A recent Statistics Canada report found that Indigenous women were much more likely to experience assault in their lifetime if they had been placed in government care as children. The report found that over 60% of Indigenous women report having experienced violence, and over 45% report having experienced sexual assault.
If those numbers are not tragic enough, if an Indigenous woman has been a part of the child welfare system, her chance of experiencing sexual or physical abuse jumps to 81%. In addition, Indigenous girls are six times more likely to be placed into foster care than non-Indigenous girls. While Indigenous children make up 7.7% of the total population of children in Canada, they make up 52.2% of the children in foster care. Or, in some provinces, like Manitoba, a staggering 90% of foster children are Indigenous.
The Statistics Canada report highlighted that the overall violence against Indigenous women and girls stems from colonial government policies that sought and continue to seek to, erase Indigenous culture and separate families.
The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls found that foster care causes individuals to lose their sense of self and identity. And it is not just the children who are affected, parents who have lost their children to the system experience the same loss of self and identity as the children. The NIMMIWG connects the foster care system to the crisis of missing Indigenous women.
First reported in cbc.ca