Article originally published by Vice Canada.
Image by Erin Konsmo.
A new online database of missing and murdered Indigenous women, trans women and Two-Spirit people is aiming to not just record numbers, but to fight back by remembering the lives of the women who have been lost.
“The strength of the database will be from how it honours and remembers missing and murdered Indigenous women, Two Spirit, and trans women,” wrote Erin Konsmo, of the Native Youth Sexual Health Network (NYSHN), in an email interview with VICE. It Starts With Us – Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, a collaboration of NYSHN, Families of Sisters in Spirit and No More Silence, launched in late July. The site already features the names of 72 women who have gone missing, were found dead, or were murdered in Ontario. Another 50 will be added soon. In the coming weeks and months, the names of the hundreds of other native women who have gone missing from other regions of Canada over the last several decades.
Calls for action and public awareness of the epidemic of violence towards Indigenous women has been growing since earlier this year, said Audrey Huntley, one of the organizers with No More Silence. She’s worked to combat violence against Indigenous women for about 20 years, and since February, there’s been media attention like she’s never seen before.
Continue reading Government Inaction Has Led to an Independent Database for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
This piece was originally published at VICE Canada.
Photo via the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala.
Sixteen year old Merilyn Topacio Reynoso Pacheco and her father Edwin Alexander Reynoso were both shot on April 3, 2014 by unknown assailants. Topacio died of her wounds, and in mid-May her father was still recovering in hospital. Both have been active and vocal critics of Tahoe’s Escobal mine located near their community of Mataquescuintla in southeastern Guatemala. Tahoe is a mining company that was founded in Vancouver, and trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
The murder of Topacio and the shooting of her father are the latest acts of violence around a mining project that critics in Guatemala and Canada say has failed to gain a “social license” from locals, and that its continued operation will only lead to more conflict. Concerns about the mine are primarily environmental, with fears that water contamination will affect agricultural production and local water sources. Just as central is that despite the concerns, the government ignored over 250 complaints before approving the mine. In an appeal of one rejected complaint, a judge ruled that the government did not follow regulations and that the complaint should have been investigated before a license was granted. That case is still winding its way through appeal. Opposition, though, has continued.
Continue reading CANADIAN PENSIONS ARE BEING INVESTED IN A MINING COMPANY WITH A QUESTIONABLE HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD