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Indigenous Program Researcher

OLC Admin

SFU Staff
OLC Editor

Submitted by OLC Admin on 9 May 2014

As an ally to sex workers, Sarah seeks to strengthen relationships between Indigenous sex workers and other members of Indigenous communities in order to confront the stigma and criminalization which contributes to increased violence. Her decolonial approach to sex work is founded on the understanding that Canadian law has been, and continues to be, a tool of colonial violence which has an inherently limited ability to address violence against sex workers. Rather than looking to the power of Canadian law, Dr. Hunt advocates looking to the principles of Indigenous legal orders which emphasize relationships of reciprocal responsibility, freedom of mobility, agency and voice, with the voices and needs of sex workers themselves at the center of any efforts to increase their safety and self-determination.

Sarah Hunt (PhD) is a recent graduate of the Department of Geography at SFU, where her SSHRC-funded research investigated issues of law and violence in colonial relations in BC. Sarah is of mixed Kwagiulth (Kwakwaka’wakw), Ukrainian and English ancestry, and has worked for nearly 15 years as a community-based researcher, program coordinator, and educator focused on building the capacity of Indigenous communities to address issues related to violence. Sarah has authored and co-authored numerous major reports and articles on sex work, youth sexual exploitation and human trafficking, including “Colonial Roots, Contemporary Risk Factors: a cautionary exploration of the domestic trafficking of Aboriginal women and girls in British Columbia, Canada” published in Alliance News (GAATW: Bangkok) in July 2010, and "Decolonizing Sex Work: developing an intersectional Indigenous approach" in the 2013 anthology Selling Sex: experience, advocacy and research on sex work in Canada (Eds. van der Meulen, Durisin and Love). She also occasionally writes for,, and and has had several articles republished on

The transcript can be found here

Sarah Hunt is a PhD candidate passionately working to change the high rates of abuse experienced by Indigenous people by examining tensions between law and violence. Sarah draws on her experience as a community-based researcher, educator, and as a member of the Kwakwaka’wakw nation to address the important subject of colonial violence.

For more information on Dr. Sarah Hunt check out