Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Gender, Indigenous Rights, and Energy Development in Northeast British Columbia, Canada

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Gender, Indigenous Rights, and Energy Development in Northeast British Columbia, Canada

Those without access to resource sector wages—particularly Indigenous women and girls—are forced into economically precarious conditions where they experience food and housing insecurity.

The economic insecurity experienced by many in the northeast is a concern in its own right. In addition, economic insecurity is also associated with increased risk of violence against women. The presence of a very large, young, mostly-male transient workforce adds to this risk, because young men are statistically more likely to be perpetrators of violent crime. These concerns are further compounded by patterns of drug and alcohol abuse among some resource industry workers which can fuel violence. Misogyny and racist attitudes toward Indigenous peoples, largely unaddressed in public life, have also made Indigenous women and girls more likely to be targets of violence.

Indigenous women and girls in northeast BC do not have access to adequate government supports and services to reduce the risk of violence. Frontline service providers supporting marginalized individuals, such as women’s shelters and food banks, describe a situation of constant crisis, as needs outpace their capacity to respond. Amnesty International has also found law enforcement resources in the northeast, including the numbers of officers, as well as officer training and orientation, to be inadequate to meet urgent community needs.

ORGANIZATION: Amnesty International
PUBLICATION DATE: 2016
LOCATION: British Columbia, Canada