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Kluane Aagé Adamek

Canadians should reflect on report: regional chief

Kluane Aagé Adamek, the Yukon regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations,

By Whitehorse Star on June 6, 2019

Kluane Aagé Adamek, the Yukon regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations, had a direct message for Canadians on Monday, when the commissioners of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) released their final report to federal, provincial and territorial governments.

“On this very important day, we call on Canadians to stop, to reflect, and to take a very serious look at the systemic failures and lack of leadership demonstrated that has led to the preventable murders and abductions of our women and girls,” Adamek said.

“These unnecessary lost lives are very real to us, and the grieving continues. These women and girls were our daughters. Our nieces. Our sisters. Our granddaughters. They were our mothers and grandmothers.

“And the violence against our women is still happening today. In an era of #MeToo, this is quite simply unacceptable,” Adamek said.

The final report leads with evidence that concludes that the cases of Indigenous women and girls murdered and whom have gone missing as investigated by the inquiry were victims of a “Canadian genocide”.

The final report reflects the painful suffering of the victims and their families, Adamek said. It speaks directly to how terribly Canada has systemically failed them, she added.

The inquiry could not make a final determination of the number of women and girls who have been murdered or gone missing due to the lack of timely action from Canada to respond to the crisis, the regional chief pointed out.

The report calls on Canadians to stand up and call out racism and violence against Indigenous peoples, to learn the truth about Canadian history, and to read the landmark report in full.

It includes more than 200 recommendations for changes to the justice system.

“The results of the national inquiry clearly show that the best way forward is for First Nations to reassert their inherent rights and our jurisdiction,” Adamek said.

“This means taking back control of our own governance systems, such as restorative justice, our own healing mechanisms for impacted families and women affected by violence, the development of our own child and family services laws and systems, improved access to life-long education that is culturally relevant, increased access to Indigenous-led addictions and treatment programming, and the transfer of health care for delivery by First Nations.”

The final report comprises “the sacred truths of 1,484 family members and survivors of violence and 83 knowledge-keepers, experts and officials who provided testimony at 24 hearings and statement gathering events held from coast-to-coast-to-coast in 2017 and 2018, as well as 819 people who shared their truths through artistic expressions.”

Kwanlin Dun First Nation Chief Doris Bill said it’s “important to uphold the truths of the families and survivors who courageously took part in this process.

“I am confident that we can change the story in Yukon; First Nation self-government uniquely positions us to make a real difference in the lives of Yukon families and to make our communities safer.”

The November 2017 commission’s interim report, Our Women and Girls Are Sacred, provided recommendations that informed the committee’s work and their partners on action planning.

This included work on the Sexual Assault Response Team planning and implementation, community safety planning, and promoting economic empowerment of Indigenous women and girls.

In 2017, the Yukon was the first jurisdiction to host family hearings and one of the first to host advisory meetings.

In keeping with Indigenous values, the commission was welcomed back to the Yukon last month to take part in healing ceremonies.

The committee members will attend a private family gathering later this month with family members and survivors.

Hosted by the Yukon Indigenous Women’s groups, the family gathering will mark the end of the inquiry’s work, promote continued healing and look to the future to change the story for Indigenous women and girls.

“I lost my sister at a time when there was no respect or regard for the rights of Indigenous women,” said Ann Maje Raider, the executive director of the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society.

“This tragedy was made even worse by the disrespect our family was shown by the authorities. Things are getting better, and thanks to the inquiry and countless Indigenous women across Canada, my sister has finally been given a voice, along with so many other missing or murdered Indigenous women and girls.”

Meanwhile, the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP) acknowledges that the final  report as a guiding document for concrete actions to be taken to protect Indigenous women and girls.

Over the past two years, CAP participated as a party with standing, and members also joined in the truth gathering process.

“We know too well that the government continues the pattern of colonial violence today and that the existing Indian status rules, along with chronic underfunding of adequate, culturally-safe policies and supports, are leading to the eradication of our peoples,” said CAP national chief Robert Bertrand.

The inquiry has taken a strong position that the federal government is legally obligated to end these practices, he pointed out.

Call to Justice 1.1 demands for “… all governments to ensure that equitable access to basic rights such as employment, housing, education, safety, and health care is recognized as a fundamental means of protecting Indigenous and human rights, resourced and supported as rights-based programs founded on substantive equality,” Bertrand said.

“All programs must be no-barrier, and must apply regardless of status or location.

“We are here to honour the lost women and girls,” he added.

“We’re hopeful that full implementation of the Calls to Justice would lead to greater safety, security and empowerment of our constituency.”

“Above all, this inquiry is for the families who need to see this process lead to concrete solutions – to help end the continual cycle of murder and violence against Indigenous women and girls,” added national vice-chief Kim Beaudin.

Comments (20)

Up 1 Down 0

Seth Wright on Jun 14, 2019 at 6:07 pm

For all those who are arguing the word genocide. The MMIWG is part of the story of the genocide that has been occurring and ongoing since first contact. Conservative estimates show that the current population of North American Indigenous persons is about 10% of what it was before contact. That certainly looks like genocide. The MMIWG numbers are a part of that overall number. Stop being deliberately obtuse - That is the role of government!

Up 0 Down 0

Chubby Checker on Jun 13, 2019 at 3:27 am

Hey josie you truly live by your facts do yah? Where did you get the fact in a previous post that the 'Child Protection Act' was brought in by the the Liberals? It was in fact brought in by the NDP back in the 80s (Mugsy Joe), I believe. This is only one example. Never a doubt.

Up 0 Down 0

Mike Miller on Jun 12, 2019 at 8:43 pm

Did a little and you will find a report that documents the genocide of First Nation people in Canada. And it aligns with a genocide definition from the United Nations.

Some very chilling stories from the Port Alberni area paints a very poor picture of church and government and police. And yes, it was genocide and not cultural genocide.

Up 0 Down 0

It is what it is on Jun 12, 2019 at 6:56 pm

My my, what a defensive bunch we have on here and oh so sensitive to a report that has taken years to produce. Years of very detailed research that has resulted in calling it what it is. Remember, the results (deaths, missing etc) are the result of intent. Maybe the results are not spectacular in relation to other atrocities around the world. Just goes to show you how resilient First Nations people are. Ignorant comments, and throwing around numbers to suit your agenda are not going to change the fact that First Nations have been dumped on since your kin first landed in North America. And no matter how you say it, it has been wrong and has to change. You might not like it but First Nations people stand up to you now and are taking charge of their lives and will take their rightful place in Canadians society regardless if you want it to happen or not.

Up 0 Down 0

North_of_60 on Jun 12, 2019 at 5:23 pm

At first it was 'cultural genocide' now it's just 'genocide'. Misuse of that term disrespects the millions who were deliberately, systematically and willfully killed by Hitler, Stalin, PolPot, and by the Caliphate even today.

What Spain and the Catholic Church did in South America was genocide. Nothing like that happened in Canada. Canadian aboriginals are fortunate that their culture didn't hoard and display gold and gems or they too would have experienced the rape and genocide of the Conquistadors.

The RCMP has spent years and $92M investigating. Here is a quote from the Executive Summary of the RCMP report on MMIWG "There are similarities across all female homicides. Most homicides were committed by men and most of the perpetrators knew their victims — whether as an acquaintance or a spouse."
In other words, friends or lovers committed the vast majority of the murders.

Genocide is not the term to use, it is simply murder.

Up 17 Down 2

Juniper Jackson on Jun 12, 2019 at 1:53 pm

According to the 2013 RCMP report, there are 6,420 missing persons in Canada, of whom 1,455 are women, 164 are Aboriginal. Fully 88% of murders of Aboriginal women have been solved by police , 89% of murders of non-Aboriginal women. Between 1980 and 2012, there have been a total of 20,313 murders in Canada; 6,551 of those victims were women and 1,017 of those were Aboriginal women.
Almost 30% of these Aboriginal victims were murdered by their husbands, 23% by another family member, another 30% were murdered by an acquaintance and 8% by strangers.
71% of the murderers of Aboriginal women already had a criminal record. 53 % had been convicted before of a violent crime, 62% had a history of violence with the specific murder victim herself.
In the 2013 RCMP report on Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women, the rate of incidence has been falling 40 % in the last 30 years. In more than 90 % RCMP stated they have a good idea who the murderers are, known to or related to the victim,75 % of the crimes are in a residence and cause of death is by beatings 32%, and stabbings 31%.
Since a high % of Aboriginals live off reserve you would think the provincial government or the authority having jurisdiction wherever they reside would bear more direct responsibility for a citizen`s welfare than the federal government.
As a point of interest the numbers for Aboriginal men is about double that of women. I think all the missing and murdered people in Canada, Aboriginal and non Aboriginal is very tragic. It is a sad situation for all. I missed the part of genocide unless they are saying they are participants in their own genocide.

The deaths of 11 million Jews in gas chambers, by starvation, by firing squad, by torture.. THAT could be rightfully labeled a "Genocide". Maybe, in addition to the hundreds of reports already generated, they need another report? I want to know what is at the end of all these reports? I wanted a report about ALL women that have been murdered, or missing, brutalized, with a view to improving police policy, investigative practice, looking at loopholes etc. But, clearly that did not happen. The recommendations...talk about money.

Up 25 Down 2

Facts Not Genocide on Jun 11, 2019 at 3:27 pm

The rate of homicide investigations solved for both indigenous and non-indigenous people in Canada is roughly the same at about an 80% success rate. There’s no hidden agenda or glaringly obvious disparity in success rates solving homicides for people of different races or genders. It doesn’t matter who you are, if you get murdered in 4 out of 5 cases the police in Canada solve the crime. In spite of all the rhetoric no one group of citizens is suffering ‘genocide’ more than any other group of citizens could claim to be.

Up 27 Down 1

Unbelievable on Jun 11, 2019 at 3:12 pm

The use of the word "genocide" in the report radically reduces the credibility of the panel. It also unfortunately dramatically reduces my ability to properly consider the report and the recommendations within. It screams bias before even getting to page 1.

For our PM to agree it was genocide on the part of Canada just shows what a complete idiot we have leading the country. My understanding is that an investigation into Canada's role in the whole affair is now required at the international level because our own PM has branded our country as criminals of the worst kind. Has he done anything more stupid than this?

Up 23 Down 3

No genocide here folks! on Jun 11, 2019 at 1:54 pm

Adamek says “These unnecessary lost lives are very real to us, and the grieving continues. These women and girls were our daughters. Our nieces. Our sisters. Our granddaughters. They were our mothers and grandmothers. But what this statement failed to mention was that in MOST cases these most unfortunate lost lives are caused by your sons, your nephews, your brothers, your grandsons, your fathers and your grandfathers. Quit blaming the rest of the Canadians for all of these terrible murders. Whomever referred to this tragedy as "genocide" should talk with the people of Uganda then get your head examined.

Up 12 Down 3

Donovan on Jun 11, 2019 at 11:10 am

@C'mon.... Actually the Chinese men killed building the Pacific Railway exceeds 1000. Over all it's estimated that over 75,000 Chinese people died doing the jobs "white" workers would not do during the late 1800's to the 1950's. They were forced to do the dangerous work all for $1 a day. In our modern world these people are still being forced into "slave" labor for $2 a day now. Funny thing was and is, the Chinese Government doesn't care.

Up 5 Down 23

C'mon on Jun 11, 2019 at 6:23 am

If it were over 1,000 Chinese men missing or murdered. China would be demanding answers from Canada, and be holding the country responsible.

Up 26 Down 6

Yukonmax on Jun 11, 2019 at 6:10 am

"We call on Canadians to stop, to reflect, and to take a very serious look at the systemic failures and lack of leadership"
And since you are Canadians too, it includes YOU!

Up 9 Down 26

Alex on Jun 10, 2019 at 1:16 pm

The whole issue is that the deaths have not been investigated, so we'll never know.
Also, even if the deaths are a result of domestic violence, that doesn't excuse ignoring the issue. The whole idea is that the Canadian government has not taken these deaths seriously and this is justified because they are killing their own? But are they not us? Aren't they Canadians? It's be pretty horrible of the government failed to investigate a huge series of murders and assaults because the killer was the same race as their victims.

Up 13 Down 25

Alex on Jun 10, 2019 at 12:59 pm

Does genocide had to occur "all at once?" Or can it also occur be the systematic destruction of a people over an extended period of time? I know it's tough to think of one's own culture is guilty of genocide. Denial is an easy trap to fall into.

Up 59 Down 8

Facts Not Genocide on Jun 8, 2019 at 12:47 pm

Between 1980 and 2012, of 20,313 national homicides in Canada over that period 5% or 1,015 were indigenous women. 90% of indigenous women were killed by indigenous males who knew their victim, 72% of those victims were murdered in their homes or on their premises. Contrary to urban myths generated by several high profile cases, very few sex trade workers whether indigenous or non-indigenous are murdered by their clients.
There is no denying that one murdered life taken away from loved ones is one to many, but Canada has not and never will be a nation of genocide. There was never a national program, real or imagined that called for the systematic killing and murder of an entire race or population of people in Canada. The fact that the government of Canada has in the past and continues to fund these inquiries proves that there is nothing to hide and the country is being as open and transparent as possible about the difficulties many of its different groups of residents face.
Trudeau needs to stop throwing Canadians under the bus on this for the sake of votes, while indigenous women are a group in need of help 5% of the countries random murders over 32 years does not make a genocide or anything close to it.

Up 34 Down 11

Josey Wales on Jun 7, 2019 at 12:22 pm

Hey Max...”Everyone is simultaneously afraid to voice any opposition to the group-think that is so in-your-face. “many may be, I as a individual most certainly am not.

“I wonder if there is any room for introspection here.”
Given the absolutely massive growth of the victim industry, I suggest clearly no!

Want to go look for a unicorn?
Try a online search for the stats on how many Indigenous women have been convicted of homicide or other brutal types of violence.
Factor in CCC 718.2(e) whilst you do so please, and cite the unicorn found.
Or visit homicidecanada.com and peruse the various regions of our decomposing country, our region is very well represented with family names common to the “news” both brutally killed and convicted killers alike.
That infamous “white paper”? sigh...another Liberal document, speaking in the context of “introspection”. October is purdy close.
If y’all wish more growth in the victim industry, recidivism to flourish further...keep voting for the team whose colours match her shirt.

Last point, “facts care little about your feelings” said a different genius.
OJW haters...go nuts, my last point is a philosophy I truly live by.

Up 48 Down 3

Max Mack on Jun 6, 2019 at 9:56 pm

It is regrettable that Yukon First Nations have allowed this issue to be co-opted by the radical feminist lobby. Politicans, the media, and everyone with "influence" has jumped on this bandwagon. Everyone is simultaneously afraid to voice any opposition to the group-think that is so in-your-face.

Meanwhile, aboriginal males are overwhelmingly the victims of violence. Many thousands of aboriginal men and boys have gone missing or have been murdered or have died due to suicide (including drinking or overdosing themselves to death). Many thousands more have been jailed for criminal activities. Much of this is the inevitable result of toxic pressures in their own culture combined with the lingering effects of colonialism.

As is typical, men are assumed to be engineers of their own fates while women are always seen as hapless victims, secondary characters that never have agency or choices.

I wonder if there is any room for introspection here.

Up 61 Down 12

Johanne on Jun 6, 2019 at 9:10 pm

Most aboriginal murders [3 out of 4 ] are committed by other aboriginals, usually people they know and are related to.
Stop blaming everyone else for the mistakes you make.

Up 48 Down 6

George on Jun 6, 2019 at 5:53 pm

What's really frustrating about this is the constant blame game. Purposely omitting key statistics such as "15% of indigenous woman report spousal abuse (compared to 3% in indigenous)", " 34% of indigenous women said that a current or former partner had been emotionally or financially abusive towards them in the 5 years preceding the survey", stats can. All that seems to come forward is what "the other guys" did and there is no reflection on past cultural practices, current inherent problems (not linked to what " the other guys" did). If we're going to be honest and open, let's do what Kluane states " On this very important day, we call on Canadians to stop, to reflect, and to take a very serious look at the systemic failures and lack of leadership demonstrated that has led to the preventable murders and abductions of our women and girls" and make sure we look at both sides of the coin.

Up 65 Down 14

Dave on Jun 6, 2019 at 3:46 pm

How can it be a ‘Canadian genocide’ when the police report that 70% of violence and murders of indigenous women are conducted by indigenous males? How is the government of Canada and more specifically the non indigenous population responsible for the majority of these crimes which are the result of indigenous on indigenous violence? Why aren’t the individuals who commit these crimes being held responsible instead of trying to lay blame on everyone else? And specifically who in Canada has committed this supposed ‘genocide’? The police? Politicians? Social workers? The army? Exactly who in Canada has ever made a law, a policy, or an order that female indigenous people are to be systematically killed, as in a genocide?

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