Trafficking of Canadian First Nations Women on U.S Ships… WAIT WHAT?
Umm, could this not have made more headlines?! I only found this information because I went looking… since when are Canadians not, like, SUPER CONCERNED about this kind of thing going on right under their nose’s? Cuz’ the last I checked, this isn’t a business as usual around these parts.
Apparently, this cross-border sex trade has been happening for “generations”, particularly between Winnipeg and Thunder Bay according to Christine Stark, masters student at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Some of the research she has been working on surrounding this issue presents data from a 2007 report from the Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition. The study included that there had been interviews conducted with105 First Nations women in Minnesota who admitted that they had been forced into the sex trade.
Why hasn’t this been dealt with, you might ask (cuz I sure am)? Apparently the Ontario Native Women’s Association cannot get the funding that they need in order to conduct more “formal research” into how these women are being taken. Kezia Picard, the association’s Director of Policy and Research, does give one reason (or more like a friggin’ obvious hunch) as to why First Nations women are a vulnerable group:
“… it has to do with all of these ongoing issues like poverty. Another one of the large risk factors for indigenous women and girls is the lack of housing … women will sometimes engage in survival sex, not of their choice, in order to have somewhere to live.”
Can I just get something off my chest…
I love my country… I do. But sometimes… I just… wish I could grab it by the arm like a child who is being an ignorant little brat, and give it a time out. And that time out would be located in Canadian reserves where First Nations have been seriously neglected and oppressed (if you are Canadian you known exactly what I mean whether you are willing to admit it or not) for the past 60 years. Little by little, mutually understood promises (aka land treaties and civil rights) have carelessly been plucked away and shoved into a file the federal government is probably keeping somewhere that’s labelled “!#*% over Aboriginals until they have nothing left”… – sorry, this is a sensitive issue for me.
But furthermore, they continuously take advantage of the First Nations traditional belief system where verbal agreements actually HOLD MERIT………………. And not only that, but they make sure that the news is chalk full of stories about every little slip up that Aboriginals make, subconsciously planting opinions into citizen’s mind’s that First Nations people are the scum of Canadian society who waste our “tax dollars” that they “get handed to them for free” on… oh I dunno, cigarettes and booze. Whatever sounds the worst…
I have an idea! Why don’t each of us do some research, maybe purchase a piece of historical literature and then begin to form an idea that may help answer why, as earlier stated, “Indigenous women and girls have a lack of housing and will sometimes engage in survival sex in order to have somewhere to live.”
But I digress. We vote these people into power, right… and I’m sure First Nations people are very much encouraged, to vote… right after being well-informed and fairly treated by our government… right?
(Thanks to CBCNews, and Google Images)