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Race and Gender Discrimination Fuel Violence against Indigenous Women

Updated: Dec 13, 2022

Thunder Bay, ON – The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women (White Ribbon Day) is a Canadian movement of men and boys working to end violence against women and girls, promote gender equity, healthy relationships and a new vision of masculinity.


Indigenous women have the right to a future free from gender-based violence. The violent mix of misguided masculine toxicity perpetrated by systemic racism continues to plague the lives of Indigenous women and girls.

  • 63% of Indigenous women have faced physical or sexual assault (Stats Can, April 2022)

  • 56% Indigenous women have experienced physical assault, while 46% of Indigenous women have experienced sexual assault in their lifetime (Stats Can, April 2022)

  • In 2018, the rates of sexual assault against Indigenous women were more than 3 times higher than among non-Indigenous women (Survey of Safety in Public and Private Spaces, Dec 2018)

  • Indigenous women are approximately 3 times more likely to experience spousal violence than non-Indigenous women (Brennan, S., 2011)

  • Indigenous women are 7 times more likely to be homicide victims than the non-Indigenous population. (Health Canada, 2009)


“Indigenous women are targeted with violence because of race and gender. This needs to stop. We must begin building new communities where Indigenous women are safe through action at the individual, family, and community level.” stated Cora McGuire-Cyrette, Executive Director, ONWA


ONWA’s Reconciliation with Indigenous Women: Changing the Story of MMIWG (2020) identifies actions in a detailed report outlining key areas of concern and recommendations for moving forward in ending violence against Indigenous women and girls.


Today, on White Ribbon Day, ONWA honours the men and boys who support Indigenous women and girls. ONWA encourages all men and boys to take the pledge: I pledge never to commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women. Furthermore, we call on our Indigenous brothers to join us in standing up against violence.


To learn more about how you can help end violence against the women in your life, and for more resources more go to:



For more information and media inquiries, contact:

Andre Morriseau, Communications Manager

Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA)

Email: amorriseau@onwa.ca

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Join the conversation at #IKWEWI_women

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