This letter concerns the safety of Indigenous women in the community of Thunder Bay. There has been a growing concern about the safety of women in high-risk areas in the city. To gather current information about this issue, a series of young Indigenous women were provided a questionnaire asking them about their concerns and their potential solutions to different problems.
Frequently cited problems were racism, domestic abuse, drug abuse, and human trafficking. When asked why they thought these problems are significant, the women said that they were seen as easy targets for manipulation because many of them were raised in dysfunctional households and were not necessarily taught their freedoms and rights. When asked for what solutions they had to the aforementioned problems, they mentioned cheaper counseling to build up the confidence of women and help address internal issues that may have built up during their childhoods. An overall improvement to the support system with a set of peers in a similar situation was also cited as a very helpful approach. One specific thing that was mentioned multiple times was more, safer housing for youth in order to stop gangs from easily exploiting them and selling them into the slave market or forcing them into prostitution.
Some of these women felt like they had to take matters into their own hands because they felt like the authorities were not doing enough for them. We consider this extreme lack of trust in the city to be a serious problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
We would like to thank you for your time. We hope that this letter will inspire some change.
Amir-Ali Golrokhian-Sani, Harasees Singh, Euan Pound, & Yamaan Alsumadi
Executives of the RMYC