Actions are being brought against governments and healthcare providers in Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan for sterilizing Indigenous women without their free, prior, full, and informed consent. In their class action against the Alberta government, Koskie Minsky LLP alleges “the Government of Alberta, including its senior officers, directors, bureaucrats, ministers and executives, had specific and complete knowledge of widespread coerced sterilizations perpetrated upon Indigenous women. The claim further alleges that the Government of Alberta turned a blind eye to this conduct, was negligent, breached its fiduciary duties and violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”
Indigenous women’s experiences vary between healthcare workers sterilizing them without their knowledge, after undue pressure, or despite expressing that they do not consent. While over 100 victims have come forward, the amount of women that have been harmed by forced sterilizations in Canada is unknown.
Indigenous people face systemic barriers and racism in the healthcare system, and these cases will further expose this differential treatment.
Image Credit: https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2020/11/24/defending-the-rights-of-indigenous-women.html