100 Dolls to promote a vision of the Aboriginal women who are missing or have been murdered, to one of dignity and honor. British Columbia must stop housing conditions that are conducive to Native Women being hunted down and killed.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Semester come and gone - again

So, I completed my first two years of university at The Institute of Indigenous Government. I was sheltered somewhat, protected from the harsher realities of "mainstream" society relative to school and achievements, for which I am grateful. A more solid foundation has been constructed which, no matter which school I continue on with my studies (answers what I want to do for September), will enable me to succeed with the tools acquired at this school.

The conflicts I am feeling are profound, the reality being that, if I didn't go further from this point, I would have already achieved so much. I am literally one of the few from my reserve to complete high school, and two years of university. That in itself is so drastic that I cannot begin to tell you, as one who must carry this thought, how it feels.

So, that leaves me with the question of what to do from here? Being at a crossroads, I am going to right now take the path of least resistance. Just because my semester was so busy and so life-altering this past four months, I need to take some time to reflect.

So, this summer, I am going to do some writing. I want to focus on my role as an Aboriginal woman in society. What were some of my trials, and what were some of my tribulations? I must admit, that in some ways, I have had a very priveleged life. There were people who came and went through out, that created in itself a rich mosaic of moments in which I consider to be such a blessing.

There were those who tried to love me, but could not work beyond the muck and mire of my childhood which resulted from - I would say more rather than less - the Intergenerational effects of Residential school experiences my grandmother and my mother had. To achieve what seems at this point the impossible - of integrating love in my life, what kinds of choices do I have to make? What compromises do I have to make to allow this to happen? Do I notice any patterns and how would this relate to other women like myself?

This brings to light my experiences I have had recently, in Vancouver. Did I meet others like me and how did we mix? or collide? what of the men I have met? what were the women like.

I can laugh at many of the experiences..............get angry at some............and feel an utterly deep sadness for others. This is as life should be and is for many, but when you consider in all this, the very ingrained deeply political process that it is to be an Aboriginal woman in Canada, you have what it is that can define resiliance, survival and adaptation. In whatever form you see it in society, it exists due to the fact that there are many who took these concepts and applied them in the only existence they knew. That being an existence society "allowed" them to have, like scraps you would give to a pet.


I feel good about this writing idea. I would like to talk to other aboriginal woman though. There was an experience in the building process of "the gathering", which will forever haunt me. I do not know if this woman involved knows truly how much she has seared my heart with her harsh words. If I think of it too much, I might cry, for to be considered an oppressor by your own kind, by a woman who I devoted myself to with blood, sweat and tears, hurt beyond any abuse, any hit from a mans hand, any assault my uncle could have given me, any harsh word my mother gave me.................................................it scarred my very soul.

On that note, I feel I MUST write.


*****UPDATE***** Later in the day........

Got my marks in - passed with an A-, B+ and a B-. That means I officially have a University Associates of Arts Degree, majoring in Criminology, my focus being on Aboriginal women. I have applied to Simon Fraser University for September. I would like to transfer to a women's study program, as that is where my heart will always be, the Aboriginal women.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


This is a poster I created this weekend for my crim class. I have to say that I purposefully chose to highlight the prostitution part of this case, to scream out how the justice system saw this woman. Not as the mother of two she left behind or as a woman from the Sakimay Reserve near Regina, Saskatchewan where she was murdered, or even as a woman, but rather as a prostitute. The application of justice against her killers spared them a longer prison sentence, and a harsher stigma against this crime against "society" . The judicial process her murder at the hands of two white boys, involved the judge pointing out the jury, to "remember she was a prostitute" when deciding the issue surrounding the conviction between Murder or manslaughter.

This particular picture has always haunted me. I see a very beautiful woman who, in the course of her life, found prostitution.

Arguements galore surround how to solve this society ill, however, what I do not see are answers surrounding what woman have for alternatives.

Aboriginal woman in paritucular have a dual oppression, in that, the intergenerational effects of residential schools in Canada, have essentially crippled the reserve communities which many of these woman are from, and their position within that society. The family breakdown in itself is one of the reasons why, Aboriginal woman, find prostitution. Leaving this community, they would find further oppression within a society which does not afford her the same opportunities other woman have within that society. (can we say that society created this position that many Aboriginal women find themselves in, only to find that society neither cares nor assumes any guilt because of it).

This case involving Pamela George screamed out the injustices, not only within a cultural sense, but in a judicial sense, where her death, received in the course of her activities involving her "profession" of prostitition, do not afford her the same degree of justice against her killer(s).

I have found that this particular section of the Canadian Criminal Code, section 231.(5)(b), where murder in the course of committing another crime involving aggravated sexual assault or kidnapping, as what happened to Miss. George, would constitute a second degree murder charge.

Instead, and this is where the contradiction lies between enforcing this second degree murder charge against a killer(s) of a prostitute, that being the issue of consent.

The fact that consent is "assumed" with sexual interaction between a prostitute and a "client" should not afford that "client" the right to kill without receiving the same sanctions against killing a woman (or man), who does not give consent to sex.

In the case, R. v. Brown, it clearly states over a lengthy decision, that consent to sexual assault involving violence is no defence. There does not appear any clear reason in the Miss. George case why manslaughter and not second degree murder was decided. I have come to conclude that this particular section, when taking in the "procurring" laws against prostitution for sex, that the laws do not apply for second degree murder (and a longer prison term) in the course of activities involving prostitutes when death occurs. Rather, this issue of consent appears to override this particular section.

It seems to me, that as a prostitute, by challenging this profession and all it carries, you must go into it knowing that death may occur. And when it does, the death of one it's "workers" would be considered by the courts, as the ultimate cost of doing business, and a mitigating factor as to how a woman came to put herself in a position that she may be killed, therefore, not enforceable by law against the killer to the degree that section 231.(5)(b) should otherwise be metted out.