Ellen Gabriel, a Mohawk artist, educator and activist from Kanehsatà:ke, is well known in Canada as a powerful voice for rights of Indigenous peoples. Amnesty International has been honoured to work alongside Ellen on many matters of urgent concern, including the rights and safety of Indigenous women and the promotion of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Amnesty International talked to Ellen as part of a series of conversations with activists and leaders marking the 10th anniversary of the Stolen Sisters report on violence against Indigenous women. We asked Ellen for her reflections on progress made and remaining challenges in making sure that there are No More Stolen Sisters. Here is what she had to say.
Why do you think there has been so little coherent and concrete government response to the high levels of violence faced by Indigenous women and girls in Canada?
Because they don’t care. It profits them to keep us oppressed and to deny that colonialism has anything to do with the whole gamut of problems we have in our communities.