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Missing Aboriginal Women
Transcript of Missing Aboriginal Women
As of March 31st 2010 the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) stated that, there are approximately 582 known cases of missing or murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada.
-Aboriginal women in Canada have 5 times more report rates of violence, which including domestic violence and sexual assault, 5 times higher than non-‐Aboriginal women.
-137 in B.C. -85 in Alberta
-71 in Manitoba -59 Sask.
-59 in Ontario -17 in Quebec
-Remaining are in Atlantic provinces
Of the reported, 582 missing women 67% (348 ) were murdered and almost one quarter are still missing and no one has been charged in 150 confirmed homicides.
-Unfortunately many police forces have failed to put necessary action and resources in place
-appropriate investigative protocols
All of which would decrease or remove bias completely in how police react and respond to the issues of Aboriginal women, their families and their communities.
The majority of these cases have occurred between 1990 and 2010.
Even with reported cases maxing out at 600, there could be as many as 3000 missing women.
“The portrayal of the squaw is one of the most degraded, most despised and most dehumanized
anywhere in the world… she has no human face,she is lustful, immoral, unfeeling and dirty. Such a grotesque dehumanization has rendered all Native women and girls vulnerable to gross physical,psychological and sexual violence”.
Emma LaRoque, Department of Native Studies, University of Manitoba, in a presentation to the Manitoba Justice Inquiry
"Brenda Wolfe, Sereena Abotsway, Marnie Frey, Andrea Joesbury, Georgina Papin and Mona Wilson were all Aboriginal women who were loved and respected by their friends and family. And all six women died violent deaths at the hand of Robert Pickton, who on Dec. 9 was found guilty of six counts of second-degree murder in connection with those deaths."
He is also charged with the deaths of 20 other women
By: Elyse Curtis and Sarah Cronier
To move society forward we must evaluate and understand the issues many Aboriginal women face on a daily basis.
Crimes against Aboriginal women
-Aboriginal women make up 3% of the Canadian population and over 30% of the female prison population.
-60% of known perpetrators are white men.
-According to research conducted by gang expert Michael Chettleburgh, 90% of teen, urban sex-workers in Canada are Aboriginal.
-About 75% of Aboriginal girls under 18 have been sexually abused.
-Sexual, physical and verbal abuse
-Lack of clean water
-Many have lack of food (money issues)
In general basic necessities are not being met and therefore other areas of a women's life become affected.
-Lower self-esteem/diminished confidence
_Losing respect for others
-Lose respect for one's self
-Lose will for achievement
The mental effects upon these women can be extremely damaging and the emotions felt can last a lifetime.
-Lost and alone
-Missing their family
-Lacking necessary friendships
Emotional stress further takes away from the woman's well-being and loss of spirit.
-Racist and sexist stereotypes create a world which denies the dignity and worth of Aboriginal women, this encourages some men to believe they can commit acts of violence and hatred against women and not be punished.
The pattern looks like this:
-Years upon years of government policy have placed Aboriginal people as a whole into poverty conditions and ripped apart many families and communities, this in turn leaves the women of the community open to exploitation and attack.
-Lack of employment/steady income
-Loss of traditional values
-Loss of ambition
-Inability to self-actualize
-Loss of faith
Whenever a single aspect of the medicine wheel is missing or lacking, it leads to instability of one's self and community.
Instability in one's self can lead them to high risk behaviors such as drug use, running away from home, prostitution and other criminal endeavors.
The instability in the community can lead to violence in the homes, lack of support for struggling women
The community as a whole experiences lack of faith in outside services such as the police, local and federal governments as well as the media.
What was your view of Aboriginal women prior to this Indigenous Studies course?
On September 6, 2008 Maisy Odjick and her friend Shannon Alexander disappeared. They were last seen on the Kitigan Zibi First Nations Reserve which is in Maniwaki, Quebec, a town about 140 kilometres north of Ottawa. A suspicious disappearance from the start, the girls left behind all their belongings, including their cellphones and wallets.
How many of you have heard...
Not only did Pickton dehumanize these women but the current media did as well. Unfortunately this was what it took to bring this issue into the public's attention.
In conclusion the topic of missing and murdered Aboriginal women is a complex issue with many interwoven layers on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels. These problems exist not only on a personal level but also on a community and societal level. This presentation has only just scratched the surface of this ongoing issue.
-24% (126) are identified as missing
-67% (347) are identified as having died as a result of homicide or negligence.
(Based on the 2009 number of 520 missing Aboriginal Women)
-43 cases remain unconfirmed while 4 are cases of suspicious death.
Despite pressure from Amnesty International and United Nations the Canadian government has failed to implement any changes or supports regarding the issue of missing Aboriginal women.
To further add to the sadness surrounding these cases, in 2010 the Conservative government defunded the organization Sister's In Spirit (SIS), an organization set up through the Native Women's Association of Canada to raise awareness of high rates of violence against Aboriginal women in Canada.
-Lack of personal safety
Does this image come to mind?
The missing spirit of a woman is something that is not easily recaptured, years of heartache and struggle only keep these women trapped in a vicious cycle.
About the Pickton Pig Farm?
Despite these challenges the Native Women's Association of Canada and the Sisters In Spirit initiative continue to raise awareness about Aboriginal women's issues and support families and communities in the search for missing Aboriginal women and in seeking justice for crimes committed against these women.
-From the information presented what do you feel are some issues that need to be addressed regarding crimes against missing Aboriginal women?
-What can the police do?
-What can the government do?
-What can communities, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal do?
-What can the media do?
International, A. (n.d.). No More Stolen Sisters | Amnesty International Canada. Retrieved February 6, 2013, from http://www.amnesty.ca/our-work/issues/indigenous-peoples/no-more-stolen-sisters
Bailey, S. (2009). Native women die, vanish amid social apathy: report. Canadian Press. Retrieved February 5, 2013, from http://www.missingjustice.ca/2009/04/native-women-die-vanish-amid-social-apathy-report/
Department, S. P. of V. P. (2011). The Tragedy of Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women In Canada. Vancouver Police Department. Retrieved February 5, 2013, from http://vancouver.ca/police/assets/pdf/reports-policies/missing-murdered-aboriginal-women-canada-report.pdf
Suthers, L. (2008). Trial puts spotlight on missing women. Windspeaker. Retrieved February 4, 2013, from https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?ui=2&ik=9cc90873fd&view=att&th=13ca80b3a1f13ce0&attid=0.2&disp=inline&realattid=f_hcse3ops1&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P_beDMHnE0x5XgyPiIInKp2&sadet=1360090842858&sads=-esCJAZEcd09oaMX6eCgixLczSI
Sisters in Spirit. (2011). Sisters in Spirit - Home Page. Retrieved February 5, 2013, from http://www.sistersinspirit.ca/
Natives Women Association of Canada. (2009). Voices of Our Sisters In Spirit. Naitves Women Association of Canada. Retrieved from http://www.nwac.ca/sites/default/files/download/admin/NWAC_VoicesofOurSistersInSpiritII_March2009FINAL.pdf
Network, O. W. J. (2012). Canada’s Missing Aboriginal Women. Natives Women Association of Canada. Retrieved February 5, 2013, from http://owjn.org/owjn_2009/component/content/article/46-aboriginal-women/324-canadas-missing-aboriginal-women
International, A. (2009). No More Stolen Sisters: The Need for a Comprehensive Response to Discrimination and Violence Against Indigenous Women in Canada. Amnesty International Publications. Retrieved from http://www.amnesty.ca/sites/default/files/amr200122009enstolensistersupdate.pdf
The police in the Pickton case, as well as many other missing women cases, were lacking in many areas.