RED WOMEN RISING - Indigenous Women Survivors in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside
8 February 2022
We write in support of the work of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre on documenting and reporting on the horrific and systemic violence faced by Indigenous women in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. [...] D, Dakota, in the in the DTES for 32 years Jennifer Azak, Nisga’a, DTES for 25 years Debbie Schuabach, Metis, just got to the DTES Carmaine Annette Cardinal, Saddle in the DTES for 20 years Jennifer Humcitt, Heiltsuk, Lake Cree, in the DTES for 2.5 years Deborah Chartrand, Ojibway in the DTES for 23 years and Cree Saulteau, in the Joleen Hansen, Tl’azt’en, DTES for 43 years in the DTES for 10 year. [...] James, in the DTES for 5 years Sue Mac, in the DTES for 2 years in the DTES for 58 years Sophie Merasty, Denesuline and Susan, in the DTES for 4 years Maggie Hussin, Gull Bay First Woodlands Cree, Nation, in the DTES for 30 years in the DTES for 27 years Syd Benjamin, in the DTES for 10 years Marge Humchitt, Heiltsuk, Stella August, Nuu-chah-nulth, in the DTES for 37 years in the DTES for 50 years. [...] In the DTES, where approximately 8,000 women live and work, incidents of violence are double the rates of the rest 15 Red Women Rising: Indigenous Women Survivors in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Executive Summary of the city and 16 percent of reported sexual assaults in the whole city occur in this one neighbourhood.4 In a DTES women’s safety audit, 87 percent of women I started walking for justi. [...] As detailed in the Final Report of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) failed to prevent and protect Indigenous women from violence, and failed to diligently investigate violence when it occurred.32 One recent attempt by the VPD to improve relations is the SisterWatch program.