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Lecture 8

Lecture 8: Gender and Race as Signifiers, Violence Against Aboriginal Women, and Cultural Racism.

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Vanina Sztainbok

SOCB53 – Lecture 8 (Mar. 5) Race and Gender as Signifiers  If race is a way of making knowledge about people, gender is part of the vocabulary of race. Being categorized within a racial group means also being categorized as a certain type of man or woman, that is distinct and relational to men of women of other racial groups. – Razack Violence against Indigenous Women  What do we already know about violence against Indigenous women? o Often goes undocumented o Seen as primitive and uncivilized when compared to the rest of Canada. They weren‟t seen as fully human, seen as an animal.  Some Quick Facts o Missing and murdered Aboriginal women are referred to as “Stolen Sisters” o Between 1960s and 2010, 160 Aboriginal women have either gone missing or been murdered in British Columbia alone. Specifically the Downtown East Side, the “poorest postal code” of Canada o The Native Women‟s Association of Canada estimates that approximately 582 Aboriginal women have gone missing snce the 1960s up until 2010. While most such cases happened between 1960 and 1990, 39% happened after 2000. NWAC estimates that if Canadian women were disappearing at an equal rate, that would be 18000 Canadian women and girls since the late 1970s. o The rate of spousal violence against Aboriginal women is 3 times higher. 8 times more likely to be victims of spousal homicide o Annual income of those living off of the reserve is $5500 less than that of non-Indigenous women o 52% of sex-workers in Vancouver are Aboriginal o 43% of Aboriginal women in Canada are living in poverty  Stats Related to Police Violence o 8% aboriginal girls  54% in custody  50% sentenced to custody  48% on probation o Targeted, picked up, and raped by police officers o Continue to fail to report when Aboriginal women go missing.  Highway of Tears o A highway that runs through small rural towns between Prince George and Prince Rupert o Called the Highway of Tears because of the large amount of murders and disappearances that have occurred.  Those Who Take Us Away o An inquiry into the extent and nature of violence against Aboriginal women and girls by law enforcement officials o Conducted 87 interviews with women o Even if you are white, if you are in certain professions and not middle-class you don‟t have as much white- privilege o When Aboriginals are walking home after drinking, the police often take them to remote areas outside of town to die. o This inquiry did not focus specifically on Aboriginal women and girls, and the multiple factors which cause the epidemic of extreme violence against them. o “Until we expose the root of the causes of the violence, we will not be able to prevent it. It is not an issue of police conduct alone”  What is specific about Violence against Aboriginal Women? o Violence against Indigenous women comes from colonization o Violence against Indigenous women is actually written into Canadian law  The Indian Act  The beginning of the violence.  How is violence against Indigenous women represented? o You can tell a lot about a country based on how they treat their Indigenous population. o “Ours are vanishing” – Overgeneralizes it.  Project EDAN (Everyone Deserves a Name) o A group of artists created images of Pickton‟s alleged victims that reveal real women behind thei
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