NWAC Celebrates International Women’s Day at the National Indigenous Women’s Summit

March 8, 2017 (Toronto, ON) – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) Interim President Francyne D. Joe joined other Indigenous women leaders in thanking hosts and welcoming delegates to the fifth National Indigenous Women’s Summit (NIWS) on Monday, saying “It is essential to the success of reconciliation that Indigenous women determine and develop our own priorities in the areas of health, education, climate change, gender equality, and safety. ”

Taking place through Wednesday, March 8th, International Women’s Day (IWD), NIWS brings together leaders from National Indigenous Organizations (NIOs), Chiefs, Elders, youth leaders, and regional representatives together to be inspired by keynote speakers and artists, network, and workshop solutions to the issues affecting Indigenous women.  NIWS 2017 is hosted by the Province of Ontario and carries the theme of Empowering Indigenous Women Now and In the Future.  The summit culminates today with presentations of the workshop recommendations and responses to those recommendations by federal, provincial, and territorial governments, followed by a press conference.

“This IWD, we celebrate the strength of Indigenous women, our contributions to our communities, and the acknowledgment of the wisdom, knowledge, and spirit that we have to share.  I am saddened that Indigenous women everywhere continue to live without equal rights by any standards, as well as those of the United Nations.  NWAC will continue to advocate for dignity, respect, and freedom from fear for First Nations and Metis women alongside the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to policy affecting Indigenous women,” Joe stated.

Joe concluded that “NIWS empowers us to explore how we as a collective can make a significant change.  Building off of last year’s recommendations, we are able to create our own strategies for implementing a gendered lens and population-specific applications to the findings put forth by the TRC and UNDRIP.”

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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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NWAC Welcomes Corporate Responsibility as Sponsorships Grow

March 7, 2017 (Ottawa, ON) – As Indigenous issues including health, education, the environment, and justice dominate the headlines, the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is tracking intensified interest in supporting Indigenous women’s issues.  More organizations and businesses are approaching the NWAC with opportunities for sponsorships, speaking engagements, and partnerships.

The song “This Is My Canada,” to be performed by Grammy and Juno-winning artists as well as A-List session musicians from the Toronto region at the Junos, will be donating a portion of the proceeds from its sales to NWAC.  “We’ve received wonderful support from artists like “This Is My Canada” singer/songwriter Jeanette Arsenault and are excited to welcome more Indigenous and non-Indigenous contributions, including performances and revenue shares,” commented NWAC Interim President Francyne D. Joe.

An additional sponsorship opportunity is also fast approaching. “I’m thrilled to invite those who wish to offer their support to NWAC to shop at Simons on International Women’s Day.  Along with three other organizations mandated to support the well-being of women, NWAC will be sharing 10% of Simons’ sales revenues from Wednesday, March 8th, 2017.  This is the kind of brand with which we see many aligned values, such as being community-oriented, celebratory of individuality and uniqueness, and dedicated to treating employees with fairness.”

“Canada treats corporations as recognized entities with their own rights.  More companies are recognizing an opportunity to embrace their status and support reconciliation through sponsoring our work,” added NWAC Executive Director Lynne Groulx.

Joe expanded on the value of sponsorship, saying “A leading national advocate for First Nations and Métis women, sponsors are able to acknowledge their commitment to human rights, gender equality, and ending violence against women through supporting NWAC.  NWAC’s strong social media presence can also give brands an opportunity to reach a very engaged community with their message.”

“I predict that these partnerships will grow and we’ll see more involvement in efforts to improve Indigenous’ women’s lives,” Joe concluded.

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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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NWAC Outlines How to Participate in the National Inquiry into MMIWG & Find Support

March 7, 2017 (Ottawa, ON) – Out of respect for the families and communities of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG), the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) has resisted relaying information on behalf of the Inquiry.  NWAC has been acting as an independent observer of the Inquiry since its official launch date on September 1st, 2017, and has released a report card detailing its progress.  As time elapses, NWAC feels a responsibility to share vital information regarding how families may participate and what that participation may look like.

It is the primary concern of NWAC that those who wish to participate in the Inquiry are aware that they will not be contacted by the Inquiry without their permission.  In order to extend an invitation to the Inquiry, communities have been directed to email the Inquiry at info@mmiwg-ffada.ca or via PO Box 500, Station A, Vancouver, BC, V6C 2N3.

“The Inquiry has not clarified who is able to invite them to visit their communities, so I encourage all forms of community organizations, leadership, families, and individuals to reach out if they are able to take part,” urged NWAC Interim President Francyne D. Joe.  “NWAC believes that the Inquiry will begin hearing testimonies in May of 2017 and that, given the short timeframe for that first portion of the Inquiry’s activities, northern, rural, and remote communities should extend the invitation as soon as possible so as to ensure their inclusion.  Every story is important and each interested community would be wise to start discussing what supports they will need to participate and ideas for how their community wishes their MMIWG to be honoured.”

It’s expected that the Inquiry will visit communities for a week at a time, creating a space for ceremony and respectful engagement.  The Commissioners will be present in teams of one or more, along with stenographers who will remain after the Commissioners depart.  “It’s important that families know that they can decide how they wish to testify and that, if they are for any reason unable to speak during the Commissioners’ visit, they can still participate,” added Joe.

NWAC would also like to direct families who need emotional support to call the government-funded 24/7 toll-free crisis line at 1-844-413-6649, with the understanding that their support workers are independent of the Inquiry and won’t have any additional information about it.  “The Inquiry has not released their intake process or how they will be applying a trauma-informed lens to their work,” informed Joe, “It is extremely important that no one feel alone or unable to share their feelings.  Indigenous women are loved and valued.”

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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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