October 19, 2017
By: Leslie Claire Amminson

On October 20th and 21st student unions across the province and the Canadian Federation of Students are putting together Newfoundland and Labrador’s first Consent Culture Forum.

“The Consent Culture Forum will bring together students, community groups, and allies with the goal of creating a wider provincial network of activists to end sexual violence in our campuses and stretch out to our communities as well,” wrote Sophia Descalzi, chairperson for the Canadian Federation of Students in Newfoundland.

Descalzi cited the Snelgrove trial verdict and incidents in Spaniard’s Bay as recent events that demonstrate the need for educating students and others about rape culture. She also mentioned the harassment of female reporters, victim-blaming, and breaches of consent and problems that need to be dealt with in our society.

The forum will include a panel on decolonizing consent with Delilah Saunders, El Jones, and Elizabeth Zarpa. The panel will explore the issues of murdered and missing Indigenous women and sexual violence response and prevention in Indigenous communities. It will offer a perspective on decolonizing consent with a focus on Indigenous legal orders, especially within the Muskrat Falls context, and the colonization of African Nova Scotian communities in the context of gendered colonial violence.

The forum will also include caucuses, ten workshops, and two presentations. All events will take place at Memorial University campus in St. John’s.