Canadian inquiry calls deaths of indigenous women 'genocide'

According to official estimates almost 1,200 women and girls went missing or were killed between 1980 and 2012

According to official estimates almost 1,200 women and girls went missing or were killed between 1980 and 2012

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 was leaked to Canada's national broadcaster CBC which published details on Friday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says killings and violence toward Indigenous women and girls is sadly not a relic of Canada's past and that the justice system has failed them.

The final report, called "Reclaiming Power and Place", was presented during an often emotional ceremony in Gatineau, Quebec, near the Canadian capital, and was attended by some of the hundreds of family members of those missing or murdered, and by government officials including Trudeau.

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The 1,200-page report, which resulted from an inquiry launched by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government in 2016, blamed the violence on long-standing discrimination against indigenous people and Canada's failure to protect them.

According to CBC News, the report "concludes that a genocide driven by the disproportionate level of violence faced by Indigenous women and girls occurred in Canada through 'state actions and inactions rooted in colonialism and colonial ideologies'".

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.

The inquiry was the culmination of years of lobbying by native leaders, activists and victims' families seeking to know why possibly thousands of indigenous women were murdered or have gone missing over the past three decades. Its authors admit there's room to debate genocide, but say "the fact that First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples are still here and that the population is growing should not discount the charge of genocide".

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