Trudeau references ‘genocide’ of Indigenous women and girls in remarks at Vancouver women’s conference

After facing criticism for not using the term earlier in the day, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke the word “genocide” late Monday afternoon at a Vancouver women’s conference as he referred to what is happening to Indigenous women and girls in Canada.

Trudeau spoke at the Women Deliver conference hours after he had attended the official Ottawa-area presentation of the country’s inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women. The long-awaited inquiry labelled the country’s “colonialist structures” as contributing to a “genocide” of Indigenous women and girls.

“Earlier this morning, the national inquiry formally presented their report, in which they found that the tragic violence that Indigenous women and girls have experienced amounts to genocide,” Trudeau told the crowd.

Earlier in the day, Trudeau had not used the term “genocide” to describe the report’s findings, despite the inquiry’s Chief Commissioner Marion Buller saying it is “an inescapable conclusion” of the inquiry. Trudeau faced significant online criticism over the issue.