Deathscapes

The Streets 10h - Vancouver's Downtown Eastside

Deathscapes

Ground zero for violence against Indigenous women

The cover of the report 'Red Women Rising: Indigenous Women Survivors in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside'. Pictured on this cover is the profile of a woman's face constructed out of tree branches and flowers, three black crow silhouettes fly over her.

[imagecaption] Cover art:  ‘Long Live our Mother’, Jess X Snow. Report: Martin, Carol and Walia, Harsha, Red Women Rising: Indigenous Women Survivors in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside,” Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, 2019. [/imagecaption]

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Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside is a site notorious for high levels of poverty, addiction, overdoses and violence including the deaths and abductions of Indigenous women off the streets. Since the first Women’s Memorial March in 1992, more than 970 names have been added to a list of women who have gone missing or been murdered in the Downtown Eastside.

In her performance Vigil, Anishinaabekwe artist Rebecca Belmore, commemorates the lives of missing and murdered Aboriginal women who have disappeared from the streets of Vancouver. In this performance, which takes place on a street corner in the Downtown Eastside, she yells out names of women who have disappeared from the area.

The ‘Red Women Rising: Indigenous Women Survivors in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside‘ report compiled by the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, explores how ‘individual experiences of violence are inseparable from state violence, including loss of land, forced poverty, homelessness, child apprehension, criminalization within the justice system, and health disparities’. It acknowledges that Indigenous women in the Downtown Eastside are stigmatised as having ‘high-risk lifestyles’ and blamed for the violence perpetrated against them while colonial poverty and patriarchy are in reality the highest risk factors in their lives. In this report, contributors speak of their experiences of feeling targeted and stigmatised, of police brutality, of being trapped in circumstances of poverty and extreme violence and of losing friends.

 

 


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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are respectfully advised that this website contains images of and references to deceased persons.

All viewers are respectfully advised that the site contains images of and references to the deaths in custody of Indigenous peoples, Black people and refugees that may cause distress.

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