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YKWS Research Report on Unhoused Indigenous Women in Yellowknife and the RCMP


This is a research report about the relationship between unhoused Indigenous women in Yellowknife and the RCMP.  Indigenous women with experience being unhoused shared their experiences and insights with YKWS’ research team in two sharing circles. Their message was consistent and unequivocal. The women we spoke with fear the RCMP. They do not trust the RCMP. They do not believe the RCMP will keep them safe. Participants told us about being discriminated against by the RCMP and feeling powerless to hold officers accountable.

Despite the challenges they identify in their current experiences with the RCMP, the women we spoke to were hopeful that bringing their experiences to light could lead to positive change for their communities. Participants had specific ideas for what that change could look like that have informed this report. The research team also spoke with service providers, local leaders, and members of the RCMP based in Yellowknife about their perspectives.

YKWS calls on all levels of government to act now to implement the recommendations in this report. The stories that we heard fall within a documented pattern of how unhoused Indigenous women come into contact with the RCMP in Yellowknife, across the Northwest Territories, and throughout Canada.

“I’ve been roughed up by three cops [at once]. You know, against me!- I’m not that big, you know? That’s ridiculous ... they send five cops to one home, and terrorize all the children and parents. But where it’s a real, real, nasty situation? They send one cop. You know? There’s no balance for that.”


– Yellowknife sharing circle participant

This project has been funded through Women and Gender Equality Canada's Women's Program.

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