Canada: Stop Ignoring the Safety of Indigenous Women and Girls

When Canada provides economic development assistance to resource development projects in other countries, the Canadian government requires a specific analysis of the potential impacts of these projects on women and girls. However, when the government approves similar projects within Canada, the health and safety of women and girls is rarely even considered.

A new report by Amnesty International—Out of Sight, Out of Mind—is the latest study to draw links between intensive resource development and increased risk of violence against women. Some of the links include a rapid rise in local population due to temporary and transient workers, inflated local costs for necessities like housing, and overwhelming demand on local police and social services.

These concerns are especially urgent for Indigenous women and girls. Indigenous women and girls already face a greatly increased risk of violence in Canadian society. Their traditional lands are often at the heart of the most intensive resource development.

Please join us in urging the Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change to ensure that the safety of Indigenous women and girls is not out of sight and out of mind in the decision-making process surrounding resource development in Canada.

Dear Minister McKenna,

I urge the federal government to make the rights of Indigenous women and girls front and centre when you consider and take decisions on resource development projects.

Large-scale development projects not only impact the physical environment where they are constructed—they have an impact on the people living in nearby communities. Your government has committed to address the staggeringly high rates of violence faced by Indigenous women and girls. As part of that commitment, I urge you to address the link between resource development and increased risks of violence identified in the Amnesty International report Out of Sight, Out of Mind and in numerous previous studies. 

The current federal Review of Environmental Assessment Processes provides a tremendous opportunity to make intersectional gender-based analysis a mandatory part of the regulatory process. 

Please don’t leave the rights of Indigenous women and girls out of sight and out of mind in the decision-making process around resource development in Canada.  

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