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Canada has long been under fire for the many disappearances and murders of its aboriginal women (Canada uses the term “aboriginal” rather than “indigenous”), and now that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has taken office, the government has launched an official investigation into the disappearances and murders.

The Washington Post reported yesterday that Canada’s previous Conservative Prime Minister Stephan Harper had refused to launch any kind of investigation, even though a startling number of missing or killed women in Canada are members of the country’s native population.

Trudeau said, in a speech on Tuesday, “What’s needed is nothing less than a total renewal between Canada and First Nations people.” This persistence to gain back the trust of people native to North America is not the first way in which the recently elected Prime Minister Trudeau has drastically changed the way that the Canadian government gets the job done: he shook up the generally white and male Cabinet just last month when he evened out the gender imbalance by appointing fifteen women out of the thirty-person Cabinet.

Aboriginal women in Canada have come together over the years to pay their respects for and protest the mistreatment of their people; nearly 1200 of them are missing or have been murdered – an astonishing and reprehensible number considering the small population. Memorial marches – like the one for 15-year-old Tina Fontaine, murdered at age 15, whose memorial is pictured below – as well as public events and now, finally, support from their government will hopefully bring more awareness and change to the community has suffered too much without any justice.

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Photos Via Facebook and Flickr Creative Commons/steve

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