VICTORIA – Premier John Horgan has issued the following statement about Reclaiming Power and Place, the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls:
“As British Columbians and Canadians receive this final report of the national inquiry investigating the disproportionate levels of racialized, sexualized and systemic violence experienced by Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit peoples, we recognize the enormous courage of the survivors and families who have brought us to this moment.
“There is no statement I can make that will do justice to your lived experiences, or the pain you have endured. It has taken immense courage and leadership to share the truth of the trauma that you, your families and your communities have experienced and continue to experience. In honour of the women, girls and two-spirit peoples who have been stolen and those who have survived, we are committed to learning from your stories, to taking action and to enacting change.
“This report brings to the forefront the magnitude of the gendered impacts of colonial violence, one so severe the inquiry has called it a ‘Canadian genocide.’ We will be reviewing the report and recommendations in detail and considering them along with historic recommendations from survivors, families and communities, and the work currently underway in B.C. – as well as our government’s broader commitment to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.
“Dismantling the underlying and systemic issues that result in Indigenous women experiencing violence at a much higher rate than non-Indigenous women is fundamental to our government’s work toward true and lasting reconciliation. We are actively working in collaboration with Indigenous partners and communities to build relationships based on the inherent right to self-determination and we believe that this is an important part of addressing the conditions that result in violence.
“We are committed to developing a path forward to end violence against Indigenous women and girls that will be directly informed by survivors, family members and communities. Community-based engagement to collaborate on taking concrete steps together will soon begin and will continue through the summer and early fall.”