CCF Actively Discourages Métis Identification

Summary

In 1949, CCF attempts to undermine Métis sovereignty and leadership ultimately disintegrated Métis political organization within Saskatchewan with few funds or attention being allocated to the SMS (Saskatchewan Métis Society); along with Douglas’ focus on the newly formed Union of Saskatchewan Indians, Métis leadership and concerns were often overshadowed or ignored altogether. In this way, the CCF were able to proceed implementing their Aboriginal policy reform in Saskatchewan without having to recognize Métis perspectives.

 

Result

This was clearly illustrated in 1952 when the Green Lake Co-operative Association was advised by the resident director of the Saskatchewan Marketing Services not to include the word 'Métis' in the name of their organization. As he explained, T strongly urged them not to use the word ... since we are looking forward to the day when all citizens of Saskatchewan are of equal status, regardless of race, colour and creed. I therefore urged them not to brand themselves with any name indicating special race or colour.” Barron, F.L., Walking in Indian Moccasins: the native policies of Tommy Douglas and the CCF, 39-40.  

Implications
Efforts to curb Métis identification in the 1950s both individually and organizationally were intended to integrate Métis provincially into the CCF’s new vision of Saskatchewan society. By discouraging self-determination and denying unique Métis status, CCF officials actively prevented access to resources, programs, and most importantly land for Métis who have traditionally been dispossessed from their homelands due to westward expansion/colonization. The CCF also opposed to Métis political organization as they feared a provincially united Métis would prevent CCF reforms.

Sources
  • Barron, F.L., Walking in Indian Moccasins: The Native policies of Tommy Douglas and the CCF, 39-40.  

 

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Date
1949
Region

CCF Creates Métis Colonies

Summary

During the 1940s, the CCF created Métis ‘colonies’ at Crooked Lake, Lestock, Crescent Lake, BalJennie, Willow Bunch, Duck Lake, Glen Mary, Green Lake, and Lebret of which contained about 2500 Métis residents. These colonies were introduced by Tommy Douglas’ CCF government as a colonization project that they felt would ‘deal’ with socioeconomic struggles Métis, particularly Métis in the southern part of the province, were facing as a result of westward expansion and land loss. Colonies were intended to integrate and assimilate Métis peoples into western social and economic ideals that embraced the free market and prepared them for settler society. Schools established in Métis colonies were used to prepare Métis children for the ‘workforce,’ instill a community identity that based itself upon the cultural collective (White society), while simultaneously undermining cultural Métis knowledge and identities.

 

Result

Colonies, however, provided very little to ebb the widespread poverty that many Métis at this time experienced, as land, livestock, and resources obtained in the ‘colonies’ were not owned by any Métis. CCF officials rationalized this by believing that the Métis were incapable of caring for themselves or their land. This belief was firstly, unfounded, and second, predicated on years of land dispossession and colonial interference across the prairies that robbed Métis from wealth and resources they formerly had access to. In doing this, the CCF continued to perpetuate the same behaviour as federal agents wherein Métis peoples were disadvantaged and assumed to be ‘incapable.’ 

Barron writes,

“Colonies, as a rehabilitation scheme for the Métis, were entirely in keeping with this thinking because they were seen as a way of making the Métis competitive in mainstream society. By removing the Métis from the road allowances and grouping them into distinct settlements, the government would be able to manipulate the environment to maximize local community development. The understanding was that, if the Métis could not integrate individually, they might do so collectively through the creation of economically viable, self-sustaining communities. Through proper training, self-actualization, and cooperation, they would evolve as a community of farmers contributing to the regional agrarian economy.”

Sources

Barron, F.L., Walking in Indian Moccasins: the native policies of Tommy Douglas and the CCF, 40-50.

 

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Date
1940-00-00

Blakeney Government Implements the Saskatchewan Formula

Summary

The Blakeney government implemented the Saskatchewan formula, which proposed that land entitlements would be based on First Nation band populations from December 31, 1976 rather than the time that treaties were signed. Action was delayed as Ottawa and Regina fought about the land and money required. A handful of Treaty Land Entitlement claims eventually went forward, including that of the Lucky Man band which received a reserve in the Battleford area 110 years after it had entered treaty (1879). (Waiser, Saskatchewan: A New History, 444).

There are three major types of claims in Saskatchewan: specific, surrender, and land entitlement. A specific claim arises when a First Nation alleges that the federal government has not lived up to its obligations under treaty or other agreement or legal responsibility (see Table FNLC-1). According to Canada’s land claim policy, a valid specific claim exists when a First Nation can demonstrate that Canada has an outstanding lawful obligation as follows: the non-fulfillment of a treaty or agreement; a breach of an Indian Act or other statutory obligation; the mishandling of Indian funds or assets; or an illegal sale or disposition of Indian land. Canada will also consider claims that go beyond what is considered to be a lawful obligation, usually including failure to compensate a band for reserve land taken or damaged under government authority; or fraud by federal employees in connection with the purchase or sale of Indian land.

A Treaty Land Entitlement claim occurs when a First Nation alleges that the Canadian government did not provide the reserve land promised under treaty. For some, this means that no reserve land was received; for others, that the correct amount was not received…

In September 1992, twenty-five First Nations, the province of Saskatchewan and the Canadian government signed the Saskatchewan Treaty Land Entitlement Framework Agreement... Under the terms of the agreement, the First Nations with outstanding entitlements will receive approximately $539 million over twelve years to purchase just over two million acres of land. As of February 2004, 596,010 acres had attained reserve status. When the TLE process is completed, reserve land will account for just over 2% of the provincial land base. Presently about 1% of the land base is reserve land, but the status Indian population constitutes about 10% of the province’s population.”

Nestor, Rob. “Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan.” University of Regina. Accessed July 2020. https://esask.uregina.ca/entry/first_nations_land_claims.jsp


 

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Date
1976-00-00
Region

Adopt Indian and Métis Project (AIM)

Summary

Allyson Stevenson writes:

"From 1967 to 1969 [however Scoop policies continued into the 1980s), the province of Saskatchewan piloted the Adopt Indian and Métis Project as a targeted program to increase adoptions of overrepresented native children. The project was funded initially by the federal Department of Health and Welfare to determine if advertising Native children on television, radio and newspapers across southeastern Saskatchewan would induce families to investigate transracial adoption. The piloting of the Adopt Indian and Métis Program in 1967 called for little financial investment and did not require extensive negotiation between federal and provincial governments or a radically new approach to resolving the underlying economic and social factors contributing to increasing numbers of Aboriginal children coming into provincial care.

…not everyone viewed the Adopt Indian Métis ads with such admiration, or agreed that Aboriginal children should be placed white adoptive homes. The Métis Society, located in Saskatoon, undertook a campaign in 1971 to challenge the images utilized in the ads. That year, the Society formed the Métis Foster Home committee, led by Howard Adams and Métis activists Phyllis Trochie, Nora Thibodeau, and Vicki Racette to research the creation of a Métis-controlled foster home program. The group had a list of eleven reasons that the current government-run system was detrimental to children, parents, and the Métis community as a whole. Their objections centred on the lack of acceptance of Métis identity and citizenship by both white foster parents who raised the children and the larger white society in which the children were being raised. They claimed, furthermore, that “Past experience with the welfare department has proven that it is unable to treat Métis people as equal and full citizens and any new foster home plan under the welfare department would continue to be administered in a repressive and discriminatory way.

….The programs and policies that were administered by the Department of Social Services were operated under the paternalistic Euro-Canadian belief that the Child Welfare bureaucracy and family courts alone could interpret the “best interests of the (Indigenous) child.” Métis people in Canada have a long history of child removal, and in Saskatchewan, were the first Indigenous peoples to recognize the genocidal threat of child removal to their future. The recent exclusion of the Métis children from the federal compensation agreement for the Sixties Scoop is reminiscent of Canada’s original disregard for the Métis peoples, which stretches back to 1869 and beyond.”

 

Date
1967-00-00
Region

Sixties Scoop

Summary

The Canadian constitution defined Indians as falling under federal jurisdiction whereas health and family services was provincial jurisdiction. This led to conflicts over who would provide services (and pay for those services) for Indigenous youth and families. The two levels of government resolved this (without consulting Indigenous people) by deciding that provinces would “care” for Indigenous youth in crisis by apprehending them and integrating them into non-Indigenous child and family service programs.  The result is what came to be known as the “Sixties Scoop” where Indigenous children were “scooped” up and adopted into predominantly non-Indigenous, middle-class families. Despite its name, "Scooping" Indigenous children from their families and communities was not isolated to the 1960s; it extended both before and after the 60s in various forms, some which continue today, and is evident in the disproportionately high rates of Indigenous children caught within the Child Welfare System. 

"It is well-known that Indigenous children are over-represented in both the child protection and justice systems in Saskatchewan and across Canada. Year after year, the deaths and injuries we review are a stark reminder of this dark reality. In 2021, 22 of the 24 deaths (92%) and 23 of the 29 critical injuries/incidents (79%) that came to our attention involved Indigenous children and youth." (Saskatchewan Advocate for Children and Youth, 2021 Annual Report, 34).


Indigenous Children in Care (Child Welfare), 2019

 

 As of 2019, Saskatchewan Social Services Ministry reported that 86% of children in care are Indigenous (Global News). Statistics Canada reported that in 2016, Indigenous peoples represented 16.3% of Saskatchewan's total population (Statistics Canada, Focus on Geography Series, 2016). This demonstrates the wide disparity between rates of Indigenous children in care compared to total population. 


The Sixties Scoop experience left many adoptees with a lost sense of cultural identity. The physical and emotional separation from their birth families continues to affect adult adoptees and Indigenous communities to this day.

In Saskatchewan, particularly in the Northern region of the province, Indigenous children were taken or ‘scooped’ from their communities and relocated generally to non-Indigenous families in settled regions of the province. Through the provincial CCF party (the pre-cursor to the NDP), the scooping and relocation of Indigenous children from their home communities partially occurred because foster homes in the north were deemed incapable of meeting capacity. But of course scooping Indigenous children from their home communities created a social and cultural disconnect that contributed to their assimilation into “Canadian” society, and this was the long-term goal of the Canadian and provincial governments.  Scooping children contributed to assimilation by disconnecting Indigenous youth from their ancestral lands, resources, and livelihoods. Many Indigenous children who were scooped at birth or an early age were not told of their relocation or Indigenous kinship by their adoptive guardians, and only found out later in life.     


Newspaper advertisements for the Adopt Indian and Métis Program, late 1960s, Saskatchewan.


The scooping of Indigenous children dislocated them from their families, communities, and access to culture/culturally relevant upbringing.  It’s important to remember that during the 60s Scoop period Residential Schools were still operating. – Indigenous peoples were continually at risk of violence from early childhood, through their entire adolescent life, and into adulthood as well. For children who were separated from their families in the north sent to southern communities, and Indigenous children from across Canada, there was and often is a sense of cultural disconnect and an inability to find belonging meaningfully both inside and outside of their home communities.

Indigenous parents and their children continue to report ‘scooping’ through child welfare services with further placement into the foster system. For example, scooping through the practice of ‘birth alerts’ wherein hospital staff alerts child welfare services if they deem the child ‘at risk’ from their parents. Parents are not informed of the action nor provide consent for birth alerts. Birth alerts have historically and contemporarily targeted Indigenous mothers who are characterized as unfit or disengaged from their child despite no evidence. They allowed hospital staff to have final authority over who is ‘fit’ to parent a child, and these decisions are often informed by racist and classist assumptions and racial stereotypes.      


See Also: 

 

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Date
1960-00-00

Newly Shared Responsibility of Aboriginal Services Between Provincial and Federal Government

Summary

In 1952, after pressure from the CCF on the Federal Government due to their failure in providing adequate services to Indigenous peoples across the province, the Federal Government transferred jurisdiction of welfare services for off-reserve Indigenous peoples in their entirety. The Department of Indian Affairs now claimed that any person living off reserve for more than a year were under the obligation of the provincial government. However, the transfer of welfare services was not accompanied by any financial assistance for the new responsibilities of the CCF. This meant that the new duty of delivering welfare services to a considerable population would be made ever the more difficult; without funding, services could not be fully implemented, adequately staffed, and resulted in under-serving communities the transfer meant to serve. The complex and confusing process of accessing provincial welfare services often discouraged Indigenous applicants and they frequently ran into uncooperative municipal employees.

To the federal government, in theory, once a status-Indian lived off reserve for over a year they would be assumed by provincial welfare, and incidentally, lost their status. This led to many of those living off reserve (who sought wage labour) in Saskatchewan to move back to their reserves in order to retain access to services provided by Indian Affairs, despite their inadequacy. The loss of status also posed great concern, as access to land and the right to live on their reserve would be threatened after the 12-month mark; undermining access to land directly harmed Indigenous peoples, while the government benefited as they would no longer have a fiduciary duty to any of these persons. These new changes to provincial welfare services, as has been continuously seen in service implementation, failed to address the needs of Indigenous peoples within Saskatchewan due to the paternalistic approach taken. Instead of allocating funds directly to Indigenous peoples, governments continued to fail in directing Aboriginal welfare services.


 

Sources

Barron, F.L., Walking in Indian Moccasins: the native policies of Tommy Douglas and the CCF, 121-122.

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Date
1952-00-00
Region

The Relocation of Little Chicago Residents to Green Lake

Summary

According to the testimony given by Myrtle LaFontaine in an interview for the Metis Oral History Project, in the year 1949, her family, and the residents of the Chicago Line, or Little Chicago, were relocated by the government to Northern Saskatchewan. This was a road allowance community outside of Lestock, Saskatchewan. As per Myrtle, the Chicago Line was “…on the municipality road allowance they used to call in those days and it is about eight or nine miles from Lestock, Saskatchewan…” Also according to Myrtle, there were about fifteen families that lived on the road allowance until the relocation. As explained by Myrtle “…we lived in Lestock till 1949 and then at that time the government saw fit that they relocate us like, you know. So there were, that was to, while we were sent up north, you know, to Green Lake where they had a population of like, you know, Metis people. And we were promised in those days that we would get better housing and jobs and that. And yet when we got there there was, you know, it was really discouraging because we couldn't find, like I think they were worse off than we were, you know.” When the interviewer Margret Jefferson asks how Myrtle and her family survived in the North, Myrtle responds “Mrytle: No, we lived in Lestock till 1949 and then at that time the government saw fit that they relocate us like, you know. So there were, that was to, while we were sent up north, you know, to Green Lake where they had a population of like, you know, Metis people. And we were promised in those days that we would get better housing and jobs and that. And yet when we got there there was, you know, it was really discouraging because we couldn't find, like I think they were worse off than we were, you know.”

Implications
The implications of this event can be broken down into two distinct categories: institutional and socioeconomics. From an institutional perspective, the fact that the Saskatchewan government felt they could move Metis people across the province at will shows a blatant disregard for Metis persons as a whole. Furthermore, moving them with false promises of employment in the North of Saskatchewan again shows blatant disregard for these people, seen as barriers to development. In terms of socioeconomics, this relocation was devastating to the people who were forced to move. It deprived them of a base to set down roots, and to establish stable lives. The effects of this can be seen in low educational attainment rates, which had a drastic impact on Metis people. Another issue of relocations was the ability to gain steady, well paid employment. In many cases the types of work that were available involved day work and, farming, and cleaning. With Metis people being relegated to the road allowances, doing so became impossible, as people were forced to move to make way for new development in Saskatchewan. The forced relocation of people from Little Chicago is a prime example of this.
Date
00-00-1949
Community

Metis Land Claims Advocacy in Saskatchewan

Summary

In 1939, representatives from the Metis Society of Saskatchewan approached the provincial government for assistance in petitioning the federal government in recognition of outstanding and unresolved land claims. Please see "Relevant Resources" below for complete details.

Implications
As indicated by the final entry in "Relevant Resources" (below), the provincial government concluded that it had no obligation to Metis people as it relates to assisting in petitioning for or providing for restitution of unresolved land claims. However, the researcher notes that these conclusions are no longer considered legally justifiable, as the 2016 Supreme Court of Canada ruling in Daniels vs. Canada (Indian Affairs and Northern Development) affirmed that Metis and non-status Indians are, in fact, Indians in accordance with section 91 of the Constitution. This also means that they fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government, rendering provincial assertions of jurisdiction irrelevant. The researcher also notes that the statement “such settlement proved to be of little or no value in fitting them for civilized life”, of which similar sentiments are reiterated in section five, adheres to a Social Darwinist view of ethnic hierarchies of civilizational progress, and is therefore racially discriminatory. Finally, the researcher notes that the evidence which the provincial government relied on is not disclosed in Daniels’ book. To the extent that these assertions were rooted in written documentation such as government records, to the neglect of overwhelming Metis oral historical testimony which makes claim to the contrary, such assertions are racially discriminatory. While it can be acknowledged that the report was a “product of its time” in relationship to the acceptance of oral historical testimony in Canadian politico-legal systems, the logic which excluded oral historical, or at the very least non-governmental or unwritten sources as legitimate was based in assumptions that such material, much like the cultural groups such material originated from, lacked rationality and epistemic credibility. As well, since Delgamuukw v. British Columbia [1997], oral historical evidence has been considered admissible in the Canadian court of law.----------The establishment of Metis agricultural colonies can be perceived as a means of allowing the government to provide a short-term solution while also avoiding acceptance of responsibility as it relates to joining the Metis in advocacy or directly providing restitution by ceding title to Crown land. In the long-term, this solution did not provide aid to the majority of landless Metis, nor did it increase their access to education, both of which would have provided the Metis with greater assurance of financial security and prosperity in the future.
Date
1930-00-00

Alcohol in Northern Saskatchewan

Summary

In Poelzer’s study (book listed below under “Resources”), alcohol misuse was consistently listed as the prominent social problem in Northern Saskatchewan. One of the Metis women interviewed stated that

”Drinking is the result of the rapid growth and sudden changes of our times. I think people are unable to take the pressures of the fast development of the north. For instance, there are so many regulations changing about fishermen and their nets. One year, they buy one size of mesh for their fish nets; and then maybe a year or two after that the regulations change to a certain other size, such that they have to throw the first net away because it is not the right size anymore. There are all kinds of pressures...housing...parents might have problems with the kids at school...The pressure all stem from the society, from the rapid growth. Then drinking starts” (Poelzer 1985, 84-86).

One of the peripheral social issues that is believed to lead to drinking as a coping mechanism includes isolation caused by rapid population growth in their respective northern communities. Several Metis women in different communities made this observation, making statements such as “the town was getting so big that it was difficult to know even half of the people.”

One woman stated that she rarely recognizes anybody she knows anymore, while another thought that community members tend to stay home and not involve themselves in the community when they don’t know anyone (Poelzer 1985, 113). Some participants believed that individuals were using alcohol to fill the void of lack of social interaction or to foster social interaction. Another peripheral social issue believed to lead to alcohol misuse is a lack of recreational opportunities stemming from economic, social, or political disenfranchisement. Other individuals reported factors such as using alcohol to cope with marital problems and domestic violence and was cited as a factor contributing to domestic violence. Alcohol was also reported as a means of managing financial problems, including unemployment (Poelzer 1985, 84-90).


 

Result

Alcohol misuse is not indicative of inferiority or a failed adaptability to change ("stuck in the past," "susceptible to alcohol" are MYTHS).  Rather, substance misuse and addiction are human survival responses when circumstances of life are unmanageable, social supports, and activities important to wellbeing (such as traditional lifeways like trapping, hunting, cultural ceremonies or traditions) have been inhibited.

For example, stemming from the implementation of regulatory market policies, Indigenous peoples in Northern Saskatchewan surveyed found their traditional livelihoods of hunting, trapping and fishing disrupted. The intrusion of a capitalist market economy replaced the trade and barter system which Northern residents had become familiarized with through the Fur Trade. Accompanying philosophies of market-capitalism that pride individualism and liberalism (the "free market" ideology) undermined holistic and community-centered philosophies common within Indigenous worldviews. The government did not respond to the imposed restrictions by constructing supports, services, or educational programming to support transitioning lifeways in the North as development projects and settlers moved into Indigenous territories. 


 

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Date
1944-00-00

Discrimination Against Metis Women in Northern Saskatchewan

Summary

Metis women from La Ronge and area in Northern Saskatchewan were respondents interviewed by Doris and Irene Poelzer for their study on Metis women's experiences in their home-communities. Numerous respondents reported discrepancies in the types of work available for men and women. They also reported discrepancies in the wages of men and women, with men being paid more for the same work. For example, these respondents stated that the types of jobs available for women were those that restricted them to traditionally feminized work, such as caregiving/nurturing, feeding, serving or providing instruction. That is, although job opportunities are scarce in the northern part of the province, those that were available for women were typically concession work, cleaning, health-related, teaching and clerical. These women believed that they had the same intellectual capacities as men, and that they should not be restricted (Poelzer 1985, 21-22).

One stated, “Women need training for jobs...I don’t want women to have the kind of life I had before” (Poelzer 1985, 23).

There was also a need expressed for support from one’s community and romantic partner. For example, women who ran for public office positions such as the school board believed that they were discriminated against because of their gender, and thus received few votes. In another example, women found that men refused to take instruction from them because of their gender. Overall, some respondents felt that men ignored, underestimate or exploited their Metis female co-workers (Poelzer 1985, 24-26).-

Metis women in Poelzer’s study also spoke extensively on the impact of religion in their life and the community. This impact was construed as both positive and negative. One respondent noted, “The church has been so much a part of exploitation”, as it provided a variety of services including education, health, employment and welfare. However, this also provided church officials with a great degree of control over the community, in which they took advantage of their privileged position by humiliating some individuals and also keeping community members dependent and indebted to their services. For example, individuals in the community must be church members in order to access services (Poelzer 1985, 27-36).

As well, women as a demographic are more likely to live in poverty and are often perceived to be primarily responsible for child-rearing. The financial burden resulting from poverty and raising children often results in a greater degree of reliance on these services. Metis women in the communities surveyed noted that church control was exerted by shaming women who practiced family planning or separated from a violent spouse. They also noted that they would be shamed for living common-law, even though some women declared that cohabitation gave them a greater degree of control, equality and autonomy than marriage.

One woman described the social pressure (resulting from the internalization of Christian moral norms) this way:

“You don’t feel right when you stay with the man without marrying him. It is just that when you go to some places, somebody asks if he is your husband, and you have to lie most of the time. You say ‘yes’ and you are lying. So it hurts you that way...And when you get kids, somebody is going to tell (them) that ‘he is not your dad. That is not your mother’s husband.’ It is not very nice very much” (Poelzer 1985, 49).

Another woman reported a more direct form of religious pressure: “...The church feels that if you are living common-law, you are not following the religion...marriage is quite a big thing” (Poelzer 1985, 49).

In contrast, Metis women respondents reported that common-law arrangements allowed for an easier separation if men were discovered to be immature or abusive. They also reported that such an arrangement prevented male romantic partners from perceiving his wife as property, that is, of possessing rights of ownership over her body or labour. An arrangement of cohabitation, therefore, was perceived to prevent domestic violence as well as prevent men from becoming jealous or of forgetting their household responsibilities.

Overall, women who received social services through the church were made to feel obligated to meet the expectations of religious officials by adhering to their moral and purity ideals (Poelzer 1985, 31-49). 


 

Result

Prior to provincial government intervention and rapid economic shifts in Northern Saskatchewan, women relied on traditional means of survival, and their livelihoods were not threatened.  It should also be noted that the high rate of susceptibility of Indigenous women to physical and sexual violence did not exist prior to colonization.  Rather, its dramatic increase since the establishment of the settler state is indicative of implementation of systems of male dominance, inherent in western philosophy, politics and social organization, as well as in Christian institutions.  As it relates to the experiences of Metis women in Northern Saskatchewan, the majority of respondents referred to the power and influence of the Catholic church in their Metis communities as problematic. 

Poelzer observed that internalized attitudes of male dominance and women’s submission to male leadership permeated the areas in which she conducted her research (1985, 58-59).  This researcher surmises that such widespread acceptance of these attitudes may be related to the influence of religious institutions in these areas.  In terms of the implications of these social problems, physical injuries inflicted by domestic violence can make it difficult and even impossible for women to search for work, complete work-related duties or attend their jobs, while also impacting their wellbeing greatly.  Psychological distress caused by domestic violence such as trauma, depression or anxiety can also severely impair an individual’s ability to function on a day-to-day level. Transportation to leave such situations may, and it very often, inaccessible to women - especially in rural or isolated communities in the North where bus services were and remain few and far between.  

In addition, women who leave environments of domestic violence may find themselves and/or their children houseless of facing housing insecurity. The Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan notes that women living in Northern Saskatchewan face extreme housing shortages.  The Metis women surveyed in Poelzer’s study confirmed this - they stated that the lack of availability of homes, in addition to the unacceptable quality of government-constructed residences have an effect on family living in terms of the moods, attitudes and relationships of individuals, and these dynamics compound the pre-existing stress arising from housing difficulties (Poelzer 1985, 74-81).  

This association also notes that women living on-reserve experience heightened isolation from domestic and sexualized violence crisis services.  Individuals who cannot access support services may resort to substance abuse in order to manage symptoms of psychological distress.  Moreover, women are prevented from advocating for improvement of these issues because of attitudes of male dominance in community development and public office.  Women can't advocate for change if they are not at the decision-making table - and those in power (men) rarely see these issues as important enough to warrant change.

As one Metis woman stated, "if a woman attends a community meeting, men say, ‘What is she doing here?’ or ‘This is for guys only’” (Poelzer 1985, 111).  These factors of political, social and economic exclusion and vulnerability can increase the likelihood of participation in criminal activity.  


 

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