September 30, 2023 — Today, on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day, we recognize and celebrate the diversity and strength of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples across Canada.
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a day to commemorate and reflect upon the history and ongoing impact of the residential and day school systems through which over 150,000 First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children were forcibly removed from their families and communities. We remember those who never returned home, survivors, and their families and communities.
As a national organization committed to ending sexualized violence, EVA Canada recognizes the systematic use of sexualized violence and abuse within the residential school system and the ways in which the colonial state intentionally ignored this violence and its multi-faced impacts on Indigenous children and their families. We also draw attention to the connection between the colonial policies, practices, and structures that allowed for sexual violence within the residential school system, and ongoing crisis of sexual violence and other forms of gender-based violence experienced by Indigenous women, girls, trans and two-spirit people.
It is critical that in our efforts to prevent sexualized violence our work acknowledges these colonial histories and ongoing forms of structural violence against Indigenous families and communities, including criminalization within the justice system; inequities in access to healthcare, education, and clean water; forced poverty and homelessness; and barriers in reporting and seeking help in the aftermath of violence.
To learn more about the history of residential schools and its connection to the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, see the following sections in the National Inquiry’s Final Report:
• The Indian Residential School System: A Theatre of Abuse (Vol. 1, pp. 259 – 266)
• Métis Girls and Residential Schools (Vol. 1, pp. 288-289)
• Residential Schools and Hostels among the Inuit (Vol. 1., pp. 303-306)
The following is a list of community-based research and resources documenting the historical and ongoing realities of gender-based violence against First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people, and the ways in which colonial policies, systems, and priorities continue to perpetuate and enable that violence. We draw your attention to the recommendations included in many of these reports as important actions that can and must be taken.
The full report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and its 231 Calls for Justice.
COVID 19 Impacts on the Livelihoods and Well-being of Women in the Yukon
This 2023 report by the Yukon Status of Women Council explores the specific impacts of the pandemic on Yukon women’s livelihoods and well-being through individual interviews with 51 women-identified Yukoners, over half of which were Indigenous.
Data Advocacy Toolkit for Rural, Remote & Northern GBV Advocates
This website developed by the Yukon Status of Women Council provides a toolkit to support researchers, advocates, and others in understanding and addressing gaps in data in rural, remote, and northern contexts.
Never Until Now: Indigenous and Racialized Women’s Experiences Working in Yukon & Northern British Columbia Mine Camps
This 2021 report by Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society and the Yukon Status of Women’s Council explores Indigenous and racialized women’s health and safety in the extractive industry in Northern Canada.
Addressing Gendered Violence Against Inuit Women: A Review of Police Policies and Practices in Inuit Nunangat
This 2020 report by Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada looks at the ways in which the current policing model is not working for Inuit women and their communities.
Reconciliation with Indigenous Women: Changing the Story of Missing and Murdering Indigenous Women and Girls
This 2020 report by Ontario Native Women’s Association sets forth recommendations to be incorporated into the National Action Plan.
Red Women Rising: Indigenous Women Survivors in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside
This 2019 report by the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre (DEWC) centres the experiences and wisdom of Indigenous women survivors in the Downtown Eastside through a participatory process with 113 Indigenous women and 15 non-Indigenous women.
Métis Perspectives of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and LGBTQ2S+ People
This 2019 report by Women of the Métis Nation shares a Métis perspective on the violence experienced by Indigenous women and challenges the invisibility of Métis women in particular.