All human beings deserve to live a life free from violence. Unfortunately, far too many people will experience violence in their life time. In Indigenous communities, across Canada, violence against Indigenous women has become normalized but occurs in epidemic proportions. Ending violence against Indigenous women requires the commitment of all of us, especially men to end violence in Canada.
We acknowledge patriarchy – where male dominance and male power privileges men over women – as an important cause of violence against women. We also see the strong connection between colonization and violence against Indigenous women. Many non-Indigenous anti-violence movements do not talk about this connection. Understanding violence against Indigenous women means dispelling the view that patriarchy is the sole and/or dominant causing factor in violence against women.
The statistics below show the number of Indigenous women who are affected by violence in Canada in relation to non-Indigneous women.
The Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC), through the Indigenous Family Healing Joint Steering Committee (1993), defines violence as:
“Consequent to colonization, forced assimilation, and cultural genocide, the learned negative, cumulative, multi-generational actions, values, beliefs, attitudes and behavioural patterns practiced by one or more people that weaken or destroy the harmony and well-being of an Indigenous individual, family, extended family, community or nationhood.”
The statistics to the right are from the 2014 RCMP Operational Review on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. In 2014, the OFIFC responded to the RCMP Operational Review on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada. Please see the news release and response by clicking below.