Vulnerabilities of Aboriginal People Video Transcript

Rose Henry, Aboriginal Community Consultant, Coast Salish Territory:

What makes Aboriginal people most vulnerable for human trafficking is the fact that so many of us are living well below the poverty line. And I quite often will crack a joke about that we’re considered the first people of Canada but we’re so far behind we think we’re first. We’re so far behind that we’re only first in the highest consumption of suicides and health care and lack of education. The list could go on. So all these things that we are so far behind on makes us more vulnerable to human trafficking because it’s like, how can we live on nothing?

All these things contribute to making us more vulnerable to the human trafficking because with human trafficking, there’s a lot of money that exchanges between the rich and the richest sort of deal, and so that’s the bottom line. It’s about the dollar, how much is this person worth because this person is willing to do anything to survive including selling their soul. If that’s what they have to do to ensure the survival of their children, or their mothers, or their daughters, or whatever the situation is, they’ll do it. And that means their souls are being sold for the bottom dollar.

People that are being trafficked right now are more than just the boat people that are coming from other countries that we consider third world countries. We have Aboriginal people that are being trafficked here to supplement other peoples’ income. And unfortunately, the trafficking that is happening here in Canada is costing Aboriginal people their lives.