Call on provinces and territories in Canada to end sterilization without consent

Across Canada and as recently as 2018, Indigenous women report being forcibly or coercively sterilized. Some women were incorrectly told the procedure is reversible. Others were separated from their babies until they consented to a tubal ligation.

Forced and coerced sterilizations of Indigenous women are a result of systemic bias and discrimination against Indigenous peoples in the provision of public services in Canada, a pattern well known and acknowledged by government. They are an assault on the cultural integrity of societies that have already endured grave human rights violations including forced assimilation.

Sterilizing women without their free, full, and informed consent is a form of violence and torture. Measures to prevent births within ethnic or racial groups is explicitly prohibited by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

Everyone who can get pregnant has the human right to make decisions around if, when, and how to create a family. Everyone has the right to live free from violence and discrimination. And everyone has a right to health.

The federal government is responsible for taking a leadership and coordination role in investigating this issue, stopping it, and ensuring justice for survivors.

Provinces, territories, and medical colleges also have a role to play given provincial/territorial jurisdiction over healthcare in Canada. Call on the authorities in the province or territory where you live, as well as medical bodies, to end sterilization of Indigenous women without their consent.

WHAT CAN I DO?

Please write to the provincial/territorial government and the medical body where you live.

  • Start with Dear (add Salutation included in the contact list below, i.e. Dear Minister)
  • In your first sentence, tell explain who you are, where in Canada you live, and why you are upset that Indigenous women in Canada are being sterilized without their free, full, and informed consent
  • Note that the central issue is consent. No one should be sterilized without providing their free, full, and informed consent.

Call on them to:

  • Participate fully in any meetings, hearings, and investigations into this issue launched at the federal level, and/or launch an independent provincial/territorial investigation into sterilization without consent;
  • Change policies and procedures to ensure no more women are sterilized without their free, full, and informed consent;
  • Immediately convene a meeting on this issue including provincial or territorial authorities and colleges of physicians and surgeons, nurses, and social workers, Indigenous women’s organizations, and survivors; and
  • Centre all actions taken on the voices and needs of those who have been sterilized without their consent.

WHERE DO I SEND MY MESSAGE?

BRITISH COLUMBIA

The Honourable Adrian Dix

Minister of Health

Room 337 Parliament Buildings

Victoria, BC V8V 1X4

HLTH.Minister@gov.bc.ca

@AdrianDix

ALBERTA

The Honourable Sarah Marjorie Hoffman

Minister of Health

423 Legislature Building, 10800 – 97 Avenue

Edmonton, AB T5K 2B6

health.minister@gov.ab.ca

@SHoffmanAB

SASKATCHEWAN

The Honourable Jim Reiter

Minister of Health

Room 204, Legislative Building

2405 Legislative Drive

Regina, SK S4S 0B3

he.minister@gov.sk.ca

MANITOBA

The Honourable Cameron Friesen

Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living

302 Legislative Building, 450 Broadway

Winnipeg, MB R3C 0V8

minhsal@leg.gov.mb.ca

@Min_Friesen

ONTARIO

The Honourable Christine Elliott

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

Hepburn Block, 10th Floor, 80 Grosvenor St.

Toronto, ON M7A 1E9

christine.elliott@ontario.ca

@celliottability

QUEBEC

The Honourable Danielle McCann

Minister of Health and Social Services

Édifice Catherine-De Longpré

1075, chemin Sainte-Foy, 15e étage

Quebec, QC G1S 2M1

ministre@msss.gouv.qc.ca

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

The Honourable John Haggie

Department of Health and Community Services

PO Box 8700

First Floor, West Block, Confederation Building

St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6

hcsminister@gov.nl.ca

@JohnRockDoc

NEW BRUNSWICK

The Honourable Hugh J.A. Flemming

Minister of Health

HSBC Place, PO Box 5100

Fredericton, NB E3B 5G8

Hugh.Flemming@gnb.ca

@TedFlemming

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

The Honourable Robert Mitchell

Minister of Health and Wellness

4th Floor North, Shaw Building

105 Rochford Street

Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

rjmitchell@gov.pe.ca

@RobMitchellMLA

NOVA SCOTIA

The Honourable Randy Delorey

Minister of Health and Wellness

Barrington Tower, 1894

Barrington Street
PO Box 488

Halifax, NS B3J 2R8

Health.Minister@novascotia.ca

@RandyDelorey

YUKON

The Honourable Pauline Frost

Minister of Health and Social Services

Yukon Legislative Assembly, Box 2703

Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2C6

pauline.frost@gov.yk.ca

@PFFrostOldCrow

NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

The Honourable Glen Abernethy

Minister of Health and Social Services

PO Box 1320

Yellowknife, NT X1A 2L9

glen_abernethy@gov.nt.ca

@GlenAbernethy

NUNAVUT

The Honourable George Hickes

Minister of Health

PO Box 1000 Station 200

Iqaluit, NT X0A 0H0

ghickes@gov.nu.ca

WHERE CAN I FIND OUT MORE?

Visit our campaign webpage