A Call to End Genocide: Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change Statement on the Calls For Justice by the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
18 June 2019 / Toronto – Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change (COP-COC) denounces violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people, and also calls on all governments in Canada to act urgently to implement the Calls For Justice presented in “Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls”.
The National Inquiry has concluded that Indigenous Peoples in Canada,
and particularly Indigenous
women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people have been subject to a genocide that
persists to this day.
While we are not surprised at the finding, we feel shock,
sadness and anger at the depth and breadth of the injustice and pain Indigenous
Peoples continue to face through ongoing settler colonialism. We offer
gratitude and respect to the survivors and families that came forward to share
their truth with the National Inquiry and thus with Canadians. We know that the
truths of many missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA
individuals remain untold, and their lives unaccounted. We are grateful to the thousands
of people who contributed in different ways to this process.
COP-COC echoes the Inquiry’s call to end the race-based genocide
of Indigenous Peoples, especially women, girls and the 2-Spirited. We echo the
call to restore the rights of Inuit, Métis, and First Nations women, girls, and
2SLGBTQQIA people and restore them to their power and place, and for transformative legal and social changes.
Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change believes this is the most urgent priority today for all governments.
The National Inquiry calls for a
permanent commitment to ending the genocide through a set of Calls For Justice,
and notes that they are legal imperatives that arise from international and
domestic human and Indigenous rights laws. Thus Canada is legally obliged to
implement the Calls For Justice.
The Calls For Justice are
intended for more than governments, institutions and industries. They are also
meant for all the residents of these lands and territories – to play our
respective parts in transforming systemic and societal values that serve to maintain
The National Inquiry describes the foundational right to
self-determination and the importance of conceptualizing rights as founded in
all relationships. It calls for a National Action Plan to address violence against Indigenous women,
girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people, and an Anti-Racism and Anti-Sexism National Action
Plan to end racist and sexualized stereotypes of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA
people. The National Inquiry rightfully
expects us all to read the Calls and understand and act on our respective
Colour of Poverty – Colour of
Change has over time worked to include the experiences of Indigenous Peoples in
our ongoing work at countering the racialization of poverty, racism and
colonialism. And we recognize that our efforts at decolonizing our work is
The National Inquiry includes Calls
For Justice for All Governments; and Calls For Justice: Industries,
Institutions, Services and Partnerships. It includes a specific set of Calls
For Justice for All Canadians, which will be
foundational to our work going forward, and they are reproduced here in full:
15.1 Denounce and speak out against
violence against Indigenous women, girls, and
15.2 Decolonize by learning the true
history of Canada and Indigenous history in your local area. Learn about and
celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ history, cultures, pride, and diversity, acknowledging
the land you live on and its importance to local Indigenous
communities, both historically and today.
15.3 Develop knowledge and read the Final
Report. Listen to the truths shared, and acknowledge the burden of these
human and Indigenous rights violations, and how they impact Indigenous women,
girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people today.
15.4 Using what you have learned and some
of the resources suggested, become a strong ally.
Being a strong ally involves more than just
tolerance; it means actively working to break down barriers and to support
others in every relationship and encounter in which you participate.
15.5 Confront and speak out against racism,
sexism, ignorance, homophobia, and transphobia, and teach or encourage others
to do the same, wherever it occurs: in your home, in your workplace, or in
15.6 Protect, support, and promote the safety
of women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people by acknowledging and respecting the
value of every person and every community, as well as the right of Indigenous
women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people to generate their own, self-determined
15.7 Create time and space for
relationships based on respect as human beings, supporting and embracing
differences with kindness, love, and respect. Learn about Indigenous principles
of relationship specific to those Nations or communities in your local area and
work, and put them into practice in all of your relationships with Indigenous
15.8 Help hold all governments accountable
to act on the Calls for Justice, and to implement them according to the
important principles we set out.
Colour of Poverty – Colour
of Change encourages all members of our network as well as all other residents
of Canada to read the entire report as a starting point to acting on the Calls
All the materials
published by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
and Girls, including the complete set of Calls For Justice may be found at https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/
of Poverty – Colour of Change (COP-COC) is a community initiative based in the province of
Ontario made up of individuals and organizations working to build
community-based capacity to address the growing racialization of poverty and
the resulting increased levels of social exclusion and marginalization of
racialized communities (both Indigenous Peoples and peoples of colour) across