PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 29, 2014 Ottawa, ON – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) congratulates President Michèle Taïna Audette as recipient of the Enbridge Famous 5 Ottawa Award, Listening to the Drumbeat: Recognizing our past and honouring our future with Aboriginal Women.
The Enbridge Famous 5 Ottawa is honouring leading Canadian Aboriginal Women as Nation Builders on April 29th at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. The award is being bestowed upon President Audette as well as Allison Fisher, Executive Director of the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health Ottawa, and Betty Ann Lavallee, National Chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples.
The Mission Statement of the Famous 5 is to inspire Canadian women and girls to courageously lead change that contributes to a society without boundaries for women, in the spirit of the Famous Five, ‘Integrity, Courage, Initiative, Determination, and Equality form the basis of all we do’.
In Canada today, Aboriginal women face systemic inequality, racism, and sexism. This inequality is built upon the colonial legacy of the Canadian government, which undermined equality between Aboriginal men and women with the legalization of sexist and racist discrimination in successive pieces of legislation contained in the Indian Act. President Audette has been working to undo this discrimination and forward the rights of Aboriginal women across Canada.
Some of President Audette’s achievements to date have been raising the profile of key issues, such as women’s health, safe housing for Aboriginal women, and youth issues. She continues to represent Aboriginal women and push for more recognition and priority for their place on the political agenda in Canada.
President Michèle Taïna Audette follows in the footsteps of her mother, respected Innu activist Evelyne St-Onge, who inspired Audette to advocate on behalf of Aboriginal women and raise decision-makers’ awareness of the inequities of Aboriginal peoples. President Audette urges that “we must work together, leaders and governments, to manifest the realization of the aspirations and promise of a better future for Aboriginal women, the most disadvantaged group in Canada.” Education and economic security, safety, and skills and training will provide Aboriginal women with options and empower them to become leaders and vital parts of the communities in which they reside.
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.
For more information, please contact:
1 Nicholas Street, 9th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7
Tel: 613-722-3033 ext. 223