While most “Indian hospitals” in Canada closed by the 1980s
, mistreatment abounds. In 2019, approximately 100 Indigenous women in Saskatchewan sued the provincial government claiming they were sterilized at hospitals against their will
after giving birth, an inhumane practice that dates back decades. Birth alerts
, when hospital staff alert social services about newborns they believe might need protection, are no longer allowed in B.C. and will soon be ending in Manitoba and Ontario but continue elsewhere across the country. These alerts disproportionately target Indigenous women.
Whitman also points to the Canadian crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
, which predisposes Indigenous women to violence
making them more vulnerable to mistreatment in the health-care system. “This is genocide, and it has to stop,” she says.