Get new posts by email:

How to Use this Blog

BOOZHOO! We've amassed tons of information and important history on this blog since 2010. If you have a keyword, use the search box below. Also check out the reference section above. If you have a question or need help searching, use the contact form at the bottom of the blog.

We want you to use BOOKSHOP! (the editor will earn a small amount of money or commission. (we thank you) (that is our disclaimer statement)

This is a blog. It is not a peer-reviewed journal, not a sponsored publication... WE DO NOT HAVE ADS or earn MONEY from this website. The ideas, news and thoughts posted are sourced… or written by the editor or contributors.

EMAIL ME: (outlook email is gone)


Wednesday, October 25, 2023

The forced sterilization in Indigenous women is genocide

Surgical interventions in the reproductive capacity of Indigenous women is a practice not yet confined to the past.

Trigger Warning – mention of genital mutilation

Taking away a person’s ability to reproduce without consent, or through coercion, is called forced or coerced sterilization. This process is often done through surgical interventions. According to the International Justice Resource Center (IJRC), forced sterilization in Canada “disproportionately, and possibly exclusively, targets women of ethnic minorities.” A heinous practice that is still not confined to the past—dating back decades and even into 2018—Indigenous women in Canada have been forcibly subjected to this torturous act of gender-based violence and discrimination. 

The breadth of the issue remains unknown, as there is a both a lack of publicly available data and a lack of in-depth investigation. Synonymous with the data for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls that have yet to be properly and reliably documented, there is limited data concerning the sterilizations that have been conducted. However, since the 70s, at least 12,000 women have been affected by sterilization. 

It was the mid-70s when Morningstar Mercredi was impregnated from a rape. She chose to keep the child, as her community condemned abortion, but later she slipped on ice and began spotting. Mercredi went to an emergency room where she was admitted. She was 14 when she woke up from surgery, only to discover her fetus had been removed. An incision spanned across the length of her lower pelvic region. She later learned that the surgery had also removed her left ovary and fallopian tube. 

This is just one of many similar stories.

Many Indigenous women were forced into sterilization because they were deemed “unfit” and not in the right circumstance to have a child by the standards of health care professionals. A parallelism to past events, like the Sixties Scoop—the removal of Indigenous children from their birthparents—this pattern of discrimination of ethnic minorities with different styles of living is entrenched in Canada’s history.

Alisa Lombard, a legal and policy matters lawyer from Maurice Law, the first Indigenous-owned and operated firm in Canada, represents many of these women. She stated in The Guardian that “[t]hese are people whose choices were taken away and they are choices based in fundamental human rights. The very intimate and personal decision to have children—or to not have children—belongs to the individual. It’s not something that can be influenced or coerced or forced.”

The IJRC is working with Lombard and other Indigenous rights lawyers who are engaged in litigation and advocacy to end the practice of forced sterilization of Indigenous women in Canada. Since November 2017, IJRC has partnered to secure multiple advocacy opportunities before bodies such as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the United Nations (UN) Committee against Torture.

This advocacy collaboration has resulted in numerous powerful statements from human rights organizations, the Canadian government’s final acknowledgement of its responsibility in the matter, and most significantly, increased public awareness and campaigning.

The issue of forced sterilizations will be raised at the United Nations’ Committee Against Torture. The United Nations (UN) sees this plainly as an act of genocide that should not be labeled as anything less, in accordance with Article II of the UN Genocide Convention, which prohibits “imposing measures intended to prevent birth within [a] group.”

As a non-status Cree Indigenous woman, I view this act of coercive sterilization upon Indigenous woman as a serious violation of human rights that sheds light onto the systemic discrimination and racism that Indigenous people face within the health care system. Issues like these disproportionately impact Indigenous women due to lifestyle differences and perceived inadequacies in rearing children to the post-colonization Canadian standards. These women were not in a position to make any permanent decisions regarding their reproductive organs and abilities, they were betrayed by the Canadian medical system, as these healthcare recommendations came from professionals. 



Truth and reconciliation: Inside 'Canada's' healthcare system - IndigiNews

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was created in 2008 to guide Canadians through the discoveries behind the residential “school” system.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please: Share your reaction, your thoughts, and your opinions. Be passionate, be unapologetic. Offensive remarks will not be published. We are getting more and more spam. Comments will be monitored.
Use the comment form at the bottom of this website which is private and sent direct to Trace.

Happy Visitors!

They Took Us Away

They Took Us Away
click image to see more and read more

Blog Archive

Most READ Posts


You are not alone

You are not alone

To Veronica Brown

Veronica, we adult adoptees are thinking of you today and every day. We will be here when you need us. Your journey in the adopted life has begun, nothing can revoke that now, the damage cannot be undone. Be courageous, you have what no adoptee before you has had; a strong group of adult adoptees who know your story, who are behind you and will always be so.

Diane Tells His Name

click photo

60s Scoop Survivors Legal Support


Lost Birds on Al Jazeera Fault Lines

Lost Birds on Al Jazeera Fault Lines
click to read and listen about Trace, Diane, Julie and Suzie


As the single largest unregulated industry in the United States, adoption is viewed as a benevolent action that results in the formation of “forever families.”
The truth is that it is a very lucrative business with a known sales pitch. With profits last estimated at over $1.44 billion dollars a year, mothers who consider adoption for their babies need to be very aware that all of this promotion clouds the facts and only though independent research can they get an accurate account of what life might be like for both them and their child after signing the adoption paperwork.


Original Birth Certificate Map in the USA

Why tribes do not recommend the DNA swab

Rebecca Tallbear entitled: “DNA, Blood, and Racializing the Tribe”, bearing out what I only inferred:

Detailed discussion of the Bering Strait theory and other scientific theories about the population of the modern-day Americas is beyond the scope of this essay. However, it should be noted that Indian people have expressed suspicion that DNA analysis is a tool that scientists will use to support theories about the origins of tribal people that contradict tribal oral histories and origin stories. Perhaps more important,the alternative origin stories of scientists are seen as intending to weaken tribal land and other legal claims (and even diminish a history of colonialism?) that are supported in U.S. federal and tribal law. As genetic evidence has already been used to resolve land conflicts in Asian and Eastern European countries, this is not an unfounded fear.

Google Followers