The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is a National Indigenous Organization representing the political voice of Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people in Canada, inclusive of First Nations on and off reserve, status and non-status, disenfranchised, Métis and Inuit. An aggregate of Indigenous women’s organizations from across the country, NWAC was founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of Indigenous women within their respective communities and Canada societies.
Since 1974, NWAC has established strong and lasting governance structures, decision-making processes, financials policies and procedures, and networks to help achieve its overall mission and goals. Today, NWAC engages in national and international advocacy aimed at legislative and policy reforms that promote equality for Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit and gender diverse people, including LGBTQ+ people. Through advocacy, policy and legislative analysis, NWAC works to preserve Indigenous culture and advance the well-being of all Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people, as well as their families and communities.
NWAC works on a variety of issues such as employment, labour and business, health, violence prevention and safety, justice and human rights, environment, early learning childcare and international affairs.
Much like a “Grandmother’s Lodge,” we as aunties, mothers, sisters, brothers and relatives collectively recognize, respect, promote, defend and enhance our Indigenous ancestral laws, spiritual beliefs, language and traditions given to us by the Creator.
Advocate for and inspire women and families of many Indigenous nations.
We envision an inclusive world that understands and respects the diversity and uniqueness of all Indigenous women and families.
Elements of Vision
We have a vision of Indigenous communities where all individuals have an opportunity to develop their talents in order to achieve their full potential.
We see communities where all people can lead healthy lifestyles by maintaining balance in their spiritual, emotional, mental and physical health.
To build a sense of pride and a strong identification of who they are. They constantly seek to broaden their knowledge of the things that affect them and their relationship with the environment and the land. We see communities where all our people have an opportunity to learn our history and traditional ways while attaining a high level of academic education with children to be proud of who they are and to be comfortable in a predominantly non-Indigenous environment.
We see a community where all Indigenous people accept and exercise their responsibilities to contribute to a strong community. We also envision an Indigenous community that understands and respects the diversity and uniqueness of all Indigenous nations.
A community which communicates with each other and works in unity with all Indigenous organizations to ensure a strong voice in maintaining Indigenous and treaty rights. This is a community which assumes responsibility in selecting leaders who will be youth and following generations.
Finally, we see an Indigenous community which determines how our natural resources are utilized and can co-exist in co-operation with society – free of racism and discrimination.
The Native Women’s Association of Canada will strive to achieve its strategic goals and objectives by overcoming risks and challenges to harness opportunities that build on its strengths.
- Build a strong, resilient organization through internal capacity building
- Be a full and equal participant on key issues of relevance to Indigenous women, gender diverse people and their families in Canada
- Increase the communication and resource capacity of PTMAs
- Build the leadership capacity of Indigenous women and gender diverse people
The principles or objectives of NWAC are as follows:
To be the national voice for Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people;
To address issues in a manner which reflects the changing needs of Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people in Canada;
To assist and promote common goals towards self-determination and self sufficiency for Indigenous peoples in our role as mothers and leaders;
To promote equal opportunities for Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people in programs and activities;
To serve as a resource among our constituency and Indigenous communities;
- To cultivate and teach the characteristics that are unique aspects of our cultural and historical traditions;
To assist Indigenous women’s organizations, as well as community initiatives in the development of their local projects; and to advance issues and concerns of Indigenous women; and to link with other Indigenous organizations with common goals.