PRESS RELEASE: NWAC Approved to Administer Canadian Institutes of Health Research Grants and Awards Funds

July 25, 2016 (Ottawa, ON) – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is pleased to announce that we are now recognized as an eligible institution to administer health research grant and award funds from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). NWAC is now able to apply directly for CIHR health research funding opportunities and hold research grant and award funds.

With this new designation, Aboriginal communities can collaborate with NWAC to engage in Aboriginal women’s health research that is of interest and a priority to them. We are dedicated to promoting and developing research in a way that encourages self-determination and community-driven research participation in Aboriginal communities across Canada. We also encourage the collection, release, and reporting of sex-disaggregated data that is essential in adequately addressing health conditions that impact Aboriginal women and men differently.

NWAC is currently funded under CIHR’s Signature Initiative, Pathways to Health Equity for Aboriginal Peoples, as a Partner for Engagement and Knowledge Exchange (PEKE) to engage in health research in four priority areas: suicide prevention, tuberculosis, diabetes/obesity, and oral health.

The NWAC PEKE works to improve the health and well-being of Aboriginal women, families, and communities through health research, knowledge exchange, and action.  To achieve this goal, we facilitate linkages and enable learning across research teams and communities, and support the translation of research findings into policies, scale-up community interventions to improve health outcomes among Aboriginal women and their families.

The NWAC PEKE also collaborates with research teams, community and academic researchers to incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing and helps facilitate a gendered perspective and analysis in their research project to ensure equitable results in improving health conditions for both genders. We also support the translation of the knowledge to broader audiences such as leadership, policy makers, practitioners, and healthcare workers.



“NWAC’s ability to administer CIHR grants and awards is an important step in moving forwards toward the goal of achieving health equity for Aboriginal women in Canada,” says NWAC President Dawn Harvard. “We recognize and support Indigenous Peoples’ right to control and protect their intellectual property including traditional knowledge, cultural practices, and arts, as per Article 31. 1 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

“CIHR is proud to support NWAC,” says Dr. Malcolm King, Scientific Director of CIHR-Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health. “Their collaborative efforts as a PEKE ensure that research conducted by CIHR-funded scientists in the four priority research areas of the Pathways signature initiative can be adopted by Indigenous communities by being respectful of Indigenous culture and ways of knowing. This will, in turn, lead to a healthier future for Indigenous women and families across Canada.”


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.




Dan Peters
Senior Operations Manager
1 Nicholas Street, 9th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7
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Tel.: 613-722-3033 x. 249