NWAC Announces the Winners of the 2015 Helen Bassett Commemorative Student Award

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NWAC Announces the Winners of the 2015 Helen Bassett Commemorative Student Award

Ottawa, ON (September 15th, 2015)—The Native Women’s Association of Canada is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2015 Helen Bassett Commemorative Student Award. This bursary assists Aboriginal women who are enrolled in post-secondary law studies. It was made available through the generous donations of Helen Bassett, who was an active supporter of equal rights for Aboriginal peoples and women. Ms. Bassett’s wish was for funds to be used for post-secondary student awards, and more specifically for Aboriginal women pursuing law careers.

This year, the Helen Bassett Commemorative Student Award Selection Committee received and reviewed over 60 applications. NWAC is pleased to announce four awards to the following outstanding women:

Nicole Iaci (WEST)
Nicole is a First Nations woman currently attending her third year of Law at the University of British Columbia. In the past, she successfully completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science. At UBC, she is very passionate about raising students’ awareness of Aboriginal women’s issues and plans to use her education to work in Aboriginal or environmental law.

Brittnee Sheridan (EAST)
Brittnee is a young First Nations woman from Newfoundland who is in her fourth year of Law & Justice and Indigenous Studies at Laurentian University in Sudbury. Brittnee is extremely active in the community where she resides and plans to use her education to improve the rights of Aboriginal women across Canada

Alyssa Flaherty-Spence (NORTH)
Alyssa is an Inuk woman who successfully completed the 8 week Legal Studies Program for Native Students and is now enrolled in her third year of the Common Law Program at the University of Ottawa. She is committed to achieving equality and aspires to one day help Aboriginal women through her career in law.

Latisha Reddick (SOUTH)
Latisha is a Metis woman who is proud of her mixed Black and Mi’kmaw ancestry. In the fall of 2015, she will be attending York University’s Osgoode Hall School of Law. She demonstrates her passion for Aboriginal women’s rights through her work with the Sisters of the Soil (SOS) program. Latisha founded the SOS program with the goal of bringing together the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities of Toronto through knowledge sharing.

NWAC wishes to congratulate the four winners on their success and offers special thanks to all who applied. In addition, NWAC wishes success to all students as they enter into a new school year this fall.

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For more information, please contact:

Lynne Groulx
Executive Director
1 Nicholas Street, 9th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7
Toll-free 1-800-461-4043
Tel: 613-722-3033 ext. 223
Email: lgroulx@nwac.ca

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October 4th Sisters In Spirit Vigils

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Public Statement

September 12, 2015 (Ottawa, ON) – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is looking for supporters to read the following statement nationwide on October 4th, 2015 as part of the Sisters In Spirit Vigils – A Movement for Social Change:

October 4th is a day when we honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and support families who have been tragically touched by the loss of a loved one to violence. More than 100 SIS Vigils are registered from coast-to-coast for October 4th, 2015. No other event in Canada brings so many Indigenous communities and Canadian citizens together to specifically celebrate, honour and support Indigenous women and girls.

With the release of several important reports in 2015, momentum is gaining behind the call for a national inquiry. This is a crucial step in implementing a comprehensive and coordinated national action plan that is necessary to address the scale and severity of violence faced by Indigenous women and girls. Together, we must demand action and secure commitments from all levels of government.

October 4th is dedicated to honouring the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and to support families who have been tragically touched by the loss of a loved one to violence. Vigils take many forms: a rally, a candlelight vigil, a workshop, a moment of silence, a walk, or a gathering of people to share memories and a meal. Together, the October SIS vigils have become a movement for social change and a reminder that our sisters will not be forgotten.

In closing, we express our sincere thanks and gratitude to the families. Many are here today and we thank them for sharing their stories. You are the reason we continue to demand action. We are honoured to walk beside you on this journey!

This public statement is a very powerful way for Indigenous and non-Indigenous leadership to signal their support and commitment to the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. “Once again this year, NWAC is asking that you share this public statement with your family, friends and peers and reach out to support a family who has suffered such a tragic loss. A loss that has a profound and long lasting impact on the family and community including Canada as a nation,” announced NWAC President Dawn Lavell Harvard.

We continue to call for all levels of government to work with Indigenous women and representative organizations. The Native Women’s Association of Canada continues to call for a National Public Inquiry and a comprehensive national action plan to address violence against Indigenous women and girls. NWAC thanks all their long-standing SIS Vigil partners for once again supporting NWAC’s work.

We look forward to your continued involvement and participation.

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 the achieve equality for all Aboriginal women in Canada.

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For additional information please contact:
Claudette Dumont-Smith
NWAC Executive Director
Toll free 1-800-461-4043
Tel.: 613-722-3033 x. 223
Email: cdumontsmith@nwac.ca
www.nwac.ca

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