Skip to main content

Canada UN high commissioner urges redress as Canada responds to MMIWG inquiry

Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland takes part in a discussion with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet in Ottawa on June 17.

Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Canada’s response to the conclusions of the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls should include some form of redress for the victims and their families, says the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Michelle Bachelet, who spent the day meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, acknowledged Monday that she hasn’t read the full final report from the national inquiry, which was released earlier this month.

But she said the government’s plan should identify and implement some sort of recompense for the Indigenous women, girls, LGBTQ and two-spirit people who have been directly impacted by the long-standing tragedy.

Story continues below advertisement

“We always try to support the families of the victims and to give them redress,” Ms. Bachelet said, noting that other countries facing similar situations have approached the problem in different ways.

“We believe that it is a way of acknowledging a reality and doing something about it.”

The inquiry’s final report included 231 recommendations, framed as “calls for justice,” including developing an effective response to human-trafficking cases and sexual exploitation and violence.

The commission also documented the issue as a “deliberate race, identity and gender-based genocide.”

That last conclusion has sparked controversy, in particular after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government has accepted the report’s conclusions.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office said the finding of genocide obliges the federal government in Canada to “assess these serious claims.” The office also commended Canada on its engagement on the rights of Indigenous communities, including with the inquiry, calling it an important contribution to the national debate and a “critical step towards reconciliation.”

“The national inquiry allowed for the voices of the victims to be heard, and for their truth to come out,” it said.

Story continues below advertisement

“We encourage everyone to now focus on implementation of the comprehensive recommendations, including ensuring redress for the victims and their families, and taking all necessary measure to prevent further violations.”

The federal government’s job, along with the provinces and territories, is to develop a national action plan,

In a statement, the office of Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett acknowledged the government needs to develop an action plan in tandem with the provinces and territories, and will speak to the initial steps in that process over the coming weeks.

“This action plan must be developed in partnership with First Nations, Inuit, and Metis governments and organizations, the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ and two-spirit people, and survivors,” it said.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter