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Ontario Funding Research on Sexual Violence Against Indigenous Women

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Ontario Funding Research on Sexual Violence Against Indigenous Women

Ministry of the Solicitor General

The province is funding three new research projects as part of the government's commitment to raise awareness, prevent and better respond to sexual violence and harassment in Ontario. It also supports the government's commitment to improve data and research with respect to Indigenous women. 

The themes for the proposed research projects, which will address the experiences of Indigenous women specifically, include:

  • reporting, responses and support services
  • investigative practices 

Following a call for applications, the ministry is awarding a total of approximately $250,000 to support the following projects:




Partners and participants

Dr. Magda Smolewski, Research Director, Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (lead researcher)

Maya Chacaby, PhD Candidate (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education), Senior Researcher

Ms. Natasha Segal, MA Public Policy, MFA, Researcher - Statistics and Evaluation


Gwayakwaajimowin (truth telling): Exploring sexual violence reporting practices experienced by Indigenous women and girls. This project will:

  • Examine how current investigative practices into incidents of sexual violence and harassment against Indigenous women and girls can be improved to increase positive, culturally-responsive outcomes in investigations and convictions.
  • Develop a culturally-specific urban Indigenous sexual violence response model with measurable outcomes.

Two urban Friendship Centre communities in cities across Ontario and municipal police service sexual assault units

Dr. Jamie Magnusson, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (lead researcher)

Dr. Susan Marie Turner, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto


On-reserve, First Nations police reporting, investigative practices, responses and support services. This includes the police perspective and considers:

  • Police relations with community agencies
  • Community and culturally-based best practices.
  • The regulatory and procedural context for police.
  • Collaboration among partners to develop investigative practices that are community-specific and culturally-based

Ganohkwasrâ Family Assault Support Services, Ohsweken, Ontario will work in collaboration with Six Nations Police

Dr. Janice Du Mont, Women's College Research Institute, Women's College Hospital (lead researcher)

Sheila Macdonald, Ontario's Network of Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Treatment Centres

Dr. Anita Benoit, Waakebiness-Bryce,
Institute for Indigenous Health, University of Toronto


The impact of police involvement on Indigenous women and girls' use of services at Ontario's sexual assault treatment programs:

  • Examines the impacts, if any, of police involvement on forensic evaluation and health care use at sexual assault and domestic violence treatment programs.
  • Builds on existing knowledge about sexual assault survivors who are Indigenous women and girls and how they might differ from non-Indigenous survivors.

30 sexual assault/ domestic violence treatment centres in Ontario

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