Over-representation of Indigenous women as victims and judicial notice the focus of the National Inquiry’s submissions to Supreme Court in Barton
October 11, 2018
Ottawa, ON. – Today, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls made oral submissions at Supreme Court of Canada in the case Barton v. Her Majesty the Queen. The National Inquiry’s argument focused on what is already known about the over-representation of Indigenous women as victims and judicial notice.
The National Inquiry argued that the racism Indigenous women experience as victims must be considered when judges are determining what, if any, prior sexual hearing evidence can be admitted. “Judicial notice should be employed to recognize that the history of colonialism translates into higher rates of victimization, racial bias, stereotypes and assumptions that result in Indigenous women being viewed as less than worthy victims or less believable,” said Christa Big Canoe, lead counsel who made the oral submissions on behalf of the National Inquiry.
“The National Inquiry has heard hundreds of stories of violence experienced by Indigenous women and girls. We have also heard how Indigenous women feel that justice does not serve them,” said Chief Commissioner Marion Buller. She added, “The National Inquiry had to intervene in this case because it is clear that systemic racism adversely impacts Indigenous women and girls when they are complainants of violence at the hands of others.”
To see the National Inquiry’s full factum, please go to: https://www.scc-csc.ca/WebDocuments-DocumentsWeb/37769/FM110_Intervener_National-Inquiry.pdf
Commissioner Qajaq Robinson and Lead Counsel Christa Big Canoe will be available in Ottawa for comments following the oral submissions.
National Inquiry Communications