As a result of their dehumanized status within Canadian society, Indigenous women, girls, two-spirit, and trans women experience disproportionate rates of violence over the course of their lifetimes. Though Indigenous Peoples only make up 4% of the Canadian population, Indigenous women and girls represent 50% of all sex trafficking victims, although they remain largely invisible.
The trainer will present preliminary thematic findings from a qualitative research project conducted with Indigenous trafficking survivors and professional social services providers in Toronto, Ontario. According to the findings of this research, Indigenous women, two-spirit and trans women survivors of human trafficking are the most vulnerable population, access mainstream services the least, and present with the most complex trauma and life circumstances. This research also indicates that all human trafficking victims were targeted as youth, some by family members and others by strangers. How exactly this trafficking and exploitation manifests for Indigenous youth, what it constitutes, where it takes place, and what the risk factors are will be elaborated upon.
Topics to be explore through the stories of Indigenous women, two-spirit, and trans women:
- Pathways into Trafficking
- Collective/Intergenerational Trauma Caused by Systems of Colonization
- Uniqueness of Two-Spirit/Queer/Trans Experiences
- What Helped Victims Get Out
- Healing Journeys
This will be followed with a discussion on grassroots solutions for necessary systemic change that emanate from Indigenous communities and the need for Indigenous led ongoing research. The training will include: lecture, visuals, group discussions, question periods and interactive exercises.
- Identify the unique roots, based on colonization, of human trafficking for Indigenous populations
- Gain knowledge of the prevalence of and risk factors for the human trafficking of Indigenous youth
- Learn directly from the victims of human trafficking and those who offer services to assist them
- Understand the need for Indigenous led responses to human trafficking
- Achieve a level of appreciation of Indigenous research approaches