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WARNING: This story contains distressing details.

The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is not mincing words following the killing of four Indigenous women in Winnipeg at the hands of one man.

“Let’s be clear, these crimes are part of the genocide that was declared in 2019 by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls,” the NWAC press release said.

NWAC, a national organization which represents Indigenous women, girls and two-spirited people, has been highly critical of the federal government. It has published report cards holding the federal government to account for failing on many of the 231 calls to justice in the national action plan on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and two-spirited people (MMIWG2S).

The latest report card was released in June and gave the government a failing grade.

The provinces and municipalities need to start taking their share of responsibility as well, Carol McBride, president of NWAC, said. She called on the provinces and municipalities to create their own action plans to address MMIWG2S.

Indigenous women, girls and two-spirited peoples live all over the country, and “it’s getting pretty scary to just walk the streets or go to a store,” she said.

“This is outrageous.”

The homicide rate for Indigenous Peoples remains seven times higher than that of non-Indigenous peoples, which amounts to a “Canadian human rights failure,” the press release said.

“We have to work together to stop this genocide … enough is enough, we need to pull up our socks and start working together for the protection of our families,” Carol McBride, president of NWAC, said. #MMIWG2s #NWAC

The deaths are a reminder that serious action must be taken to stop the violence against Indigenous women, girls and two-spirited people. The government can’t hold an inquiry and think their job is finished — “the inquiry was just the first step,” NWAC said.

McBride is a mother and aunt and understands how difficult it is for the families of those who were lost. She wants the families to know that they are in her thoughts and prayers.

“We have to work together to stop this genocide … enough is enough, we need to pull up our socks and start working together for the protection of our families,” she said.

Matteo Cimellaro / Local Journalism Initiative / Canada’s National Observer