Indigenous women in Canada face many issues including the lack of recognition, the demeaning image of Aboriginal women in North American culture, and the lack of women’s rights in the criminal justice system. This article addresses these issues, discussing the ways in which they are affecting Native women in Manitoba.
Native women’s rights in Canada
Native women’s rights in Canada have evolved over time. There have been some notable movers and shakers. Some of the more notable include Viola Desmond, the first black Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, and Mary Two-Axe Early, who fought for Native women’s rights in Mexico City and later in Canada. Regardless of their individual merits, these women and their accomplishments have been lauded and ostracized in equal measures.
The most significant change to Native women’s lives was the repeal of the Indian Act, which deprived them of their basic human rights. To their credit, Native groups have argued that as self-determining nations, Aboriginal peoples have the right to define their own identity, and thus a correspondingly defining role.
Indigenous rights and women’s rights intersect naturally
Indigenous rights and women’s rights are bound together by their interdependence. These two groups share ancestral ties to lands and resources. However, they face numerous challenges in the areas of education, health, and political participation. In order to effectively protect these groups from harm, the international community must act.
For centuries, women have played a crucial role in societies, from caring for sick people to weaving traditional dresses. Women have …