We're hiring a summer project assistant!!

The ideal candidate for the position is committed to working on sexual and reproductive health
and rights and is willing to provide event and administrative support to the team.

Food centered events are an important part of our mandate. The ideal applicant will understand the value of building community with food.

Job application here.

Application deadline: Thursday, June 14 at noon.

Interviews will be conducted on Friday, June 15.

8 week term. $12.65/hr, 30hrs/week.

New Book: Fired Up about Reproductive Rights

Our founder recently endorsed the book "Fired Up about Reproductive Rights'' by Jane Kirby. More details



The Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour (SNIWWOC) is a non-profit organization based in Victoria, BC, Canada. We explore reproductive rights and reproductive justice through food, art, and education


We're mentioned in the Toronto Star

Check out the article!

Residents weigh in on whether Victoria is best place to be a woman | Toronto Star

The Star talked to five women from Victoria and asked them about the study that suggests the B.C. capital is the best place to be a woman. Boma Brown, 26, Support Network for Indigenous Women & Women of Colour founder Brown, who's of Nigerian descent and previously lived in Botswana and in the U.S., has been in Victoria for six years.

Women of Colour, Help Plan The 11th Annual Integrate Arts Festival

A festival staff reached out to SNIWWOC, as they would love more indigenous women and women of colour to participate. Read the message below:

Planning for The 11th Annual Integrate Arts Festival has officially begun, and we are searching for a few key members to join our team this year! The planning committee is responsible for organizing all details of the festival. It can be a great experience for those looking to hone their skills or to further their engagement with the arts community of Victoria. If you are interested in planning with us, please forward a copy of your resume and some information about yourself to info[at]integratearts[dot]ca.

The festival will be held in August, and supports local Victoria artists. We organize local galleries and arts organizations to create an art crawl, bus tour, and bike tour, while also creating our own programming with family-friendly workshops, a pop-up gallery, and theatre and music performances.

Here is our festival website: http://integratearts.ca/

New book: Sherene Razack, Dying from Improvement: Inquests and Inquiries into Indigenous Deaths in Custody

Repost from RAGA Undergrad Listserve

By Sherene H. Razack
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2015

No matter where in Canada they occur, inquiries and inquests into untimely Indigenous deaths in state custody often tell the same story. Repeating details of fatty livers, mental illness, alcoholic belligerence, and a mysterious incapacity to cope with modern life, the legal proceedings declare that there are no villains here, only inevitable casualties of Indigenous life.
But what about a sixty-seven-year-old man who dies in a hospital in police custody with a large, visible, purple boot print on his chest? Or a barely conscious, alcoholic older man, dropped off by police in a dark alley on a cold Vancouver night? Or Saskatoon’s infamous and lethal starlight tours, whose victims were left on the outskirts of town in sub-zero temperatures? How do we account for the repeated failure to care evident in so many cases of Indigenous deaths in custody?
In Dying from Improvement, Sherene H. Razack argues that, amidst systematic state violence against Indigenous people, inquiries and inquests serve to obscure the violence of ongoing settler colonialism under the guise of benevolent concern. They tell settler society that it is caring, compassionate, and engaged in improving the lives of Indigenous people – even as the incarceration rate of Indigenous men and women increases and the number of those who die in custody rises.
Razack’s powerful critique of the Canadian settler state and its legal system speaks to many of today’s most pressing issues of social justice: the treatment of Indigenous people, the unparalleled authority of the police and the justice system, and their systematic inhumanity towards those whose lives they perceive as insignificant.

Dying from Improvement makes a compelling argument that colonialism is not a thing of the past, but is real and ever present. Razack’s analysis illustrates the normalization of the dehumanization of Indigenous people, while offering a meticulous, thoughtful, and sensitive defense of the humanity of those affected.”
Verna St Denis, Department of Educational Foundations, University of Saskatchewan

“This is sociology at its finest, theorized and argued in a robust, relentlessly accessible, and yet sophisticated way. Dying from Improvement is a major contribution to the issues of Indigenous disposability, suffering, and struggles for justice within a settler state that is dedicated to their disappearance.”
Audra Simpson, Department of Anthropology, Columbia University

Dying for Improvement makes an important argument with implications for every Canadian’s grasp of colonialism, capitalism, oppression, and privilege.”
Joyce Green, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Regina

Dying From Improvement is vivid and disturbing. Professor Razack draws readers with an electric narrative and police reporter’s eye for detail.”
Holy Doan, Blacklock's Reporter , June 27, 2015

July 31 deadline to apply for PACIFIC VOICES X-CHANGE: An Indigenous youth creative intensive and showcase.

Message from Pacific Peoples' Partnership:

PPP is accepting applications for our newest program: PACIFIC VOICES X-CHANGE: An Indigenous youth creative intensive and showcase.

The Pacific Voices X-Change will unite up to 15 Indigenous youth for a two-week intensive creative training day-program from August 10th – 21st, 2015. The program will be held in and around the Greater Victoria Area with workshops and training held at locations such as the University of Victoria and PKOLS Mountain (a.k.a. Mount Douglas). 

Indigenous youth ages 15-30 in and around the Greater Victoria area are encouraged to apply. 

Youth will benefit from the guidance and insight of main mentor, Mohawk spoken word poet, radio host, and media artist Janet Marie Rogers. An inspiring lineup of diverse guest artists, and Coast Salish territorial guides Cheryl Bryce and Eric Pelkey.

Participants will gain insight and knowledge of the Coast Salish lands on which we live, which can become the basis of inspiration from which all creative processes will begin during the two-week intensive program. Creative explorations include but are not limited to: storytelling, creative writing, podcasting, music making, audio recording, performance, spoken word, and collaborations.

We have extended the deadline to July 31st, in order to ensure this opportunity is open to as many youth as possible. Apply by completing the downloadable form at http://www.pacificpeoplespartnership.org/pacific-voices-x-change

The results of youth-produced creative works will be presented at the Pacific Networking Conference September 25thduring a community feast at the Songhees Wellness Centre, and at our One Wave Festival on September 26th. Creative works will be recorded for digital distribution and writings will be published in PPP’s Tok Blong Pasifik journal.

Don't hesitate to contact Alexandra Dawley (Program Development Coordinator) at the PPP office with any questions or concerns at: (250) 381-4131 or email her at programs@pacificpeoplespartnership.org

We hope you will consider sharing this program within your circles and helping us reach out to as many eligible youth as possible! A 'facebook sharable' version is available at our FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pacificpeoples

Special thanks to our program supporters: First Peoples’ Cultural Council, UVic Indigenous Governance, Telus Community Board, the Province of British Columbia, Capital Regional District, CFUV Radio, MediaNet, Metropol and Mark Gauti Art.

Report on Missing And Murdered Indigenous Women In British Columbia, Canada

This report published by the Organization of American States addresses the situation of missing and murdered indigenous women in British Columbia, Canada. It analyzes the context in which indigenous women have gone missing and been murdered over the past several years and the response to this human rights issue by the Canadian State.
The report examines the characteristics of the murders and disappearances and the nature of discrimination and inequality against indigenous women, the link between discrimination and violence, the nature and manifestations of violence against indigenous women as well as prevention, awareness, education and victim services.
The full report can be found here

Recipients of the Canadian Council for Refugees 'Speak Up!' Youth Grant

Speak Up! is a youth-led small grants fund. The CCR regularly provides funding and support to groups of newcomer youth across Canada to develop creative public education and advocacy resources.

SNIWWOC is starting this year on a high note! With funding from CCR, we are facilitating a project that examines gender expression and reproductive justice. The project will comprise of 2 workshops, a mural, and zine.

Our first planning meeting is on Thursday, January 15 at 5:30pm in the Students of Colour Collective (SOCC) Office (B020) in the basement of the University of Victoria Students Union Building.

Stay tuned for more!

Our advocacy work: Workshops

The objectives of the workshops include: 
• To create a safe environment where participants can engage in discussion about sexual and reproductive health
• To provide participants with new knowledge, skills and resources to understand the concept of reproductive health and challenges to accessing reproductive and sexual health care 
• To increase participants’ knowledge of sexual and reproductive health rights and responsibilities
• To encourage and support participants self-reflection processes as they critically engage with services around gender, culture, and community as it relates to sexual and reproductive health
• To support greater empathy and understanding among participants for their parent or child
• To identify and address participants’ key questions related to sexual and reproductive health care in Canada
• To provide supports to parents and youth to effectively communicate with each other about sexuality and reproductive health (dating, stds, sti’s, sexual consent)
• To increase participants’ awareness of community resources
• To enable participants to serve as (informal) resources within their families or communities

Sexual and reproductive health is an essential aspect of the overall health and well-being of an individual. It follows then, that the right to access sexual and reproductive health services and information is a basic human right. 

Our workshop incorporates three complimentary strategies to reach the goal of reproductive justice:  reproductive health, reproductive rights, and reproductive justice. In addition, the workshops actively fights against reproductive oppression. Reproductive oppression is the control and exploitation of women, girls, and individuals through their bodies, sexuality, labor, and re-production. This regulation of women becomes a powerful strategic way to control their communities, and involves systems of oppression that are based on race, (dis)ability, class, gender, sexuality, age and immigration status.  

We believe that thinking about reproductive justice is key to the struggle against reproductive oppression. Reproductive justice is the complete physical, mental, spiritual, political, economic, and social well-being of women and girls, and will be achieved when women and girls have the economic, social and political power and resources to make healthy decisions about their bodies, sexuality and reproduction for themselves, their families and their communities, in all areas of their lives. The core facets of a reproductive justice approach includes but is not limited to the fundamental right of every woman to: 
-decide if and when she will have a baby and the conditions under which she will give birth
-decide if she will not have a baby and her options for preventing or ending a pregnancy
-parent the children she already has with the necessary social supports, in safe environments and healthy communities without the fear of violence. 

SNIWWOC's Mandate

The Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour (SNIWWOC) has the following mandate:
- To work against the cultural, political, economic, and structural constraints that limit women's access to health care and full reproductive choice
- To protect the health and human rights of women by organizing around issues of reproductive justice
-To mobilize indigenous women and women of color around our lived experiences by bringing these women together and organizing and mobilizing to affect change. 
-To provide education for indigenous communities and communities of colour centered around reproductive justice
- To organize women and girls to challenge structural power inequalities surrounding reproductive justice in a comprehensive and transformative manner

At the moment, we carry out our mandate through education and advocacy

SNIWWOC works under the approach that women’s lives are intersectional. Intersectionality is the way different aspects of a person’s identity, such as age, gender, race, class, nationality and sexuality, combine to define and shape an individual. The overlaps in identity can affect the way people interact with others, how they form relationships, how they view themselves and society, how society views them.

View the bios of board members here

Feminist Fascism And Why My Vagina Looks Like A Penis

Daphne Shaed is SNIWWOC's Transgender Coordinator. Check out her blog here

Gender is a defining dimension in social and cultural identity that is present in every aspect of an individual’s life in Western society. It functions to extend privilege in some spheres and oppress in others and is a token in the complexities of intersecting identities. Gender in the West is a primary force in our social existence that most people have little or no knowledge of with the exception of inculcated epistemologies from myth, archaic ideologies, historical constructions, and misinformation. 

Gender is part of a complex identity structure that yields a lot of power in cultural economies and is imposed upon the individual at birth. An individual’s gender, determined by the identification of the genital geometry, is glimpsed in pre-natal examination, bet upon by expecting parents, planned with purchase of appropriate clothing, toys, and room colours, it is proclaimed upon the child’s exit from the birth canal with the inaugural “it’s a boy” or “it’s a girl” that imbues the parent with paternal expectations, is promulgated with the issuance of state certification and confirmed by nurses busily tapping away at keyboards ensuring that the child named so-and-so born on some day somewhere will forever be ‘gender x’. This links sex and gender together in a method that lends the social construction a false credential of biological authenticity and legitimizes sex and gender as synonymous in common parlance.

Read the rest of this post by Daphne here