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Indigenous educator hopes MMIW report spurs frank discussions

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While the words may be jarring at first glance, one Grande Prairie Indigenous educator believes a lot of good can come from having a frank and potentially uncomfortable discussion about the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls report. Its report states the historic level of violence against Indigenous Women and Girls amounts to a “Canadian genocide.”

“Hopefully, rather than have them respond in a negative or a fearful way, they look to see why it was called and realize, ‘yes, it actually is a deserved definition; we just didn’t realize that,’ says Brigette Benning with the group Hug A Sister.

Of the 200 plus recommendations made, the four major topics highlighted were justice, culture, health, and security. Those overarching subjects are something those who wrote the final report believe are of vital importance.

“Despite their different circumstances and backgrounds, all of the missing and murdered are connected by economic, social and political marginalization, racism, and misogyny woven into the fabric of Canadian society,” wrote Chief Commissioner Marion Buller.

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Benning says it’s those underlying factors that many are unaware of, willfully or otherwise, when discussing the long term crisis surrounding MMIWG.

“Helping people understand that those cards are dealt, not the cards that are chosen, is very, very important. It also pays attention to the resilience of Indigenous people; I don’t think people understand how resilient Indigenous people have been in the face of this.”

The full report can be read here.

Benning hopes the final report can also open people’s eyes to the resilience of the Indigenous community across Canada.

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