Invitation to a Meeting with Ministers to design an Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls ― January 5th and January 6th, 2016 in Thunder Bay, Ontario

Dear Survivors, Families and Loved Ones:

On December 8 2015, the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, Carolyn Bennett, the Minister of the Status of Women, Patty Hajdu, and the Minister of Justice, Jody Wilson-Raybould, announced the launch of a National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

In the first phase of the pre-inquiry design process, we want to hear directly from you on how to design an Inquiry that will result in concrete recommendations to work towards ending violence against Indigenous women and girls.

On Wednesday, January 6, 2016, the Minister of the Status of Women, Patty Hajdu, and Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, Carolyn Bennett, are holding a meeting in Thunder Bay, Ontario with survivors, families and loved ones of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

This event will be held over two days on January 5 and 6, 2016. On January 5, 2016, survivors, families and loved ones will register with our staff and are then encouraged to attend either an afternoon or evening orientation session.

During the orientation, participants will meet each other, share stories and learn more about the process, agenda and what Ministers will be looking for from participants at the January 6, 2016 session.

At the orientation session, we will discuss the kind of information needed from participants in order to inform an inquiry process which is inclusive, respectful and delivers concrete recommendations to prevent violence against Indigenous women and girls.

____________________________

January 5, 2016

Registration:
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Orientation sessions:
Session I) 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Session II) 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
____________________________

January 6, 2016

Pre-inquiry design process discussion meeting:
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
____________________________

If you would like to come to these meetings, please inform the MMIWG Pre-Inquiry Secretariat by 5 p.m. Eastern time on January 4, 2016 by calling or emailing either:

Lauren Peirce 1-613-404-5127, LaurenCaroline.Peirce@aandc-aadnc.gc.ca or Cleo Big Eagle at 1-819-635-7332, Cleo.Bigeagle@aandc-aadnc.gc.ca at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.

Please let them know if you need help with travel, hotel rooms, translation or childcare.

We realize these meetings deal with topics that may cause trauma to participants due to their troubling subject matter. A toll-free crisis line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at: 1-844-413-6649 for anyone who needs help or support.

If you are unable to attend the meeting in person, you may use our website after January 4, 2016 to make a submission on-line, by phone, or regular mail.

For more information, please visit the MMIWG Inquiry website:http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1448633299414/1448633350146

Please follow and like us:

NEWS ADVISORY: NWAC to partake in historic meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau

NEWS ADVISORY: NWAC to partake in historic meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau



(December 16, 2015) (Ottawa, ON)
― The Native Women’s Association of Canada is honoured to be meeting with the Government of Canada today.

NWAC President Dawn Lavell-Harvard will be meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau to outline our social, political and economic priorities as Indigenous women across Canada.

A subsequent meeting with Ministers Carolyn Bennett, Patty Hajdu and Jodi Wilson-Raybould along with NWAC Board Members from across the country concerning the critical work NWAC has undertaken over its past four decades as an organization, and outlining priorities concerning the forthcoming national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women, will be held today also.

These historic meetings will be taking place on Parliament Hill today from 9:00am to 4:00pm EST.

Dawn Lavell-Harvard will have media availability today after 4:30pm EST.

 

The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote, and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of First Nations and Métis women within First Nation, Métis and Canadian societies. As a national organization representing Aboriginal women since 1974, NWAC’s mandate is to achieve equality for all Aboriginal women in Canada.

 

―30―

 
MEDIA CONTACT:

Jenn Jefferys
Communications Officer
Native Women’s Association of Canada
613-485-1988   |   jjefferys@nwac.ca

Please follow and like us:

NWAC stands in solidarity with the #TRC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 
NWAC stands in solidarity with Truth and Reconciliation Commission upon the release of their final report on tragic Indian residential school legacy in Canada

 

 

(December 15, 2015) (Ottawa, ON) ― The Native Women’s Association of Canada seeks to extend gratitude and solidarity to our brave friends at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC). Marking the end of their six-year mandate, today the TRC released their final report on the deplorable Indian residential school system and its legacy in Canada.

Both NWAC President Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard and NWAC Executive Director Claudette Dumont Smith were be present for the final report release in Ottawa.

“I am honoured to be here today,” says Dr. Lavell-Harvard. “The cultural genocide against our people is finally over, but only now can Indigenous peoples begin to heal. Now that all Canadians finally know truth about our dark past, we can begin to heal together.”

NWAC is grateful to the TRC for underscoring the urgent need for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women in their final report. Among their 94 recommendations to the Government of Canada, the TRC indicates the following:

  1. We call upon the federal government, in consultation with Aboriginal organizations, to appoint a public inquiry into the causes of, and remedies for, the disproportionate victimization of Aboriginal women and girls. The inquiry’s mandate would include: i. Investigation into missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls. ii. Links to the inter-generational legacy of residential schools.

NWAC recognizes that there will be no quick fix to reaching reconciliation. However, despite the fact that seven generations of innocent Indigenous peoples were put through the Indian Residential School program, and despite the fact that the inter-generational pain will continue to be experienced, now that we know the truth, we can finally begin to heal together.

In the words of our dear friend Justice Murray Sinclair of the TRC: “Reconciliation turns on this concept: I want to be your friend and I want you to be mine, and if we are friends, then I’ll have your back when you need it and you’ll have mine.”

 

The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote, and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of First Nations and Métis women within First Nation, Métis and Canadian societies. As a national organization representing Aboriginal women since 1974, NWAC’s mandate is to achieve equality for all Aboriginal women in Canada.

 

―30 ―

 

For more information or for media inquiries, please contact:

Jenn Jefferys – Communications Officer
Native Women’s Association of Canada
+1 613-485-1988  |  jjefferys@nwac.ca

Please follow and like us:

Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard to address AFN on #MMIW today

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard to address Assembly of First Nations 2015 Special Chiefs Meeting on national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls today

 

(December 10, 2015) (Ottawa, ON) ― President of The Native Women’s Association of Canada, Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard has been invited to address the Assembly of First Nations Special Chiefs Meeting today at the Hotel Lac Lemy in Gatineau, Quebec.

 

Lavell-Harvard will be speaking to the Canadian epidemic that is missing and murdered Indigenous women, and reacting to the announcement from the Government of Canada confirming that a national inquiry into this crisis is finally underway.

 

Lavell-Harvard is scheduled to address the Assembly at 1:30pm EST, prior to the newly-appointed Minister for Indigenous & Northern Affairs, Dr. Carolyn Bennett.

 

NWAC invites Indigenous women and girls from coast to coast to coast to join this critical, historic conversation online by tuning into the AFN live steam and by following NWAC today on Twitter for live updates: @NWAC_CA.

 

The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote, and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of First Nations and Métis women within First Nation, Métis and Canadian societies. As a national organization representing Aboriginal women since 1974, NWAC’s mandate is to achieve equality for all Aboriginal women in Canada.

 

―30―
For more information or for media inquiries, please contact:

 

Jenn Jefferys
Communications Officer
Native Women’s Association of Canada
+1 613-722.3033 ext. 235  |   jjefferys@nwac.ca

Please follow and like us:

NWAC welcomes long-awaited inquiry into #MMIWG

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

As first Canadian national organization to bring issue to light, NWAC welcomes long-awaited inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls



(December 8, 2015) (Ottawa, ON)
― The Native Women’s Association of Canada joins the chorus of voices from coast to coast to coast in celebrating today’s long-awaited announcement from the Government of Canada confirming that a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women is underway.

The Minister for Indigenous and Northern Affairs Dr. Carolyn Bennett, Minister for Status of Women Patty Hajdu, and Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould collectively confirmed today that the national inquiry will be launching following a thorough, respectful consultation process with families directly impacted by these tragedies. Additionally, it is confirmed that expert researchers, grassroots Indigenous organizations and NAOs such as NWAC will all be involved and deeply engaged throughout this process.

NWAC President Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard was present for both Prime Minister Trudeau’s address at the Assembly of First Nations’ Special Chiefs Meeting this morning, as well as the subsequent Ministers’ announcements concerning this matter outside the House of Commons on Parliament Hill.

“As the first Canadian organization to spark the international conversation surrounding the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women, NWAC is encouraged today,” says Dr. Lavell-Harvard. “Justice for our stolen sisters is long overdue. We will remain central to this process every step of the way.”

For years, NWAC has called on the Government of Canada to hold this national inquiry – not only for our mothers, daughters, sisters, aunties and grandmothers – but for our future generations, to ensure that this systemic, racial and gender-based violence is stopped, and that our children can look to the future with optimism. NWAC is hopeful that this Government will at long last work to acknowledge and validate our needs, and will act transparently, compassionately and collaboratively with us – nation-to-nation.

NWAC respectfully urges the Government to continue to consult our organization, our sister organizations, and those who fully comprehend the Indigenous lived experience and seek to ensure a peaceful and prosperous future of reconciled relations. We have a significant amount of work ahead of us, and we must approach this carefully and strategically.

We look forward to working with this new Government, with our allied organizations and with the families of our sisters in spirit on this critical and historic undertaking. We will continue to embark on this journey together, and we will achieve justice for our sisters.
The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote, and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of First Nations and Métis women within First Nation, Métis and Canadian societies. As a national organization representing Aboriginal women since 1974, NWAC’s mandate is to achieve equality for all Aboriginal women in Canada.

 

 

―30―
For more information or for media inquiries, please contact:

Jenn Jefferys
Communications Officer
Native Women’s Association of Canada
+1 613-722.3033 ext. 235 |  jjefferys@nwac.ca

Please follow and like us:

NWAC recognizes #Dec6: National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 

NWAC recognizes #Dec6: National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women


(December 6, 2015) (Ottawa, ON) ― The Native Women’s Association of Canada joins all Canadians today in commemorating the lives of Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault, Annie Turcotte and Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz who were massacred on December 6th 1989 at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal.

NWAC believes that the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women is a critical day for Canadians not only to remember these women, but also to collectively refocus our effort to end gender-based violence – which remains a pervasive issue across Canada and abroad.

“Today, we mourn these fourteen innocent young women and remember that they died only because they were women – which is and always will be unacceptable,” says Dr. Dawn Harvard, President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada. “A concerted effort to protect women and young girls across Canada regardless of race, age, sexuality, spirituality or class background is imperative.”

NWAC has documented hundreds upon hundreds of cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls across Canada. Tragically, our staff continues to add names each week to our database – a clear indication that systemic, gender and race-based violence persists.

NWAC looks to the future with optimism as our newly-elected federal government has indeed promised a national public inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women – as indicated during Friday’s Speech to the Throne. We look forward to shedding more light on our years of research and evidence here at NWAC. We hope to work closely with this new government, to continue consulting with the families of those impacted, and most importantly to taking direct action to end this violence.

NWAC’s thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of the fourteen women killed on the December 6, 1989, and all those impacted each and every day both in Canada and around the world by gender-based violence.

The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote, and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of First Nations and Métis women within First Nation, Métis and Canadian societies. As a national organization representing Aboriginal women since 1974, NWAC’s mandate is to achieve equality for all Aboriginal women in Canada.

 

-30-

 

For more information or for media inquiries:

Jenn Jefferys
Communications Officer
Native Women’s Association of Canada
1 Nicholas Street, 9th Floor. Ottawa, ON. K1N 7B7
+1 613-656-3016   |   jjefferys@nwac.ca

Please follow and like us:

PRESS RELEASE: NWAC mourns the loss of Karina Wolfe; Renews call for national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

NWAC mourns the loss of Karina Wolfe; Renews call for national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women

 


(December 4, 2015) (Ottawa, ON) ― The Native Women’s Association of Canada is heartbroken over the death of 20 year-old Karina Wolfe of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Karina was a strong and beautiful young Cree woman from Muskeg Nation.

On November 28th, NWAC’s Executive Elder Judy Hughes visited Saskatoon to pay her respects. Hughes spoke at the 10th anniversary of Iskwewuk E-wichiwitochik (Sisters in Spirit Family Group) where a special ceremony took place to honour the life of Karina.

NWAC President Dr. Dawn Harvard says she is troubled by the loss of yet another young Indigenous woman, and that clearly, action must be taken to prevent subsequent tragedies like this one from happening again. “Karina Wolfe was a beautiful woman taken too soon,” said Dr. Harvard. “Clearly, the time for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women is now. We owe it to the Wolfe family and hundreds more like them to end this violence now.”

NWAC looks forward to working collaboratively with the families of our missing and murdered Indigenous women across the country, as well as with the new Minister of Indigenous Affairs, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, to finally break ground on this long-awaited historic inquiry.

On behalf of all of our staff and board members across the country, NWAC extends our deepest condolences to Karina’s mother, Carol Wolfe, and to all of Karina’s family and friends at this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote, and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of First Nations and Métis women within First Nation, Métis and Canadian societies. As a national organization representing Aboriginal women since 1974, NWAC’s mandate is to achieve equality for all Aboriginal women in Canada.

 

―30―

 

 

For more information or for media inquiries:

Jenn Jefferys
Communications Officer
Native Women’s Association of Canada
1 Nicholas Street, 9th Floor. Ottawa, ON. K1N 7B7
+1 613-656-3016 ext. 235   |   jjefferys@nwac.ca

Please follow and like us:
Share