August 5, 2021

Canada unveils plan to end violence against Indigenous women

The Canadian government unveiled, Thursday, June 3, a national action plan to end violence against Indigenous women, two years after the publication of a report denouncing a real “Genocide”. “Today, together, we are launching the national action plan which includes concrete measures to end violence against indigenous women and girls”, announced the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, during a videoconference.

Ottawa must invest an additional 2.2 billion Canadian dollars (1.5 billion euros) to “Put an end to this national tragedy”, but also “Improve the lives of indigenous people and advance reconciliation”, Trudeau said.

Read also: In Canada, the hidden drama of Indigenous feminicide

This plan, which also aims to combat violence targeting indigenous people from sexual minorities, comes two years after a public inquiry which concluded that indigenous women murdered or disappeared in Canada in recent decades have been victims of a real “Genocide”. In particular, it revealed that the homicide rate for Aboriginal women was seven times higher than that for non-Aboriginal women.

Housing, annual income and violence prevention

The country is also still in shock after the discovery last week of the remains of 215 Indigenous children at the site of a former residential school in British Columbia, run by the Catholic Church on behalf of the government. “Many of the root causes of the violence we see today are rooted in the loss of culture, identity, family ties, and child abuse by the residential school system.”, said Carolyn Bennett, Minister responsible for relations with Indigenous peoples.

This plan of around one hundred pages provides in particular for the implementation of measures to “Guarantee stable and sustainable housing”, a “Guaranteed viable annual income” or violence prevention programs. Mr. Trudeau has made reconciliation with the First Peoples of Canada one of his priorities since coming to power in 2015. The document has, however, been criticized, in particular by the Native Women’s Association of Canada, who regretted the lack of details on its implementation.

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The World with AFP