Violence Against Indigenous Women in Australia and Canada, Public Forum, Sydney, 7 April 2016


Projection at night onto a building in Perth. The projected square is an infographic that reads 'Aboriginal women make up almost 50% of Bandyup's population' and beside the text is an icon of a woman bearing the Aboriginal flag. In the foreground, street lamps, cars and pedestrians are visible.

The Canadian government recently announced a nationwide investigation into the cases of thousands of missing and murdered Aboriginal women. In Australia, recent cases such as the death of 22 year-old Ms Dhu in the South Hedland lock-up, the suicide of a ten-year old girl in the Kimberley, and a new rush of child removals, have focused attention on the forms of violence that constrict and kill Aboriginal women. In this context, a panel of scholars and community activists will examine the interconnected technologies of settler-colonial violence against Aboriginal women in Australia and Canada. How can we end the killing?

Christa Big Canoe is Anishinabe First Nation woman and the Legal Advocacy Director of Aboriginal Legal Services in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In addition to being the Diirector of a clinic that provides poverty law services exclusively to Aboriginal people, she is a litigator that has been before all levels of Court in Canada providing Aboriginal perspective and fighting for equality rights. She is a passion advocate for Aboriginal woman and children. She currently is counsel to six families in the First Nation Youth Death Inquest in Thunder Bay, Ontario and a vocal advocate and counsel to families who have lost loved ones that are Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG).

Elizabeth Jarrett is a Gumbaynggirr grass-roots activist and poet. She is active with the Indigenous Social Justice Association (ISJA) and has organised demonstrations against deaths in custody and other issues facing her people.

Amanda Porter researches in the areas of policing and criminal justice, with a focus on colonial policing history, alternative policing and night patrols. She is a descendant of the Yuin people.

Sherene Razack is a professor of Social Justice Education at the University of Toronto. Her most recent book is Dying From Improvement: Inquests and Inquiries into Indigenous Deaths in Custody.

Padraic Gibson’s research is focussed on contemporary removal of Aboriginal children, the ongoing Northern Territory Intervention and the history of struggles for Aboriginal rights. He is active in a number of social justice campaigns.

Suvendrini Perera is Research Professor of Cultural Studies in the School of Media, Culture & Creative Arts at Curtin University. Her most recent book is Survival Media: The Politics and Poetics of Mobility and the War in Sri Lanka. With Sherene Razack and Christa Big Canoe, she is part of an international research project on Aboriginal and refugee deaths in custody in settler societies.

Violence Against Indigenous Women Forum Flyer

Violence Against Indigenous Women Facebook Event Page (includes link to MP3 audio recording of this event)


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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.