Activists at COP26 Connect Environment and Violence Against Indigenous Women

Activists at COP26 Connect Environment and Violence Against Indigenous Women

Indigenous women marched in solidarity and remembrance of all missing and murdered women, girls, and two-spirit individuals at the COP26. These specific groups of people are targeted for violence, especially near places of resource extraction, such as oil fields and mining camps. At the rally, Indigenous women delivered speeches detailing these tragedies and emphasising the importance of acting to stop the violence. 

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“Remember my face,” Sii-am Hamilton told the crowd gathered on Finnieston Street near the Cop26 summit on Tuesday morning. “Remember because it’s not if, it’s when you will go missing if you are involved in land rights.”

“The femicide is directly linked to the ecocide … there needs to be more awareness that these extractive industries, all that is affecting our climate and destroying our territories, is intertwined with violence against our women and girlsDelee Nikal, a Wet’suwet’en activist

“Say their names,” said Delee Nikal, a Wet’suwet’en activist. “Do not forget our sisters who have been stolen.” She explained: “The femicide is directly linked to the ecocide … there needs to be more awareness that these extractive industries, all that is affecting our climate and destroying our territories, is intertwined with violence against our women and girls.”

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In Canada, indigenous women are more likely to face violence than any other group. They are 12 times more likely to go missing or be killed. The same is true for Native American women in the US; they face murder rates that are 10 times greater than the national average.

But this abuse does not happen in a vacuum. In 2019, Canada’s national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women accepted the link between “boomtown” and “man camp” environments that emerged around resource extraction projects and violence against Indigenous women and girls, as well as increased sex industry activities in those areas.

An activist at the rally said tragedies like femicide are linked to ecocide. Last year alone she has seen lots of violence towards indigenous women and girls, at the hands of police officers. She watched bones broken, hair ripped out, and eyes gouged.

Source: News Agencies
Featured Image Credit: Leala Pourier

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