The number of Indigenous women in Nova Scotia jails doubled last year
October 27, 2020
Laura Toney of Annapolis Valley First Nation watched from her cell as other Indigenous women in custody walked outside to join in a Mi'kmaw smudge ceremony.
It was 2017, and Toney, 45, was serving a four-month sentence for possession of a stolen vehicle at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth, N.S. That day, she said, she had been "in trouble," but guards had promised she'd be allowed to participate in the smudge. Except they never unlocked her cell.
"I felt like my culture was taken from me, ripped from me," she said in a recent interview, tears in her eyes.