Canada, Colonialism and Genocide: The Sterilization of Aboriginal Women
With Karen Stote [Free by donation]
Karen Stote is author of the book, An Act of Genocide: Colonialism and the Sterilization of Aboriginal Women. During the 1900s eugenics gained favour as a means of controlling the birth rate among “undesirable” populations in Canada. Though many people were targeted, the coercive sterilization of one group has gone largely unnoticed. Join Karen Stote for an engaging talk about her research, which unpacks long-buried archival evidence to begin documenting the coerced sterilization of Aboriginal women in Canada. Grounding this evidence within the context of colonialism, the oppression of women and the denial of Indigenous sovereignty, Stote argues that this coercive sterilization must be considered in relation to the larger goals of Indian policy — to gain access to Indigenous lands and resources while reducing the numbers of those to whom the federal government has obligations. She contends that, in accordance with the original meaning of the term, this sterilization should be understood as an act of genocide, and she explores the ways Canada has managed to avoid this charge.
Karen Stote is an assistant professor of women and gender studies at Wilfrid Laurier University where she teaches courses on the history of Indian policy and Indigenous-settler relations, feminism and the politics of decolonization, and issues of environmental and reproductive justice. Other pieces of Stote’s writing appear in American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture & Social Justice/Études critiques sur le genre, la culture, et la justice sociale and Without Apology: Writings on Abortion in Canada. She has also appeared on CBC’s The Current and APTN Investigates.
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