Press Release

Is A Genocide Taking Place in Canada? Short Answer: Yes.


June 19, 2023

(OTTAWA, ON) A genocide is being perpetuated against Indigenous peoples in Canada. That was the unambiguous declaration of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

But, despite a death toll that climbs year after year, many Canadians have difficulty understanding how the Inquiry reached its finding, or accepting that a crime of such magnitude is taking place in their country.

For those reasons, the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) today announced the launch of a graphic booklet which explains how the National Inquiry came to the inescapable conclusion of genocide. NWAC is calling upon ministers of education in every province and territory to incorporate the material into high-school curricula within their jurisdictions.

Genocide in Canada: A Legal Explanation was created by Fannie Lafontaine, a legal expert and law professor, and Chloloula, an artist and documentary filmmaker. The booklet, which is filled with haunting imagery, explains in plain-language why actions against Indigenous people in Canada legally constitute a genocide, and offers steps that can be taken to end it.

“We know it’s difficult for some people to accept that genocide is not just a legacy of Canada’s colonial past, but an ongoing crime of massive proportions which continues to claim lives today,” says Lynne Groulx, NWAC CEO. “This inability to accept the reality is a barrier that blocks efforts to end the violence.”

NWAC believes placing the booklet in the hands of high-school students from coast to coast to coast will build broad understanding of the issue, and foster the impetus for real solutions.

“Some recognized genocides, such as the Holocaust and the genocide of the Tutsis in Rwanda, took place over specific periods of time and were characterized by mass killings. However, colonial genocide is a slow-moving process,” says Dr. Lafontaine. “The policies of colonial destruction of Indigenous peoples took place insidiously and over decades The acts of violence and intent to destroy are structural, systemic and cut across multiple administrations and political leaders.”

NWAC also urges ordinary Canadians to support this campaign. Throughout June, Indigenous History Month, the organization is asking members of the public to send letters to governments requesting that high school curricula be modified to include teachings about the genocide. This can be done by completing a form on the website which offers an overview of the genocide, its legacy, and its ongoing nature.

On June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day, subscribers to the website will be sent a free digital copy of the booklet. That same day, Members of Parliament and Senators will also receive the booklet.

“This is not a partisan issue, it’s not a political issue, nor is it an issue to be addressed solely by one level of government,” says Ms. Groulx. “It’s time for all Canadians to acknowledge the truth. It’s time to stop the genocide.”


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