Zoe Saldana is Producing an Important Documentary on Canada’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

There’s a new documentary that you should definitely pay attention to.

Zoe Saldana (AvatarStar Trek Into Darkness, Guardians of the Galaxy, Nina) is currently producing a feature documentary titled Gone Missing that explores the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in Canada.

Despite the fact that there are over 4000 females who have gone missing or been murdered over the past three decades in Canada, the sad reality is that many Canadians continue to turn a blind eye to the issue. The film explores and questions why this is happening and what is being done to both investigate and prevent the crimes.

Cinestar Pictures, a production company that Saldana runs with her two sisters, will produce the film alongside producer/director Leslie Owens. The doc will follow three key stories and feature voices of family members of the missing and murdered, along with politicians and community leaders.

In 2014, the RCMP issued a landmark report that put the total number of missing and murdered aboriginal women at 1,181. Indigenous women account for 4.3 per cent of the Canadian population, but the report found they make up 16 per cent of female homicides and 11.3 per cent of missing women. According to aboriginal people, however, the actual figures are much higher.

People have turned to stereotypical reasoning to make sense of the problem, of course, claiming that the women could have run away or turned to prostitution. Canadian Press reports claims that many of the missing persons cases have been ignored by the police. Indigenous people say that murders have been dismissed as overdoses and suicides.

Though this documentary is undoubtedly a positive step, it’s long overdue – and it takes a foreigner (Saldana is American) to tell the story of a Canadian crisis. While the Government of Canada is launching a much-awaited public national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, it should have happened long ago.

In the meantime, you can better educate yourself on the cause here.