with the issue rising to especial prominence after a much covered case from 2014: the murder of a First Nations teenager, Tina Fontain.