Forced sterilizations of Indigenous women: One more act of genocide

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Senator Yvonne Boyer, a Metis lawyer and former nurse called tubal ligations carried out on unwilling Indigenous women one of the “most heinous” practices in health care happening across Canada.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Last fall, a group of Indigenous women in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan brought a class-action suit against the Saskatoon Health Authority. They also sued the provincial and federal governments and some medical professionals.

They asserted that some Indigenous women had been forcibly sterilized. Others had been tricked into giving consent for sterilization when they were under stress or heavily drugged. They claimed that doctors did this over several decades, up to the 2000s.

The UN Committee on Torture recommended in late 2018 that the Canadian government investigate all allegations of enforced sterilization and adopt legislation criminalizing it.

Indigenous activists want a new law specifically outlawing forced sterilization, but the federal government argues it’s already illegal.

Morningstar Mercredi named in the proposed class action law suit says she woke up from a surgery at 14 and immediately broke down when she discovered the baby she once felt inside of her was gone. What remained was an incision from her panty line to her belly button, cut without her permission. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

 

Canada doesn’t have a good history with regard to forced sterilization. The provinces of Alberta and British Columbia forcibly sterilized people from the 1930s to the 1970s. MORE

 

The Winnipeg Women Ridesharing to Keep Each Other Safe

Non-profit, donation-run Ikwe Safe Rides is an alternative to taxis powered by Indigenous women.


Christine Brouzes, a co-director of Ikwe Safe Rides in Winnipeg. Photo by John Woods/The Canadian Press

Williamson, who is Indigenous, says Winnipeg, Manitoba has a reputation. While no one would argue women aren’t made to feel unsafe in any geographical location you can name, cab drivers in Winnipeg have built a culture of acceptable harassment toward women, but particularly, Indigenous women.

“My experiences, they’re very Winnipeg,” she told VICE. “And people know! People know … you could talk to an Indigenous woman in another city, and they would probably know. Don’t take a cab in Winnipeg.”

https://video.vice.com/en_ca/embed/5be31030be4077516b3e03a1

Another Winnipegger, Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development project coordinator Valdine Doering, says even when she has taken every safety precaution possible, taking a taxi in Winnipeg is a dangerous situation. MORE