NWAC Voices Support For Indigenous Activist’s Liver Transplant


December 19, 2017

The Native Women’s Association of Canada has voiced support to have Indigenous Activist Delilah Saunders immediately placed on the waiting list for a liver transplant.

President Francyne Joe stated “We are gravely concerned for the health and wellness of Ms. Saunders and time is of the essence.  Although, we recognize the protocols that must be considered when considering a liver transplant, it is our position that the discriminatory policy that exists in determining recipients is outside of the guidelines of Canada’s international human rights policy.”

Delilah Saunders is recognized internationally for her advocacy of Indigenous women’s rights.  The Native Women’s Association of Canada adds our voice along others such as Amnesty International and Indigenous people throughout Canada to place her name on the liver transplant waiting list.

President Joe added, “She has placed the concerns of Indigenous women as a priority in her daily life and consequently, her own life has suffered.”

NWAC joins the campaign of voices to have Delilah Saunders immediately added to the liver transplant waiting list and calls for an end to the discriminatory policy that is keeping her off the list.  The end of this oppressive policy would allow all people with previous addictions access to life saving treatment.


Lynne Groulx Executive Director 613-722-3033 X223 1-800-461-4043 EMAIL
Joël Lamoureux Media Relations Officer 613-722-3033 X100 1-800-461-4043 EMAIL

NWAC Declares Sex-Based Discrimination & Boycotts Ministers Meeting

December 11, 2017 (Ottawa, ON) – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is boycotting a federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) meeting in Gatineau, QC with Ministers from across the country as a consequence of sex-based discrimination.  The Ministers’ Meeting has failed to provide NWAC a seat at the table of National leaders occupied by the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), Métis National Council (MNC) and the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK).

This historic FPT meeting of Ministers represents the first time in 30 years that they gather to discuss human rights in Canada.  The Prime Minister’s Office has maintained it has taken a feminist approach working towards gender equality, yet an equal position for women via NWAC is once again not offered.  NWAC President Francyne Joe stated, “The Women of Many Nations are equal rights holders and deserve equal time.  These women are the heart of our communities and deserve a seat at the National table”.  Joe added, “This sex-based discrimination continues to minimize the voice of Indigenous women and the voices of our grass roots organizations”.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly committed to building a renewed nation-to-nation relationship between the Government of Canada and Indigenous peoples, “based on recognition, respect for rights, co-operation and partnership”.  However, the Government of Canada has unilaterally decided to exclude NWAC from the nation-to-nation framework, choosing to include only AFN, MNC, and ITK.  The narrative the Prime Minister’s Office has chosen: “our work is incomplete, especially for Indigenous Peoples” is indeed incomplete as it fails to equally recognize Indigenous Women and Girls.  This approach fails to recognize or respect that NWAC’s constituency (Indigenous Women and Girls) are not adequately represented by other National Indigenous Organizations.  Furthermore, it denies equality to the national body with which Indigenous women have chosen to represent them on issues that matter most.

This sex-based discrimination continues to minimize the voice of NWAC and the women and girls it represents.   This most recent discrimination is now a growing list of past omissions that includes exclusion for First Ministers’ Meetings (FMM) in October of 2017, December of 2016 and March of 2016.  In addition, NWAC did not receive an invitation to participate in a high-level reconciliation meeting with the Prime Minister’s Office in December of 2016.

NWAC continues to call on the Government of Canada to respect the Indigenous women and girls of Canada and provide an opportunity for equal participation and an equal voice in all future meetings and decisions.

For more information, please contact:

Lynne Groulx                                         Joël Lamoureux
Executive Director                                Media Relations Officer
613-722-3033  x223                               613-722-3033 x100
1-800-461-4043                                     1-800-461-4043

EMAIL LYNNE                                      EMAIL JOËL


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NWAC Statement of Support – Bill C-262

NWAC supports Bill C-262, An Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is an invaluable human rights instrument that specifically identifies the rights and socioeconomic prosperity of Indigenous women as key to the survival and wellbeing of Indigenous peoples worldwide. NWAC is particularly pleased to see that the Bill requires that a national action plan for implementing the Declaration be developed in consultation and cooperation with Indigenous peoples, and looks forward to being meaningfully engaged on UNDRIP’s applications to Canadian legislation impacting Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirited individuals.

“Our women deserve to be free from violence and discrimination. This right is enshrined in our constitution, but is specifically identified in UNDRIP as necessary to the revitalization and preservation of our cultures and communities.  NWAC has worked towards this common goal for decades, and is pleased to see legislation that explicitly prioritizes Indigenous women’s empowerment and an end to this discrimination.” – President Francyne Joe


For more information, please contact:

Lynne Groulx, Executive Director
1 Nicholas Street, 9th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7