Consider safety of Indigenous women in resource-development projects: MMIWG inquiry

Amnesty International Canada is supporting the call from the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women on the ``urgent need'' to consider the safety of Indigenous women in all stages of resource-extraction projects.

The inquiry, which released its final report on Monday, says it found ``substantial evidence of a serious problem'' in a link between resource extraction and violence against Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual people.

The report says that industries create ``boomtown'' and ``man-camp'' environments implicated in increased rates of drug and alcohol-related offences, sexual offences, domestic violence, and gang violence, as well as sex-industry activities.

Jackie Hansen, a gender-rights campaigner with Amnesty International Canada, says the pattern of risk is well known not only in Canada but internationally, though it remains an under-discussed issue.

The inquiry's final report also includes remarks from James Anaya, the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, who told the commission it has become evident through study that extractive industries often disproportionately impact Indigenous Peoples.

Anaya is quoted as saying that Indigenous women living in communities near oil, gas and mining operations are vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV and AIDS, often introduced with a rapid increase of extractive workers in Indigenous areas.