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Actress Zoe Saldana poses at the 22nd annual ELLE Women in Hollywood Awards in Los Angeles, California October 19, 2015. (REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)

Canada's Shame

Zoe Saldana co-producing documentary on Canada’s missing indigenous women

By WITW Staff on July 20, 2016

Gone Missing, a forthcoming documentary that will focus on the indigenous women who have been murdered or vanished in Canada, will be produced by Cinestar Pictures, a production company run by Avatar-star Zoe Saldana and her two sisters. “If this exact same story were being told in a country in Africa, I think we would be paying attention to it and we would be donating money to it,” Leslie Owen, the American producer-director behind Gone Missing told The Guardian. “But because it’s in Canada, a first-world nation, we don’t want to see it in our own backyard.” Indigenous women are about five times more likely to go missing or be killed than other Canadian women, and the number of disappeared or murdered indigenous women has been estimated to be as high as 4,000. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

recently announced that his government would carry out a long-awaited national inquiry into the issue. Owen’s film, which she hopes to finish by the autumn, will tell the story of three indigenous families impacted by the issue, and will include the infamous murder of Tina Fontaine, a teenage girl who was found dead in a Winnipeg river in 2014. “As I started getting into it and peeling back the layers, I just realized that the story was much bigger than I thought,” Owen said. “That environment of racism and sexism and classism and colonialism –, how was that fostered? And how does it continue to endure?”

At the Women in the World New York Summit in April, journalist John Hockenberry led a panel titled “Canada’s Shame,” in which Canadian Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett candidly discussed the roots of the problem. Watch video of it below:

Read the full story at The Guardian.


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