An Alberta First Nations leader says ongoing concerns about coerced sterilization of Indigenous women is nothing short of a “crisis” and he wants to see a public inquiry into the allegations.
Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief Allan Adam says concerns were brought to him by a member of his community, north of Fort McMurray, and he worries others might have been sterilized without even knowing.
Morningstar Mercredi, an Indigenous author from Adam’s community, says she had a pregnancy terminated and her left ovary and Fallopian tube removed against her will in the mid-1970s in Saskatoon. She hopes more leaders speak out.
She also said she personally took comfort knowing her own chief was addressing the issue publicly, after she approached him.
In December, the federal government proposed a federal-provincial-territorial working group to discuss the issue after the United Nations Committee Against Torture urged Canada to address it.
The federal NDP has urged the RCMP to launch an investigation into all allegations of forced and coerced sterilizations in Canada, suggesting multiple, credible allegations of crimes have been made.
Chief Adam says this it is an injustice hurting Indigenous people.
Since putting out the call Tuesday, Adam has received an overabundance of support from across Canada.