PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(February 11, 2015) (Ottawa, ON) – The Native Women’s Association of Canada is announcing a change in leadership. Effective immediately, current President, Michèle Audette has stepped down and 1st Vice President, Dr. Dawn Harvard, will take over as interim President for the remainder of the term.
Michèle Audette has been President of NWAC for two and one-half years and in that time has committed herself to the social, economic, cultural and political well being of First Nations and Métis women within First Nation, Métis and Canadian societies. “During her term as president, Michèle Audette, has been successful in bringing national and international attention to the many issues affecting Aboriginal women, especially that of the missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls”, stated Claudette Dumont-Smith, Executive Director of NWAC. “Michèle has made the difficult, yet personal decision to step back from her role as President, and NWAC is very thankful and appreciative of all her hard work and dedication and wishes her the best in all her future endeavors”, Dumont-Smith further stated.
During this time of transition, NWAC remains committed to its’ goal of achieving equality for all Aboriginal women in Canada, and NWAC will continue to work hard and advocate for positive change under the leadership of Dr. Dawn Harvard who will serve as Interim President until the next AGA and election take place. Dr. Harvard is more than qualified for the important task at hand after serving for two and one-half years as NWAC’s 1st Vice President. In addition to her new role as Interim President, Harvard is a proud member of the Wikwemikong First Nation, the first Aboriginal Trudeau Scholar, and President of the Ontario Native Women’s Association, and a full-time mother of three girls.
Dr. Harvard has been working for the empowerment of Aboriginal women and their families from a young age, after following in the footsteps of her mother Jeannette Corbiere Lavell, a noted advocate for Indigenous women’s rights and former NWAC President. Dr. Harvard was also presented with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012 in recognition of her ongoing commitment to breaking the cycles of poverty for Aboriginal families and increasing awareness on the tragic situation of the many missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada.
“I am grateful to accept the challenge before me and remain committed to advancing the mission and goals of NWAC and want to thank all who support the work of NWAC. Together we can make a difference in improving the lives of Aboriginal women in Canada,” said incoming President Harvard
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 information please contact:
Claudette Dumont-Smith Executive Director
1 Nicholas Street, 9th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7
Toll free 1-800-461-4043
Tel.: 613-722-3033 x. 223