Missing & Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) & Pipeline Mancamps
(via Wikipedia): The missing and murdered Indigenous women (MMIW) human-rights crisis disproportionately affects Indigenous peoples in Canada and the United States, notably those in the FNMI (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) and Native American communities.
A corresponding mass movement in the US and Canada works to raise awareness of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) through organized marches; the building of databases; local community, city council, and tribal council meetings; and domestic violence trainings for police.
MMIW has been described as a Canadian national crisis and a Canadian genocide. In response to repeated calls from Indigenous groups, activists, and non-governmental organizations, the Government of Canada under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau established a national public inquiry, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, in September 2016. According to the inquiry’s backgrounder, between the years 1980 and 2012, Indigenous women and girls represented 16% of all female homicides in Canada, while constituting only 4% of the female population in Canada. The inquiry was completed and presented to the public on June 3, 2019.
A 2014 report by the RCMP, titled “Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women: A National Operational Overview“, found that more than 1,000 Indigenous women were murdered over a span of 30 years. From 2001 to 2015, the homicide rate for Indigenous women in Canada was almost six times as high as the homicide rate for non-Indigenous women, representing “4.82 per 100,000 population versus 0.82 per 100,000 population.” In Nunavut, Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and in the provinces of Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan, this over-representation of Indigenous women among homicide victims was even higher. The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) has documented 582 cases since the 1960s, with 39% after 2000—though advocacy groups say that many more women have been missing in Canada, with the highest number of cases in British Columbia. Notable cases have included 19 women killed in the Highway of Tears murders, and some of the 49 women from the Vancouver area murdered by serial killer Robert Pickton.
In the U.S., Native American women are more than twice as likely to experience violence than any other demographic. One in three Native women is sexually assaulted during her life, and 67% of these assaults are perpetrated by non-Natives. The federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was reauthorized in 2013, which for the first time gave tribes jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute felony domestic violence offenses involving both Native American and non-Native offenders on reservations. In 2019, the House of Representatives, led by the Democratic Party, passed H.R. 1585 (Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019) by a vote of 263–158, which increases tribes’ prosecution rights much further. The bill was not taken up by the Senate, which at the time had a Republican majority.Law enforcement, journalists, and activists in Indigenous communities in both the US and Canada have fought to bring awareness to the connection between sex trafficking, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and the women who go missing and are murdered.
“Mancamps”: Pipeline & Extraction Workers
(via Secwepemcul’ecw Assembly): “Located on Indigenous territories, away from cities, and often in close proximity to Indigenous communities, resource projects bring an influx of mostly non-Indigenous, mostly cisgendered male workers who come to the territory to profit from the resource economy, in some cases more than doubling the local population. Sometimes called “work camps,” “industrial camps,” or more commonly, “man camps,” large-scale facilities are set up to house this “shadow population” of transient men. Man camp accommodations can range from RVs and trailers, to lodges, to barracks-style portables. While some are designed to be company-regulated, self-sufficient “communities,” with dining, laundry, and recreational facilities, communities have also reported undocumented, unregulated camps, on land rented out by local ranchers or farmers.
“Camp culture” has been reported to exacerbate isolation, mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse, violence, misogyny, and racism among the men living there. Away from family, friends, and social supports, these men face stressful, difficult, and potentially dangerous working conditions, including long hours, shift work, and ‘two-week in, two-week out’ work schedules. In this environment, and with heightened disposable incomes, increased substance abuse is well documented. Amidst a culture of “hyper-masculinity, sexism, and apathy towards self-care” direct and indirect impacts shift onto women, children, and two-spirit people.
Impacts on women include higher levels of sexual assault and harassment, and family and domestic violence. Increased gender inequality as a result of high wages for resource sector workers that drive up food and housing prices, while straining community services put women and two-spirit people into even more economically precarious situations where they are increasingly dependent on male partners and family members. Meanwhile, environmental assessments of resource projects in Canada have consistently failed to consider the impacts on Indigenous women. However, research, the media, and communities have become increasingly vocal about the epidemic of violence against Indigenous women, children, and two spirits as a result of the colonial capitalist resource sector.”
- ZUYA WINYAN WICAYUONIHAN: Honoring Warrior Women:
A study on missing & murdered Indigenous women and girls in states impacted by the Keystone XL pipeline
Authors: Sovereign Bodies Institute & Brave Heart Society
Zuya Winyan Wicayu’onihan is a collaboration between Brave Heart Society (BHS) and Sovereign Bodies Institute (SBI), to assess scope and severity of the crisis of sex trafficking and missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) in South Dakota and neighboring areas potentially impacted by the Keystone XL pipeline. Additionally, this project aims to identify gaps in healthcare, victims services, law enforcement capacity, and community resources that prevent violence or provide critical support to victims, and empower tribal nations and communities to meaningfully address them. This is an ongoing project that includes quantitative data collection and mapping, as well as fieldwork to gather stories and input on the current state of response capacity to and experiences of sex trafficking and MMIWG from community members, service providers, law enforcement, and tribal and community leadership.
- Brave Heart Society: Indigenous Women’s Groups Livestream on Missing & Murdered Relatives + Pipeline Mancamps (December 2020)
- Honor the Earth: MAN CAMPS FACT SHEET
Lakota People’s Law Project: MMIW: Emergency Declaration on Cheyenne River Reservation
- U.N. SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR: OIL, GAS & MINING OPERATIONS BRINGS INCREASED SEXUAL VIOLENCE (January 2014)
United Nations Special Rapporteur James Anaya opened the UN Permanent Forum’s International Expert Group Meeting in New York with the message that more focused attention needs to be given to sexual health and reproductive rights among indigenous peoples around the globe, including the United States. Anaya discussed the barriers indigenous peoples face in realizing their right to health, including inadequate access to health care, a lack of culturally appropriate health services and contamination of indigenous lands and natural resources. His strongest language came as he discussed how indigenous women living near oil, gas and mining operations are “vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, which are often introduced with a rapid increase of extractive workers in indigenous areas.
- “IN ADDITION, INDIGENOUS WOMEN HAVE REPORTED THAT THE INFLUX OF WORKERS INTO INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES AS A RESULT OF EXTRACTIVE PROJECTS ALSO LED TO INCREASED INCIDENTS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND VIOLENCE, INCLUDING RAPE AND ASSAULT. IN ONE CASE IN WHICH I INTERVENED INDIGENOUS GIRLS WALKING TO SCHOOL WERE SEXUALLY ASSAULTED BY WORKERS OPERATING UNDER A CONCESSION GRANTED BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE EXTRACTION OF FOREST RESOURCES IN THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ TRADITIONAL TERRITORY,” STATED ANAYA.
- Anaya concluded his remarks by saying the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples are designed to remedy the continuing legacies of marginalization of indigenous peoples, provides the principle framework for addressing these areas of concern.
- Canada’s National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (2015-2019)
Canada’s National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women found there is “substantial evidence” that natural resource projects increase violence against Indigenous women and children and two-spirit individuals. A final report released from the National Inquiry Committee in June found “work camps, or ‘man camps,’ associated with the resource extraction industry are implicated in higher rates of violence against Indigenous women at the camps and in the neighbouring communities.” “Increased crime levels, including drug- and alcohol-related offences, sexual offences, and domestic and ‘gang’ violence, have been linked to ‘boom town’ and other resource development contexts. … There is an urgent need to consider the safety of Indigenous women consistently in all stages of project planning,” the report states.
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP): Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women: A National Operational Overview (2014)
- The Peace Project: Gender Based Analysis of Violence against Women and Girls in Fort St. John (2014)
Gender Based Analysis of Violence against Women and Girls in Fort St. John (The Peace Project)
- Seattle University Law Review: Extracting More Than Resources: Human Security and Arctic Indigenous Women (2014)
Extracting More Than Resources
- Amnesty International: OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND: GENDER, INDIGENOUS RIGHTS, AND ENERGY DEVELOPMENT IN NORTHEAST BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA (2016)
Out of Sight Out of Mind ES FINAL EN CDA
- Researcher Says “Man Camp” Populations Can Increase Crime
(South Dakota Public Broadcasting) Dec. 22, 2019
- Counties prepare for labor camps, traffic, crime as Keystone XL pipeline is built
(Capital Journal) Oct 25, 2018
- The Connection Between Pipelines and Sexual Violence
(New Republic) October 15, 2019
- Brave Heart Women Fight to Ban Man-Camps, Which Bring Rape and Abuse
(Indian Country Today) Aug 28, 2013
- On Indian Land, Criminals Can Get Away With Almost Anything
(The Atlantic) February 22, 2013
- B.C. failed to consider links between ‘man camps,’ violence against Indigenous women, Wet’suwet’en argue
(The Narwhal) Feb 8, 2020 (re: TransCanada “Coastal GasLink” pipeline)
- Firsthand Account Of Man Camp In North Dakota From Local Tribal Cop
(Lakota Country Times) May 29, 2014
- Fort St. John ‘a dangerous place for our women,’ indigenous activist says
(Toronto Star) April 3, 2016
- An Oil Town Where Men Are Many, and Women Are Hounded
(The New York Times) Jan. 15, 2013
- Welcome to the ‘Man Camps’ of West Texas: Thousands of oil workers are living in dormitory-like compounds in the Permian Basin
(Bloomberg) August 7, 2018
- Rapes And Murders Of Indigenous Women At Oil And Fracking ‘Man Camps’
(WBEZ Radio) March 13, 2018
- Dark side of the boom: North Dakota’s oil rush brings cash and promise to reservation, along with drug-fueled crime
(Washington Post) September 28, 2014
- Booming Oil Fields May Be Giving Sex Trafficking A Boost
(NPR) February 1, 2014 Heard on Weekend Edition Saturday
- Inside Fracking’s ‘Man Camps’, Where Sex, Drugs, and Gonorrhea Run Rampant
(VICE) Oct 18 2013
- FORT PECK: FEAR NEXT DOOR: The man camp connection
(Native News) 2019
- Man Camps and Predator Economics Threaten Heartland Native Communities
(Huffington Post) August 5, 2013
- Crime In North Dakota’s Oil Boom Towns Is So Bad That The FBI Is Stepping In
(ThinkProgress) Mar. 6, 2015
- Inside the Temporary Homes of North Dakota Oil Workers
(Slate) March 14, 2016
- New Mexico to crack down on Eddy County ‘man camps’ in violation of liquid waste laws
(Carlsbad Current-Argus) Nov. 6, 2019
- Man camp ban extended while county finalizes regulations
(Carlsbad Current-Argus) July 27, 2017
- Almont officials ban ‘man camp’ housing
(Bismarck Tribune) Oct 10, 2011