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CanadaPremier Scott Moe disagrees with MMIWG inquiry's genocide finding

02:40  11 june  2019
02:40  11 june  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

'If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention': MMIWG inquiry report includes 231 recommendations

'If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention': MMIWG inquiry report includes 231 recommendations The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls says it's only begun to scratch the surface when it comes to violence against Indigenous women and girls. The final report from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) will be publicly released on Monday. CBC has obtained a leaked copy. It makes 231 recommendations, termed "calls for justice" in the report, in response to what it says is a "Canadian genocide" spurred by "state actions and inactions rooted in colonialism and colonial ideologies.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says he doesn't agree that genocide was committed by the state against Canada' s Indigenous peoples. The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls ( MMIWG ) came to an "inescapable conclusion" in its final report — that genocide

Marion Buller, the inquiry ' s chief commissioner, said this "Canadian genocide " is different from the Holocaust or the genocidal campaign against the Tutsi in Rwanda, but the term can still reasonably be applied to the Indigenous experience in Canada based on the UN's 1948 convention on genocide .

Premier Scott Moe disagrees with MMIWG inquiry's genocide finding© Bryan Eneas/CBC 'It is unfortunate that the use of this term has distracted from the recommended action highlighted in the report, recommendations our government is reviewing diligently,' said a statement from Premier Scott Moe's office.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says he doesn't agree that genocide was committed by the state against Canada's Indigenous peoples.

The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) came to an "inescapable conclusion" in its final report — that genocide was committed from the colonial era to the present.

When CBC asked for Moe's opinion Monday morning, the premier's office replied with the following statement:

Inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women issues final report with sweeping calls for change

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MMIWG inquiry recommendations' effect in Saskatchewan uncertain. Premier Scott Moe disagrees with MMIWG inquiry ' s genocide finding .

The inquiry ' s final report recommends governments and child-welfare agencies immediately abandon what are known as birth or hospital alerts. Premier Scott Moe disagrees with MMIWG inquiry ' s genocide finding .

"While the historic violence highlighted in the MMIWG report is extreme and unacceptable, when viewed through the lens of other examples of deliberate and systematic destruction of ethnic, racial, religious or national groups; such as the Armenian genocide, the Holodomor, the Holocaust, or the Rwandan Genocide; the Premier does not agree with the use of the term in the report," the premier's statement said.

"It is unfortunate that the use of this term has distracted from the recommended action highlighted in the report, recommendations our government is reviewing diligently."

Moe is not the first public figure to disagree with the conclusion since the report was released last week.

This discourse dismisses the serious nature of missing and murdered Indigenous women and misses what's important — the recommendations and action moving forward, said freelance journalist and Indigenous affairs columnist Doug Cuthand. He wrote a column about the use of the word — and the push back against it.

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The MMIWG inquiry report cited the work of Raphael Lemkin (1900–1959), who coined the term " genocide ".[85] Lemkin had explained that genocide does not exclusively mean the "Murdered and missing women and girls in Canada tragedy is genocide rooted in colonialism, official inquiry finds ".

Commissioners for the national inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls say the report' s conclusion that genocide was committed against

"It's all focused on this one word — and that's a mistake​," Cuthand said.

"The word itself is very inflammatory and when it came out people ​thought of genocide in the very worst form​," he said, noting "the Holocaust or the Armenian genocide and other atrocious acts done in the past.​" ​

​However, he said the United Nations definition is much broader.

According to the UN, genocide is any of five acts committed with the "intent to destroy in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group." The UN defines acts of genocide as:

  • Killing members of the group.
  • Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group.
  • Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.
  • Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.
  • Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

​"Genocide can be a government policy ​that lasts​ for years and years​, you know, ​decades​, a​nd that's what happened here in Canada​," Cuthand said.

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The MMIWG national inquiry overstated in its final report the percentage of Canadian homicide victims who are Indigenous women and girls by misquoting a The errors are ones of degree and ultimately don't change one of the main findings of the inquiry — that Indigenous women and girls suffer higher

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he accepts the finding that Canada’ s treatment of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls amounts to genocide .

The MMIWG report noted several contributing acts committed by government or professionals against Indigenous people, such as the Indian residential school system, the "Sixties Scoop" of Indigenous children, forced sterilization of Indigenous women and allegations of police inaction on murder cases when it came to the genocide conclusion.

​Cuthand said he expects more from political leaders who have dismissed the word.

​"​P​oliticians​ —​ ​an​d I'm meaning all stripes here​ — ​ tend to appeal to the lowest common denominator​," he said, noting it's easy to dismiss the word and move on.

"If ​you stop to describe it and define it and dissect it — then it takes a lot longer and becomes complicated.​" ​

Like Moe, federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said the level of violence directed at Indigenous women and girls in Canada should not be labelled genocide.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said "we accept their findings, including that what happened amounts to genocide," one day after the inquiry's closing ceremony.

Cuthand said the focus should be on the report's recommendations, alongside those that came from the Truth Reconciliation Commission and the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples that preceded it.

Together they form a long list — a blueprint — of what needs to be done, he said.

​"We've still got vestiges of the old colonial past.​ ​We've got to get rid of them and move on​, and that's something for all Canadian people to consider," he said.

​"Having reconciliation and doing nice things is fine​, b​ut you've got to dig deeper and if you ​want ​to make changes you have to know it's going to be painful.​"

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