Heads up: journalist Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy has written about Canada’s Highway of Tears – the stretch of road in northern “British Columbia” where so many indigenous women have been disappeared over the past decades.
Since 1988 over 500 indigenous women have “gone missing” across Canada. Victims of racism, victims of patriarchy, victims of capitalism… all dimensions of Canadian colonialism. Of Canadian nationhood.
The murder and disappearance of so many indigenous women is simply another manifestation of the same process which sees First Nations women (who represent 2% of the “Canadian” population) making up almost one out of every two women incarcerated in a maximum security penitentiary.
A manifestation of the same cold hard facts which see indigenous women between the ages of 25 and 44 being five times more likely than other women to die as a result of violence.
Born in Karachi, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy was the first woman in her Pakistani family to receive a Western education. You can read more about her and about her recent film highway of Tears on her website here.
For more information about violence against indigenous women in Canada, one might also want to check out the October 2004 report from Amnesty International: Stolen Sisters: A Human Rights Response to discrimination and violence against Indigenous Women in Canada and the Stolen Sisters page they have up on their website.