As the result of a long history of colonization and ongoing gender and race-based discrimination, resource extraction projects and related policy have a unique and burdensome impact on Indigenous women. It is too often that industrial projects put Indigenous women, girls, gender-diverse and Two-Spirit people into vulnerable positions or new policy forgets to consider women’s needs and challenges. It is our goal to ensure culturally relevant, gender-based impact assessments are performed on every decision affecting Indigenous women and that they are at the forefront of each of those discussions.
NWAC approaches GBA from a culturally relevant and intersectional position encircling different intersections of Indigenous identities and methodologies. Several Indigenous methodologies build gendered approaches into projects and programs from pre-colonization understandings of community governance, yet a comprehensive bank of best practices does not currently exist for Indigenous applications of GBA due to limited funding and reporting structures. The best results for Indigenous women have been instances where women have led the impact assessment process, built their own self-determined agreements, and where traditional knowledge and worldviews were held to the same respect as scientific evidence.
For Indigenous women, youth, and gender-diverse people, it is imperative that a decolonized understanding of gender precedes any GBA application. The connection between land/body/culture and health is one that is very important to Indigenous women, and two-spirit and gender diverse persons. Our relationship to the land is one that connects us to our ancestors who have come before us, and the generations to come. Applying a culturally relevant gender-based analysis is necessary so that Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit people and gender diverse people’s histories, identities, and ways of knowing and relating are properly represented in an analysis.
This project gathers information and recommendations from Indigenous women with experience and knowledge of impact assessment processes and the impacts of industrial projects on the rights and interests of Indigenous women and girls. The project also analyzes legislation, policies and programs – including the IAA and its regulations – academic sources and internal NWAC documents to inform the guidance document.
<h3style=”color: #fff;”>Upcoming Conference
ICEIAS 2020: 14. International Conference on Environmental Impact Assessment and Sustainability – June 18-19, 2020 in Toronto, Canada