Transcript: Ontario Hubs: The Final MMIWG Report | Jun 07, 2019

Jeyan sits in the studio. He's is in his thirties, with short black hair and a trimmed beard. He's wearing a blue suit, burgundy gingham shirt, and burgundy tie.

A caption on screen reads "Ontario Hubs: The final MMIWG report. Jeyan Jeganathan. @JeyanTVO. @theagenda."

Jeyan says THREE YEARS, HEARINGS
ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND NOW THE
REPORT DETAILING THE TRAGIC
FINDINGS OF THE NATIONAL INQUIRY
INTO MISSING AND MURDERED
INDIGENOUS WOMEN AND GIRLS.
HALEY LEWIS WHO HEADS UP OUR HUB
THAT COVERS INDIGENOUS ISSUES
WAS AT THE CLOSING CEREMONY OF
THIS INQUIRY THIS WEEK.
SHE JOINS US NOW FROM OTTAWA VIA
SKYPE FOR SOME PERSPECTIVE.

Haley is in her early thirties, with long wavy brown hair. She's wearing a denim shirt and pendant earrings.

Jeyan continues WELCOME TO THE SHOW, HALEY.

Haley says HEY, JEYAN.

Jeyan says NOW, 36 LONG MONTHS.
TELL US WHAT WENT INTO THIS
REPORT... 1,200 PAGES.

The caption changes to "Haley Lewis. Editor, Indigenous Hub."
Then, it changes again to "Reclaiming power and place."

Haley says YOU KNOW, THE BIGGEST
THING... AND I THINK THIS IS
WHERE THE CREDIT IS MOST DUE IS
TO ALL THE FAMILIES OF THOSE
WOMEN WHO WERE MISSING AND
MURDERED.
AND THE SURVIVORS WHO REALLY
CAME FORWARD AND SHARED THEIR
TESTIMONY WITH THE COMMISSION.
BECAUSE WITHOUT THAT TESTIMONY,
YOU KNOW, WE WOULDN'T HAVE THE
FINDINGS THAT WE HAVE TODAY.
YOU KNOW, THEY WERE 15 DIFFERENT
SESSIONS ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY.
THEY TOOK INPUT ON VARIOUS METIS
PERSPECTIVES, QUEBEC
PERSPECTIVES, JUST LOOKING AT
ALL THOSE DIFFERENT VARIED
PERSPECTIVES.
BUT IT'S JUST... AND IT WAS SUCH
AN EMOTIONAL LABOUR THAT REALLY
WENT INTO THIS INQUIRY AND,
YEAH, WE REALLY HAVE TO THANK
THE FAMILIES AND THE SURVIVORS
FOR COMING FORWARD.

Jeyan says NOW, THERE WERE 231
CALLS TO JUSTICE.
YOU HAD A CHANCE TO LOOK AT THE
REPORT.
WHAT STOOD OUT TO YOU FROM
THOSE?

The caption changes to "Claude Sharma, @ClaudeSharma."
A screenshot from the TVO website pops up showing an article. It reads "tvo.org/current-affairs. Indigenous. Five ways you can put the 'calls for justice' from the MMIWG report into action. By Haley Lewis."

A map of Ontario appears briefly on screen showing the location of Ottawa, Kingston and Toronto.

Haley says YEAH, I MEAN, YOU
KNOW, 231, IT'S A LOT.
THERE ARE SOME THAT ADDRESSED
THE GOVERNMENT.
SOME THAT ADDRESSED WORKPLACES.
BUT THE BIGGEST THING TO ME THAT
REALLY STOOD OUT WAS HOW IT
ADDRESSED WHAT CANADIANS COULD
DO.
YOU KNOW, THIS ISN'T REALLY
SOMETHING THAT WE OFTEN SEE AS
TO HOW THE AVERAGE SOUTH KOREAN
CAN REALLY IMPACT AN INQUIRY AND
HELP MOVE FORWARD IN TERMS OF
THE WORK BEING DONE TO SUPPORT
THE MMIWG.
SO THERE ARE SOME TALKING ABOUT,
YOU KNOW, JUST READING THE FINAL
REPORT, STANDING UP FOR AND
DENOUNCING THESE EXPERIENCES
OF VIOLENCE THAT THE WOMEN HAVE
TO ENDURE.
BUT, YEAH, IT WAS REALLY JUST
THE FACT THAT IT KIND OF HELPED
YOU PUT INTO PERSPECTIVE THE
DIRECT ACTION YOU CAN TAKE.
AND THIS ISN'T REALLY SOMETHING
THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN IN THE
PAST.
SO IT'S REALLY PUTTING ONUS ON
YOU AS A READER AND HOPEFUL
READER OF THE FINAL REPORT.
TO JUST REALLY SEE WHAT YOU CAN
DO.

Jeyan says NOW, HALEY, ARE ANY OF
THESE CALLS TO JUSTICE LEGALLY BINDING?

Haley says YEAH, SO I THINK THAT
IT'S IMPORTANT TO MAKE THE
DIFFERENCE.
THESE ARE ACTUALLY CALLS TO
JUSTICE.
WHEREAS THE TRUTH AND
RECONCILIATION COMMISSION CAME
OUT WITH CALLS TO ACTION.
SO THE REPORT ITSELF ACTUALLY
STATES THAT: IT MUST BE
UNDERSTOOD THAT THESE
RECOMMENDATIONS WHICH REFRAME AS
CALLED TO JUSTICE ARE LEGAL
IMPERATIVES.
THEY ARE NOT OPTIONAL.
HOWEVER, DESPITE THE LABELING OF
THE TERM AS CALLS TO JUSTICE,
THEY AREN'T AUTOMATICALLY LAWS.
LIKE, WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE IN
ORDER TO MAKE THEM LAWS WOULD BE
FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO FORM A
COMMITTEE, REVIEW THE DOCUMENT
AND DECIDE HOW THEY WANT TO
IMPLEMENT THESE CALLS TO
JUSTICE.
SO THEY AREN'T... WE'RE NOT ALL
BREAKING THE LAW.
WE'RE NOT ABIDING BY THESE CALLS
TO JUSTICE.
HOWEVER, A LOT OF THEM DO KIND
OF ADDRESS THE HUMAN RIGHTS
LEVEL ISSUES OR JUST SO WHY NOT
ACT ON THEM AND IMPLEMENT THESE
CALLS TO JUSTICE IN YOUR LIFE.
BUT, NO, THEY ARE NOT LEGALLY
BINDING AS THEY CURRENTLY STAND.

Jeyan says YOU HAD MENTIONED THE
TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION REPORT
THAT CAME OUT IN 2015.
ANY COMPARISON, ANY OVERLAP FROM
THESE TWO REPORTS?

The caption changes to "Haley Lewis, @haleylewis_."

Haley says YEAH, I MEAN I THINK
IT'S REALLY HARD TO COMPARE THE
TWO.
BECAUSE THEY ARE ADDRESSING VERY
DIFFERENT THINGS.
BUT I THINK WHAT WE CAN LOOK AT
IS THAT THESE CALLS TO JUSTICE
AND CALLS TO ACTION BOTH ADDRESS
KIND OF AT THE BASELINE IN SOME
CIRCUMSTANCES, VERY, VERY SIMPLE
THINGS TO CHANGE AND HOW WE CAN
ACCOMMODATE AND MAKE SOCIETY
BETTER FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLE.
BUT, YOU KNOW, I THINK THE
BIGGEST THING THAT I SEE IS, AS
I MENTIONED BEFORE, NAMING THEM
CALLS TO JUSTICE INSTEAD OF
CALLS TO ACTION.
SO WITH THE REPORT HAVING COME
OUT IN 2015 FOR THE TRUTH AND
RECONCILIATION COMMISSION, THEY
CAME OUT WITH 94 CALLS TO
ACTION.
AND TO DATE, THEY'VE ONLY
ACTUALLY SUCCESSFULLY
ACCOMPLISHED 10.
SO THE FACT THAT, YOU KNOW, FOUR
YEARS AND THEY'VE DONE 10 OF THE
94 IS A BIT OF AN ABYSMAL
RESULT.
SO MAYBE... AND I THINK THAT'S
THE HOPE THAT THE INQUIRY HAD...
IS THAT CALLING THESE CALLS TO
JUSTICE WILL KIND OF PUT A
LITTLE BIT OF A FIRE UNDER
EVERYONE IN HOPES THAT, YOU
KNOW, FIVE YEARS DOWN THE ROAD,
WE DON'T HAVE THE SAME SCENARIO
IN WHICH ONLY 10 HAVE BEEN ACTED
UPON.

Jeyan says OKAY.
NOW, WE HAVE A SNIPPET FROM
MONDAY WHEN THE REPORT WAS
DELIVERED.
SHELDON, LET'S HAVE A LOOK AT
THAT.

A clip plays on screen with the caption
"June 3, 2019."
In the clip, a woman in her fifties, with short white hair, says
THIS IS GENOCIDE.

Then, a woman in her forties with short dark hair says WITH THIS INQUIRY, WE WILL BE
ABLE TO SAY TO THE ACADEMICS, TO
THE LAWYERS, TO THE PEOPLE THAT
DON'T THINK THAT THERE IS A
GENOCIDE TODAY, WE HAVE 1,200
PAGES TO PROVE IT.

The clip ends.

The caption changes to "Calling it genocide."

Jeyan says THAT WAS CHIEF
COMMISSIONER MARION BULLARD AND
INQUIRY COMMISSIONER MICHELE
ODETTE.
THEY MAKE UP HALF OF THE
FOUR-PERSON COMMISSION.
GENOCIDE IS THE WORD THEY USE IN
THE CLIP AND HAS BEEN THE FOCUS
THIS WEEK.
AMONG THOSE WHO ARE CRITICS
LORNA HARRIS HER BOOK SAID TO
HAVE INSPIRED THE HOUSE OF
COMMONS MOTION TO APOLOGIZE TO
RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL SURVIVORS
WHICH IT DID IN JUNE 2008.
IN TUESDAY'S "GLOBE and MAIL," SHE
WROTE, IN PART...


A quote appears on screen, under the title "A troubling charge." The quote reads "I BELIEVE THE COMMISSIONERS' OTHERWISE EXCELLENT REMARK WAS MARRED BY THE GRATUITOUS CHARGE THAT CANADA CONTINUES TO COMMIT GENOCIDE AGAINST ITS INDIGENOUS populations. NOT CULTURAL GENOCIDE, A CONCEPT THAT IS BROADLY ACCEPTED TODAY WITH REFERENCE TO THE ATTEMPTED OBLITERATION OF ABORIGINAL CULTURE IN THE INDIAN
RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS, BUT ALL-OUT GENOCIDE WITHOUT QUALIFICATION."
Quoted from Erna Paris, The Globe and Mail. June 4, 2019.

Jeyan says SHE GOES ON SAY THAT THE
NATIONAL INQUIRY HAS CONFLATED
THE MISSING AND MURDERED WOMEN
AND GIRLS AS THE ENTIRE
EXPERIENCE IN CANADA AND GOES ON
TO POINT OUT THAT GENOCIDE IS A
LEGAL TERM AND THAT GENOCIDE HAS
KIND OF TURNED INTO A HASHTAG, A
TWITTER HASHTAG.
THAT'S ONE SIDE OF THE ARGUMENT.
WHY DID THE COMMISSIONERS, DO
YOU BELIEVE, USE THE WORD
"GENOCIDE" AND WHY WAS IT WARRANTED?

Haley says YOU KNOW, THIS IS...
THE DEBATE OVER THIS TERM HAS
BEEN SOMETHING THAT'S REALLY
EATING AT ME.
AND SEEING SEEING IT AN SOCIAL.
IT'S REALLY... AND I BELIEVE THAT.
PARIS' OPINION IS
PERHAPS A BIT MISGUIDED AND I
THINK THAT'S A COMMON THREAD
AMONG INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OUT
THERE.
SO I DON'T THINK THE REPORT WAS
MARRED BY THE CHARGE OF
GENOCIDE.
I THINK THE MEDIA PORTRAYAL OF
THE REPORT AND THE FOCUS ON THE
WORD "GENOCIDE" IS THE BIGGER
ISSUE.
LIKE PEOPLE ARE FOCUSING SO MUCH
ON THE LABELING OF GENOCIDE.
INSTEAD OF FOCUSING ON THE
ACTUAL RESULTS THAT CAME FROM
THE REPORT.
THAT IT'S KIND OF SEEMING LIKE
EVERYONE'S REALLY MISSING THE
MESSAGE.
AND I OFTEN WONDER, YOU KNOW,
DID SHE READ THE 1,200 PAGE
REPORT BEFORE SHE WROTE HER
ARTICLE?
THERE ARE OVER... THERE'S ALMOST
I THINK 30 PAGES DETAILING AS TO
WHY THEY CHOSE IT.
AND THE GLOBE ALSO PUBLISHED
ANOTHER ANONYMOUS OP-ED
YESTERDAY MORNING ALONG THE SAME
VEIN.
AND, YOU KNOW WHAT OUTLETS MIGHT
NOT REALIZE IS THAT PUBLISHING
THESE KINDS OF OP-EDS IS HURTING
THE FAMILIES OF THE PEOPLE WHO
CAME FORWARD WILLING TO SHARE
THEIR STORY.
THEY EXPLAIN WHY THEY USE IT.
THEY ALSO ADDRESS PEOPLE OHIO
AVENUE COME UP WITH DEFINITIONS
ON GENOCIDE IN THE PAST.
ONE OF THE BIG ONES BEING
POLISH-JEWISH SCHOLAR RAFAEL
LEMKE WHO SAYS GENOCIDE DOES NOT
NECESSARILY MEAN THE IMMEDIATE
DESTRUCTION OF A NATION EXCEPT
WHEN ACCOMPANIED BY ALL MEMBERS
OF A NATION.
SO IT'S INTENDED TO SIGNIFY
A COORDINATED PLAN OF DIFFERENT
ACTIONS AIMING AT THE
DESTRUCTION OF A POPULATION WITH
THE AIM OF ANNIHILATING THE
GROUP ITSELF.
SO WE'RE NOT SAYING THAT THIS IS
ADDRESSING ALL INDIGENOUS WOMEN.
BUT INDIGENOUS WOMEN ARE MORE
SUSCEPTIBLE IN CANADA AND THE
U.S... BECAUSE THESE SORTS OF
VIOLENCES... AND THEY TOUCH ON
THE U.N. DEFINITION AS WELL.
SO IF YOU CAN LOOK AT THE REPORT
AND LOOK AT THE DEFINITIONS AND
STILL NOT UNDERSTAND WHY THEY
CHOSE TO USE THE WORD, LIKE
THERE'S A BIGGER ISSUE OUT
THERE.
YOU KNOW, HOW IS THIS NOT
APPLICABLE TO THE EXPERIENCE OF
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE?
ESPECIALLY INDIGENOUS WOMEN AND
GIRLS IN CANADA?
YOU KNOW, THROUGH HISTORICAL
IMPOSITIONS LIKE THE INDIAN ACT
AND THE RESERVE SYSTEM WHICH HAS
LED US TO THE CURRENT STATE OF
THINGS IN CANADA IT'S HARD FOR
ME TO SEE HOW PEOPLE DON'T SEE
THAT THIS TERM IS APPLICABLE.
ESPECIALLY DUE TO THE
DEFINITIONS THAT THE REPORT
SPECIFICALLY CITES.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Jeyan says I WANT TO JUMP IN
WITH
MORE REACTION FROM GOVERNMENT
OFFICIALS.
PRIME MINISTER JUSTIN TRUDEAU
TWEETED...

A tweet by Justin Trudeau appears on screen.

Jeyan reads
FACING THE HARDEST OF
TRUTHS IS A DIFFICULT AND
NECESSARY STEP TO ADDRESSING
THEM AND THE HARD TRUTH IS THAT
WE HAVE FAILED THE MISSING AND
MURDERED INDIGENOUS WOMEN AND
GIRLS, THEIR FAMILIES,
SURVIVORS, LGBTQ AND TWO
SPIRITED PEOPLE BUT WE WILL NOT
FAIL YOU any LONGER.
HE ADDED ON TWITTER THAT HE
GIVES HIS WORD THAT THE FINAL
REPORT WILL BE TURNED INTO ACTION.
YOU HAD MENTIONED EARLIER WITH
THE TRUTH AND RECKON SILL
SITUATION REPORT ONLY 10 OF THE
94 CALLS TO ACTION WERE
IMPLEMENTED.
NOW THAT THE REPORT IS FINALLY
OUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR
INDIGENOUS WOMEN AND GIRLS, BUT
ALSO NON-INDIGENOUS CANADIANS
AND WHAT WILL THIS MEAN FOR...
HOW DO WE TURN THIS INTO ACTION
FOR ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT?

The caption changes to "Turning calls to Justice into action."

Haley says YEAH, I MEAN I THINK
THE BIGGEST THING RIGHT NOW THAT
WE CAN FOCUS ON IS THE IMMENSE
AMOUNT OF WORK AND WE STILL
REALLY HAVE TO UP LIFT THE
SURVIVORS AND THE FAMILIES WHO
PARTOOK IN THESE SESSIONS TO
MAKE THIS REPORT HAPPEN.
AND, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE TO THANK
THEM FOR THEIR EXPERIENCES.
BUT UNTIL THE GOVERNMENT
DEPOSITS FORMAL REVIEW OF THE
REPORT, THERE ISN'T NECESSARILY
A DIRECT PATH FORWARD.
PEOPLE CAN, YOU KNOW, ACT UPON
THE CALLS OF JUSTICE FOR
THEMSELVES.
BUT IT IS REALLY THE
RESPONSIBILITY OF THE GOVERNMENT
AT ALL LEVELS TO PUT THESE, YOU
KNOW, CALLS TO JUSTICE INTO
MOTION AND ACTUALLY ENACT
CHANGE.
A LOT OF... A LOT OF THE STAFF
DEALS WITH EDUCATION AND MERELY
EDUCATING FRONT-LINE WORKERS.
EDUCATING CANADIANS.
AS TO THE ACTUAL FACTUAL HISTORY
AND THE PAST WRONGS OF THESE
INDIGENOUS WOMEN AND GIRLS HAVE
EXPERIENCED.
SO, YOU KNOW, IT'S HARD THAT ALL
OF THIS WORK AND ONUS WAS
INITIALLY ON INDIGENOUS PEOPLE
TO BRING TO LIGHT.
AND NOW, YOU KNOW, IT'S REALLY
IN THE LAP OF THE GOVERNMENT TO
MAKE THOSE CHANGES AND TO DO A
FORMAL REVIEW OF THE REPORT.
AND TO ENACT IT.
HOPEFULLY INTO LAW.
SO THAT STUFF LIKE THIS DOESN'T
THE CONTINUE TO HAPPEN.
SO REALLY AT THIS POINT I THINK,
AS CANADIANS, WHAT THE GENERAL
POPULATION CAN DO IS SUPPORT
PEOPLE WHO TOOK PART IN THIS
INQUIRY AND CONTINUE TO PUSH FOR
THE GOVERNMENT TO DO SOMETHING
ABOUT IT.
BUT IT'S REALLY THE
RESPONSIBILITY OF EVERYONE IF WE
WANT TO SEE ANY CHANGE.

The caption changes to "Producer: Patricia Kozicka, @TrishKozicka."

Jeyan says HALEY LEWIS, THAT'S
ALL THE TIME WE HAVE.
ALWAYS A PLEASURE TO HAVE YOU ON
THE SHOW.
AGAIN, A VERY IMPORTANT STORY
THAT WE WILL CONTINUE TO FOLLOW.
THAT'S HALEY LEWIS, OUR HUB
EDITOR THAT FOLLOWS INDIGENOUS
ISSUES JOINING US FROM OTTAWA.
THANKS AGAIN.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

Haley says THANK YOU.

An animated slate reads "Ontario Hubs. Ontario Hubs are made possible by The Barry and Laurie Green Family Charitable Trust and Goldie Feldman."

Watch: Ontario Hubs: The Final MMIWG Report