Feminicide: Indigenous women are doubly discriminated against by both racism and sexism
Kahnawake — The feminicide is characterized by the murder of one or more women because of their gender and is unfortunately a case more and more present around the globe.
In December 2015, Quebec Native Women (hereafter QNW) released a research report on missing and murdered Indigenous women in Quebec entitled “Nānīawig Māmawe Nīnawind, Standing Up and Standing Together. Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Quebec”. This was the first study on the subject in Quebec. This report illustrated the picture of this very important situation in the province. As mentioned in the QNW brief, disappearance is a recurring phenomenon in the Indigenous community and through colonial policies such as the Indian Act and residential schools, it has existed for a long time.
Indigenous women are doubly discriminated against for being women and Indigenous: in addition to racism, sexism and other forms of patriarchal and colonial oppression, QNW has a more intersectional mission, with many causes to defend. It turns out that one in five victims is Indigenous, according to #CestunFemicide 2020 by the Canadian Feminicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability (CFOJA).
QNW has been committed for many years to supporting the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and continues to take all necessary steps to ensure that the requests of families and survivors are heard and taken into consideration. QNW is also working along the same lines as ENFFADA, whose mandate is to examine the underlying social, economic, cultural, institutional and historical causes that contribute to the perpetuation of violence against Indigenous women and girls in Canada.
Still today, Indigenous women feel neglected and despised by the institutions and by the limited number of adapted services, which increases their mistrust and their fear to turn to these same services. Many families still feel a great deal of frustration and powerlessness towards the authorities who too often do not establish a constant
and adequate follow-up to their cause. More specifically, although there are some support resources, there is a huge lack of resources within and outside of communities for Indigenous women and those that do exist often do not meet the real needs of Indigenous women.
This is why it is essential to create support facilities specifically designed for and by Indigenous women. It is imperative to increase resources and capacity so that Indigenous women can be better supervised and supported at all times. No neglect will be tolerated, every woman counts, and every situation is urgent to resolve.
QNW would like to add that words are not enough, major actions are needed. “How many times have we been consulted? How many times have we participated in working and consultation tables and made suggestions for solutions? Why are we still witnessing these feminicides? This has to stop! “, proclaims Viviane Michel, President of QNW.
With the development of these resources specifically tailored to the needs of Indigenous women, as we must be aware that their needs are different from other women, their lives will be improved in the short and long term. The cycle of intergenerational violence will finally be eliminated, but in order to do so, it is also essential to educate men and not maintain a sense of impunity for abusers.
Doreen Petiquay Barthold – Communication Officer
(514) 757-1508 [email protected]