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Conference for missing and murdered Aboriginal women brings strength together

August 19th, 2008     by Jessica Yee     Comments

Several friends and colleagues of mine took part in this inspiring and necessary conference in Saskatchewan whose title “Missing Women: Decolonization, Third Wave Feminism and Indigenous People of Canada and Mexico” says it all.

Travel and work conflicts prevented me from being there physically, but I can tell you that I’m emotionally shaken and stirred by the good work that has come out of it, which you can read about here.

I’ve always personally tried to make it a priority to highlight the strong matriarchy that exists in so many of our Indigenous nations. We were the FIRST feminists which is often forgotten in a lot of mainstream feminist dialogue, and it’s a shame especially when you consider what’s happened to many of the women in our communities today.

More than 500 Aboriginal women have gone missing or been murdered over the past 15 years and we have the highest rates of sexual assault and domestic violence against our women than any other race. However what we need to be focussing on now is the things that are happening to prevent these statistics and what we are doing in our communities ourselves to effect positive change.

Where we’ve come from is this strong, ancestral lineage of woman-power culture. Sadly we’ve now arrived at is this consistently prejudicial place where many of us wonder whether, if any of these victims were White, would people care more or do more to seek justice?

A youth patch for the quilt of hope by the Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition

Tags: activist report, body politics, race and racism

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