Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada: What Can Sociology Bring to the Table?

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 14:00-15:20

Language: English

Femicide, the killing of women/girls, is the focus of international attention, particularly in world regions where women face significant risk. One outcome is the evolution of the term femicide to feminicide in some regions to denote “the impunity and institutional violence owing to the lack of accountability and adequate response of the state to such killings.” The focus on missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada demonstrates that no country is free from this type of violence, underscoring the need to understand how states are responding to femicide/feminicide. Historical and current impacts of colonization are key contributors to the high risk faced by Indigenous women/girls. Similar to other world regions, inadequate state responses and the impunity of perpetrators continue to increase their vulnerability. Some are marginalized and further discounted as victims because of their poverty or involvement in sex-trade work. Indigenous women are also victims of carceral femicide through their over-incarceration. Progress in reducing their victimization is slow and oftentimes absent. The discipline of sociology has positively contributed to the identification of this issue and the dialogue about what is needed to redress the situation, particularly from work by critical race, feminist, and intersectionality theorists and researchers. However, sociologists can do more, particularly at this point in time when a window has opened up and provided the opportunity to do so. This session brings together a number of sociologists and scholars who have focused on indigeneity and femicide/feminicide as well as social and state responses to this violence.
Session Organizer:
Myrna DAWSON, University of Guelph, Canada
Katherine Charlotte MORTON, Memorial University, Canada
Dawn LAVELL-HARVARD, Trent University, Canada
Oral Presentations
Carceral Feminism As Colonial Violence
Gillian BALFOUR, Trent University, Canada