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MMIWG report not shy in its usage of the term ‘genocide’

Kitchener Today with Lori Campbell 03 June 2019

The final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls was released on Monday.

One of the most striking things when looking at the report is the usage of the word genocide, it appears throughout the 1,200-page document.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not, however, use the term during his speech following the presentation of the report, despite being urged to do so by the crowd.

Canada recognizes only five genocides:  the Holocaust, the Holodomor genocide, the Armenian genocide, the Rwandan genocide, and the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia.

However, the usage of the term may be disputed Lori Campbell director of the Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre says the terms usage in the report is appropriate.

“Genocide is referring to the disintegration of the political and social institutions of culture, language, national feelings, religion and the economic existence of national groups.”

Campbell feels that these things do apply in the case of Indigenous people across Canada.

While many people may be squeamish about the usage of the term, Campbell adds that many Canadians are not educated enough on the subject of Indigenous issues to make such a judgment about its usage.

“If we were up to speed as Canadians on the policies that have affected Indigenous people then I think people would understand the usage of the term genocide.”

The full report is available online and presents 231 “imperative changes” to help resolve the issue.