Indigenous Women and the RCIADIC: Part II
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In this paper, I explain why the (previous) inquiry itself did not focus more on the problems concerning Indigenous women. The explanation relies on interview data collected from 48 people who either worked in the six main offices of the RCIADIC and Aboriginal Issues Units ('AIUs') established for the inquiry, or who were involved in some other capacity with the RCIADIC. It is important to consider the reasons why the problems confronting Indigenous women were not fully explored by the RCIADIC inquiry since it informs future inquiries into race-related problems. Many of the inquiries and studies which delve into the lives of Indigenous people are headed by non-Indigenous people who continue to view Indigenous communities as homogeneous; that is, they fail to consider the different experiences of Indigenous men and women. The studies conducted often make recommendations for the whole community rather than specific groups within those communities, and are based on consultations with various individuals without consciously identifying the need to classify perspectives and experiences according to categories such as gender. This may lead to recommendations that are not suited to all members of that community. As Judy Atkinson notes, without a race and gender analysis, any solutions offered will 'only create venues for further oppression, of both Aboriginal men, and women'.
Indigenous Law Bulletin
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