Inquiry on missing, murdered Indigenous women released

The national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women wants health service providers across Canada to develop programs that could help young people recognize the signs of being targeted for exploitation.

The inquiry's final report, released publicly this morning with more than 200 recommendations to the federal government, calls violence against First Nations, Metis and Inuit women and girls a form of "genocide" and a crisis that has been "centuries in the making."

It's to be formally handed over in a two-hour ceremony in Gatineau, Que., across the Ottawa River from Parliament Hill, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in attendance.

The report, the culmination of a three-year effort that was often beset by controversy, delays and personnel problems, documents what chief commissioner Marion Buller calls "important truths", including that Canadian laws and institutions are themselves to blame for violating the human rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The recommendations include developing an effective response to human trafficking cases and sexual exploitation and violence, including in the sex industry.

Missing and murdered Indigenous women are believed to number in the thousands in Canada, but the report says that despite its best efforts to quantify the extent of the tragedy, "no one knows an exact number."

Indigenous women leaders from the four Atlantic provinces are calling on residents of the region to support the report of the National Inquiry in Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Cheryl Maloney, founding president of the Eastern Door Indigenous Women's Association, says in a news release that it applauds Canadians who stand with them and those who will "give life to the report."

The inquiry recommends sweeping reforms to the justice system and policing, as well as stiffer penalties for men who carry out spousal or partner abuse.

Other recommendations include official language status for Indigenous languages and a guaranteed income for Indigenous peoples.