“When I was 18 years old I went on a two month backpacking trip through Europe that turned into 18 years. I discovered free education in Germany and ended up writing my masters on Native women’s writing as a tool of resistance in decolonisation. After a while I knew that I needed to come back to Turtle Island. I initially was just going to come back for a year but then I ended up in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side and started working with the Aboriginal Women’s Action Network. One of the amazing things we did was the Journey for Justice in 2000. We rafted from Prince George to Vancouver over two weeks and we held focus groups on violence against women and children in communities along the Fraser River.”
Meet Audrey Huntley.
Audrey is a paralegal, storyteller and co-founder of Toronto-based organization No More Silence—a network that supports activists, researchers and communities working to stop the murders and disappearances of Indigenous women in Canada.
In collaboration with Families of Sisters in Spirit and the Native Youth Sexual Health Network, No More Silence is building a community-led database documenting and honouring missing and murdered Indigenous women, Two-Spirit and Trans people in Ontario, Canada.
Born in Calgary, Alberta of mixed Indigenous and settler ancestry, Audrey has been called a wanderer having lived in London, Paris, Montreal, Grenoble, Germany, Italy, Vancouver, Penticton, Victoria and Toronto. As a student in Germany, Audrey studied in a politically engaged faculty of social sciences and began organizing with other foreign students against German racism and in solidarity with international liberation struggles, in particular Palestine.
After visiting Palestine during the height of the first Intifada in October 1988, Audrey published a book of short stories together with two queer German activists documenting their impressions of the uprising. Her relationship with Palestinians inspired her to think more about her own indigenous ancestry. Audrey returned to Canada to interview Indigenous women and explore how they resisted colonisation through writing. Audrey published her findings and made it her mission to deconstruct German misconceptions of Imaginary Indians and communicate the truths and strengths of Indigenous women. Her life as a storyteller had begun.
Audrey has worked with Indigenous women from across Canada to share their stories in print and in film. Her first short-film, Traces of Missing Women, was born out of interviews with over 45 family members of missing and murdered Indigenous women from Ontario to Northern British Colombia. This film inspired the full-length documentary Go Home Baby Girl—the story of one Indigenous family’s struggle for justice in the murder of Norma Georgia. Norma was an Indigenous woman from a remote community in Northern British Colombia who was killed outside Vancouver in 1992.
Despite the ongoing violence and systemic racism facing Indigenous women, Two-Spirited, Trans people and sex-workers, Audrey finds strength in the strong community networks No More Silence is building across the country. She promotes the power of bringing together Indigenous families that have experienced violence to share experiences, heal and find their own solutions.
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