MEDIA RELEASE – NWAC REACHES OUT TO THE TWO-SPIRIT AND LGBTQ+ COMMUNITIES

(Ottawa, ON) In conjunction with the National Capital Pride week, The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is reaching out to our LGBTQ+, Trans, gender-diverse, and Two-Spirit individuals to ensure you know you are valuable, deserve full inclusion in our communities and always have a safe space at NWAC.

NWAC recognizes members of the Indigenous LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirit community need increased, specialized services and advocacy and NWAC is dedicated to improving our commitment to you. We acknowledge these individuals are continuously left out of the conversation. We sincerely apologize for the remaining gaps in our services and advocacy and promise to fill these to properly reflect the strength and diversity of our communities.

As a group that exists at the intersections of queer and/or transphobia as well as colonial racism, members of the Indigenous LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirit communities are disproportionately impacted by violence. Marginalization dramatically decreases the availability and the accessibility of supports and services, meaning Indigenous people who live within these marginalized groups face additional obstacles to accessing basic services.

NWAC is making dedicated efforts to be more inclusive of Trans, Two-Spirit, and gender non-conforming people. A new era is here as NWAC embarks on establishing renewed relationships with these communities and by revising our mandate to be inclusive of not only all Indigenous women and girls, but also inclusive of Two-Spirit and gender-diverse individuals.

Additionally, NWAC’s Strategic Plan 2018-2021 is gender-diverse inclusive and we are in the process of updating our by-laws and developing education materials for our staff to ensure all of our future work is gender-inclusive. This includes an engagement framework that is trauma-informed and culturally-appropriate to help us understand the specific issues impacting gender-diverse Indigenous people. We are collaborating with community partners who are at the forefront of this work to ensure we properly implement greater diversity and representation.

NWAC is fully committed to creating safe-spaces for Trans, Two-Spirit, gender-diverse, and LGBTQ+ members of our communities to empower and include all on our path to reconciliation. We must stand together and unite to work towards a decolonized future.

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NWAC REACHES OUT TO THE TWO-SPIRIT AND LGBTQ+ COMMUNITIES