Activists say thousands of indigenous women and girls may have been killed
A national public inquiry into possibly thousands of missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada has called the deaths a “Canadian genocide”.
The report was leaked to Canada’s national broadcaster CBC which published details on Friday.
The 1,200-page document reportedly blames the disproportionate violence faced by indigenous women on deep-rooted colonialism and state inaction.
The report is due to be formally released at a ceremony on Monday.
The findings of the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls are long-awaited in Canada, where there are about 1.6m indigenous people.
“It took 40 years to get to this present moment and only because indigenous women have been on the ground making noise about this,” Robyn Bourgeois, a campaigner on the issue, told the BBC.
The inquiry concluded that about 1,200 aboriginal women had been murdered or gone missing in Canada since 1980, but some activists say the number is likely to have been far higher.
The report acknowledged disagreements over what constituted genocide, but concluded: “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.” MORE