June 04, 2019

Mercy Global Action Co-Sponsors Event on Traditional Knowledge Sharing on Human Trafficking

Mercy Global Action co-sponsored an event entitled "Grandmother Council: Anishnabe Training Bundle for Sharing Knowledge on Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation" during the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFII). Panelists were Jessica Desmond-Solon, a trafficking survivor advocate, Grandmother Isabelle Measwasige, and Dr. Cindy Gaudet, assistant professor in Indigenous Studies, University of Alberta, Canada. Sheila Smith, UN-NGO Representative Society of the Sacred Heart, and a long time advocate for the Ojibwe community, moderated the panel discussion. 

The event highlighted how indigenous  women and girls are disproportionately impacted by human trafficking and the significance of a culture-based response to trafficking.

The historical roots of trafficking in indigenous communities include, loss of identity and hope, control and fear, and loss of family ties, when family and friends reject victims or due to shame.

The creation of the training bundle began with a Indigenous led research project in Ottawa, Canada, where the Grandmother’s created a coalition to understand the issue of human trafficking in their communities. The research used a relational methodology, which respects indigenous perspective and their way of living. Indigenous women’s work is often underfunded, so the Grandmothers are filling the gaps through using traditional knowledge to prevent trafficking and heal survivors.

Watch the event on Facebook live here

Messages to: Angela Reed rsm - MIA-MGA Coordinator

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