Slam poet Khodi Dill and hip hop artist Theresa Point (AKA T MelaD of Rapsure Risin)wrote Stop the Silence as a “PSA Poem” to raise awareness of violence against Indigenous Canadian women and to raise funds and support for affected families as they struggle for justice.
It’s part of The Embracing the Families initiative, a collaboration between advocate Beverley Jacobs, Amnesty International Canada, and Mix 3 Productions, an Aboriginal owned media company based in Vancouver.
From Amnesty International’s Stolen Sisters site:
According to a Canadian government statistic, young Indigenous women are five times more likely than other women of the same age to die as the result of violence.
Indigenous women have long struggled to draw attention to violence within their own families and communities. Canadian police and public officials have also long been aware of a pattern of racist violence against Indigenous women in Canadian cities – but have done little to prevent it.
The pattern looks like this:
– Racist and sexist stereotypes deny the dignity and worth of Indigenous women, encouraging some men to feel they can get away with acts of hatred against them.
– Decades of government policy have impoverished and broken apart Indigenous families and communities, leaving many Indigenous women and girls extremely vulnerable to exploitation and attack.
– Many police forces have failed to institute necessary measures – such as training, protocols and accountability mechanisms – to ensure that officers understand and respect the Indigenous communities they serve. Without such measures, police too often fail to do all they can to ensure the safety of Indigenous women and girls whose lives are in danger.
You can support the campaign by donating at Yourmix.ca and sharing the word. You can also get a free MP3 of the slam perforance there.