FW: KKKanadian genocide: child prostitution
jcraven at clark.edu
Fri Mar 22 11:17:00 MST 2002
Natives need help to escape sex trade
Listening to aboriginals who got out
is essential, Save the Children report says
Tuesday, December 5, 2000 Globe and Mail
OTTAWA -- A former prostitute offered an unprecedented look yesterday
into the world of native youths who flee their homes and enter the sex
trade, arguing that racism in Canada and low self-esteem are at the
heart of the problem.
"It's in every community," said Cherry Kingsley. "We need to move on
this issue . . . because it's a form of slavery, one of the worst
forms of exploitation and abuse. I have survived this issue. I know it
to be true."
Ms. Kingsley and Melanie Mark wrote Sacred Lives, a report released
yesterday by the non-profit organization Save the Children Canada.
Ms. Kingsley and Ms. Mark decry the "overrepresentation" of native
youth in the Canadian sex trade. In Manitoba, for example, 90 per cent
of the prostitutes working the street are aboriginal, the report said.
In their report, Ms. Kingsley and Ms. Mark say solutions developed for
non-native prostitutes cannot help aboriginals.
They say Canada needs to appoint a board of government officials,
native leaders and youth who have been involved in prostitution to
draft a national strategy.
The hardest-hitting part of the report is the collection of quotes
from 150 native youth involved in the sex trade.
They talk about how they were dragged into this world -- their past
abuse, their low self esteem -- and how they feel they could be saved
from the sex trade.
"I grew up feeling I had no worth. I didn't put any worth on myself
because I wasn't worth anything. I'd given it free for how many past
years of my life, so that's how I went about it," said one girl in
Another female prostitute in Winnipeg said: "I lost my virginity to
rape, and I was consistently abused by my mother. I was ashamed of
myself, who I was, what I looked like and when I met this man he was
the world to me. He said, 'Oh, you're so pretty,' and I fell for it."
The solution, according to the young prostitutes, is simple: Getting
help from other natives who have gone through similar experiences and
know how to get out.
"You don't want to go some place and have a suit sitting there saying
'Come over here and talk to me, I'll fix you'. You know what? I'm just
going to walk out the door and never come back . . . [Suits] have
never been on the streets to the point where they're dirty and gross
and smelly and stinky and hurting," a Vancouver female youth said.
Senator Landon Pearson, who has worked on the report and is advising
the government on youth issues, said one of the biggest problems
facing native prostitutes is racism.
"Whoever the customers are, they find it easier to commodify these
kids, instead of someone who reminds them of their daughter."
Ms. Pearson said the federal government is willing to offer money to
help solve the problem, but that the solutions must come from within
the native community.
Matthew Coon Come, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations,
said the report shows discrimination has had a tremendous impact on
the self-esteem and vulnerability of aboriginal youth.
The Canadian Alliance said the solution is not to spend more money at
Indian and Northern Affairs, but rather to invest more on drug and
alcohol rehabilitation centres for all young prostitutes.
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