(LifeSiteNews) — This month, Canadians celebrated Truth and Reconciliation Day for the first time in history.
While mainstream media and Liberal politicians, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, apologized for past grievances in residential schools, some of which were proven not to have occurred, real issues facing Indigenous communities were passed over.
The Trudeau government apparently finds it easier to apologize for the wrongs of the past rather than work toward real solutions for current injustices.
We’ve all heard the stories about Indigenous children who were allegedly abused and killed in residential schools, but very little is said about the harms committed against defenseless Indigenous today.
While I don’t live in a part of Canada close to Indigenous reserves, I have family and friends who do, and the stories they share reveal the real crises within those communities.
They are almost too many to number: poverty, alcoholism, drug addiction, crime, and violence, especially in schools. But the horror that struck me the most is the staggering number of Indigenous women who go missing and are murdered every year.
Reports within the Indigenous communities reveal that every few weeks a new poster goes up announcing the search for another Indigenous woman who has gone missing. While some women willingly leave the reserves and move to cities without telling their families and friends, many simply disappear without a trace.
According to a 2017 report from Statistics Canada, Indigenous women and girls are murdered and go missing at a disproportionately high rate compared to non-Indigenous women.
Indigenous women make up 10% of the total population of missing women in Canada despite only being 5% of the population.
However, the government’s statistics are thought to be inaccurate, meaning that the actual number is likely much higher.
Furthermore, Indigenous women and girls disproportionally suffer from physical and sexual abuse with over six in 10 (63%) experiencing physical or sexual assault in their lifetime.
Unfortunately, much of the abuse is inflicted by family members or acquaintances, which is possibly related to the high rates of alcoholism and drug addictions on the reserves.
Most (56%) of the murders of Indigenous women between 1980 and 2014 were committed by a family member, with 26% committed by acquaintances and only 8% by strangers.
Furthermore, despite Trudeau’s rhetoric that he cares about the Indigenous people, a Statistics Canada report found that the homicides of Indigenous women and girls are less likely to result in serious murder charges compared with crimes against non-Indigenous women.
According to the research, between 2009 and 2021, more than half of cases involving non-Indigenous women and girls resulted in charges of first-degree murder.
However, in cases of homicides of Indigenous women and girls, police pressed or recommended the charge of first-degree murder half as often. Instead, the cases were classified as second-degree murder or manslaughter, meaning that the criminals received lighter sentences and then were free to return to Indigenous communities.
Trudeau’s response to the Indigenous crisis
Trudeau has failed Indigenous people, refusing to take real action to protect women from going missing, being abused, and murdered.
While he claims to care about their issues, his only solution is to send them further unrestricted financial compensation, which has added to their problems, often resulting in increased alcoholism and drug addiction.
Instead, Trudeau insists on apologizing repeatedly for crimes against the residential school system despite increasing evidence that there were no “mass graves” as the media originally claimed.
Canada’s Residential School system was a structure of boarding schools funded by the Canadian government that ran from the late 19th century until the last school closed in 1996.
Canadian Indigenous residential schools, although run by both the Catholic Church and other Christian churches, were mandated and set up by the federal government
While there were some serious abuses against native children in residential schools, focusing on apologizing for past wrongs does not help Indigenous women and girls who are at risk today.
However, this is the approach of the Trudeau government, which recently reached a $2.8 billion settlement in a class action lawsuit over residential schools.
Furthermore, instead of tackling domestic violence crime, the Trudeau Liberals recently launched a $4.3 million campaign to fund contraception and abortion for Indigenous women.
Trudeau has chosen to dodge responsibility for the Indigenous crises, apparently hoping to distract Canadians with the residential schools narrative and leaving Indigenous women to suffer from violence and abuse.