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Indigenous DNA database should be managed by its people – Policy Options

Indigenous communities, not the RCMP, should be the ones to collect and store their DNA for use in investigating missing persons.

Canada’s use of DNA collection and analysis was expanded in March 2018 through the creation of five new DNA databases. Three were created for humanitarian purposes, and the other two are for criminal investigations. The RCMP National DNA Data Bank (NDDB) manages all five.

Of particular note, especially for Canada’s Indigenous population, was the development of the Relatives of Missing Persons Index, which allows for the voluntary collection of the DNA of close relatives of missing persons. This database was promoted as a potentially useful tool in the ongoing investigation into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The DNA of close relatives could help identify missing persons or human remains.

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