NWAC Remembers Bertha Clark Jones, A Founding Leader

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(October 22, 2014) (Ottawa, ON) – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is deeply saddened by the passing of Bertha Clark Jones on October 21, 2014. She was a remarkable Métis woman who advocated for the rights and equalities of Aboriginal Peoples, served Canada as a member of the Air Force, and was one of NWAC’s founders and first President.

Bertha Clark Jones grew up no stranger to difficulties and hardship. She was raised in northern Alberta in a large family during the Great Depression. There she learned the determination and her hard work ethic from her parents and grandparents that she would later apply to advocating for human rights.

During World War II she served in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Her experiences with the Canadian military led to an ongoing mission to advocate for fair treatment of Aboriginal veterans. From there it was an ongoing legacy of advancing human rights in Canada. To defend Aboriginal women, she co-founded Voice of Alberta Women (VANW) and helped steer it to represent both Status and non-Status Aboriginal women. Over time, VANW became the Native Women’s Association of Canada, and, thanks to Bertha Clark Jones, continues her legacy of advocacy and pursuit of equality for Aboriginal women in Canada. Bertha Clark Jones was recognized for her efforts to improve lives in 2007 by Indspire with a lifetime achievement award.

“She is an inspiration to all of us” NWAC President Michèle Taïna Audette said, “Bertha Clark Jones remains a model for empowered Aboriginal women, and her life is a testimony to the incredible changes we can achieve for society. Her absence is sorely missed, but we will work hard to honour her legacy of social justice.”

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.

– 30-

Claudette Dumont-Smith, Executive Director 1 Nicholas Street, 9th Floor Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7
Toll free 1-800-461-4043
Tel.: 613-722-3033 x. 223
cdumontsmith@nwac.ca

12.10.23 NWAC Remembers Bertha Clarke Jones

Please follow and like us:

NWAC launches their report -Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking of Aboriginal Women and Girls: Literature Review and Key Informant Interviews

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(October 16, 2014) (Ottawa, ON) – The Native Women’s Association of Canada’s (NWAC) has just released their comprehensive report on the trafficking of Aboriginal women and girls in Canada for sexual exploitation. The report is part of several reports that were funded by the Canadian Women’s Foundation, along with their National Task Force Report. To access all the reports, please go to: http://canadianwomen.org/reports/trafficking

NWAC’s report is solutions-oriented and provides many recommendations and practices to help prevent trafficking and help Aboriginal women and girls to exit situations of sexual exploitation. The report also helps shed light on the nature of Aboriginal women and girls’ vulnerabilities to trafficking, and explores the larger societal factors that contribute to their over-representation in sex trafficking in Canada. Service providers, government, and those who engage with and support trafficked Aboriginal women and girls will find the resource valuable for the insights, strategies, and recommendations.

The report contains a comprehensive literature review, key information interviews, and surveys. NWAC worked with women who were experiential survivors, service providers, officers of the law, and judicial officers to gather information and stories. The report covers root causes, recruitment, prevention, exit strategies, legal, justice, and policy measures, as well as exploring some current Canadian initiatives into trafficking from a perspective that recognizes the importance of addressing the needs of Aboriginal women and girls.

One of the key findings from the report are that Aboriginal women and girls are over-represented in trafficking; with some research going so far as to find Aboriginal women and girls as the majority of those being sex trafficked in Canada today. Key informants in NWAC’s interviews, the survey, and in the literature repeatedly identified the Indian Residential School impacts and intergenerational trauma, systemic poverty, and discrimination as major factors in contributing to increasing vulnerability of Aboriginal women and girls.

The report calls for more initiatives to ensure and promote educational access and success for Aboriginal women and girls as a key preventative measure; and that for Aboriginal women and girls exiting exploitative circumstances, they require non-judgmental attitudes, harm reductionist approaches, culturally-relevant programming, safe housing, long-term counselling, and education and training to make sustainable alternative healthy lifestyles. As a result of its findings and in recognition of the needs and well-being of trafficked Aboriginal women and girls, NWAC recommends decriminalizing women in prostitution and prosecuting pimps and johns.

“It is our hope that this report and the women’s stories within it will further show the need for public and Government attention, care and protection of trafficked Aboriginal women and girls in Canada,” said Michèle Audette, NWAC President. “We want more for our women and girls – we want a life filled with choices, peace and economic security and a world where our women are valued,” continued Audette.

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.

– 30-

Claudette Dumont Smith, Executive Director
1-800-461-4043 or cdumontsmith@nwac.ca

14.09.15 NWAC Releases Human Trafficking Report

Please follow and like us:

October 4th Sisters In Spirit Vigils- A Movement for Social Change

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PUBLIC STATEMENT

October 1, 2014 (Ottawa, ON) – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) will be reading this Statement on October 4th 2014 as part of the Sisters In Spirit Vigil—A Movement for Social Change:

October 4th is a day when we honour the lives of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls and support families who have been tragically touched by the loss of a loved one to violence. More than 100 SIS Vigils are registered from coast-to coast-to coast for October 4th 2014. No other event in Canada brings so many Aboriginal communities and Canadian citizens together to specifically celebrate, honour and support Aboriginal women and girls.

First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples as well as many other concerned Canadians are rising up and embracing their own forms of expression and their own calls for action. An inquiry would be a crucial step in implementing a comprehensive and coordinated national action plan that is necessary to address the scale and severity of violence faced by Aboriginal women and girls. Together, we must demand action and secure commitments from all levels of government.

October 4th is dedicated to honouring the lives of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls and support families who have been tragically touched by the loss of a loved one to violence. Vigils take many forms: a rally, a candlelight vigil, a workshop, a moment of silence, a walk, or a gathering of people to share memories and a meal. Together, the October SIS vigils have become a movement for social change and a reminder that our sisters will not be forgotten.

In closing, we express our sincere thanks and gratitude to the families. Many are here today and we thank them for sharing their stories. You are the reason we continue to demand action. We are honoured to walk beside you on this journey!

This public Statement is a very powerful way for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal leadership to signal their support and commitment to the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls. “NWAC invites all Aboriginal organizations across Canada to lend their support to this public Statement,” said President Michele Audette, adding that “now is the time to come together and demand action. When we show we are a united front, we hope all levels of government will listen.”

The 2014 public Statement specifically calls for “all levels of government to work with Aboriginal women and representative organizations.” The NWAC continues to call for a National Public Inquiry and a comprehensive national action plan to address violence against Aboriginal women and girls. NWAC thanks all their long-standing SIS Vigil partners for once again supporting NWAC’s work.

We look forward to your continued involvement and participation.

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.

– 30-

For additional information, please contact:

Claudette Dumont-Smith, Executive Director cdumontsmith@nwac.ca
Native Women’s Association of Canada
1 Nicholas Street, 9th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7
Tel.: 613-722-3033
Toll Free: 1-800-461-4043

14.10.01 Sisters in Spirit Vigils

Please follow and like us:

NWAC and Canadian Association Of Police Chiefs Announce Collaboration – Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women

JOINT STATEMENT

(Ottawa, ON) – The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) and the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) are pleased to make the following statement:

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) and Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) met today resulting in a very constructive and cordial meeting. Both organizations are deeply concerned about the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women. We have agreed to participate in partnership and to be constructive voices in developing solutions on this critical issue. Police leaders are committed to concrete action regardless of what process is determined.

The Native Women’s Association of Canada 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.

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police was established in 1905 and represents approximately 1,000 police leaders from across Canada. The Association is dedicated to the support and promotion of efficient law enforcement and to the protection and security of the people of Canada. Through its member police chiefs and other senior police executives, the CACP represents in excess of 90% of the police community in Canada which include federal, First Nations, provincial, regional and municipal, transportation and military police leaders.

– 30-

For further information, please contact:

Claudette Dumont-Smith, Executive Director
Native Women’s Association of Canada
Toll free 1-800-461-4043
Tel.: 613-722-3033
cdumontsmith@nwac.ca

Timothy M. Smith
Government Relations and Strategic Communications
Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police
Mobile: 613-601-0692
timsmith2000@rogers.com

14.09.30 NWAC and Canadian Association of Police Chiefs Annouce Collaboration

Please follow and like us:

Ending Violence Against Aboriginal Women And Girls Must Be A Priority For Canadians in Election Year

PRESS RELEASE- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(29 September 2014) OTTAWA – With federal political parties preparing for an election year, Amnesty International and the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) are calling on Canadians to help make ending violence against Aboriginal women and girls a priority for all politicians. Our organizations will be working with women’s organizations and other allies across Canada to ensure that all parties make tangible commitments to end violence against Indigenous women and girls in the upcoming election.

Recently released RCMP statistics report the murder of 1017 Aboriginal women and girls between 1980 and 2012, with more than 100 others remaining missing under suspicious circumstances or for unknown reasons.

NWAC President Michèle Audette told a press conference on Parliament Hill today. “Each woman was somebody. She was also somebody’s sister, daughter, mother, or friend and every one of them deserved to be safe from violence. They deserve more from our Government than excuses and a patchwork of underfunded and inadequate programs and services. We need solutions and actions that will make a difference in women’s lives.”

Alex Neve, Secretary-General of Amnesty International Canada said, “Instead of committing to the kind of comprehensive, concerted response that is so urgently needed, successive governments have rolled out the same piecemeal approach that has failed to provide Aboriginal women and girls the protection they need. Momentum for meaningful action is building across Canadians but we need more Canadians to speak out.”

Ten years ago, Amnesty International published its major research report, Stolen Sisters: Discrimination and Violence against Indigenous women in Canada. The report followed a nation-wide campaign by NWAC to focus attention on the severe threats facing Aboriginal women and girls. At the time, all parties in the House of Commons publicly acknowledged the need for action.

A full decade later, however, government response continues to fall short of what is required by the extreme scale and severity of this violence. Recommendations by Indigenous women’s organizations—including a widely supported call for an independent national public inquiry—continue to be ignored.

On October 4th, vigils will be held in scores of communities across Canada and across the globe to honour the lives of Aboriginal women and girls lost to violence. The vigils are being coordinated by NWAC, and organized by community groups and affected families, with the support of a wide range of human rights, social justice, and faith organizations.

Amnesty International and NWAC are urging the federal government to work with Aboriginal organizations to implement a comprehensive national action plan, in keeping with Canada’s international human rights obligations, and for this plan to be informed an independent national public inquiry to finally get at the root causes.

Beatrice Vaugrante, Director-General of Amnistie International Canada Francophone said, “International human rights standards require governments to do everything in their power to stop violence against women. In this case, the standard of action already identified by international human rights mechanisms is for Canada to hold an independent public inquiry and implement a systematic, coordinated national action plan.”

Michèle Audette said, “We don’t want to have to come to Parliament year after year, mourning the deaths of hundreds more of our women and girls. We stand united with other Canadians demanding real action now.”

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.

Amnesty International is a global movement of over 3 million people in more than 150 countries working together to protect and promote human rights. Our vision is of a world in which all governments respect and uphold the rights enshrined in international human rights instruments such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
For more information please call:

Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations Amnesty
International Canada
416-363-9933 ext 332
bberton-hunter@amnesty.ca

Claudette Dumont-Smith, Executive Director
Native Women’s Association of Canada
613-722-3033
cdumontsmith@nwac.ca

14.09.29 Amnesty International and NWAC Joint Statement on Ending Violence

Please follow and like us:

Outcome Document Adopted By All United Nations Member States, Except Canada

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 24, 2014 (Ottawa, ON) – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) has been participating in the first World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (WCIP), which is happening at the United Nations in New York City this week. NWAC is pleased that all member states adopted the Outcome Document, but is disappointed in the position taken by Canada.

Indigenous Peoples have gathered from around the globe in an attempt to advance their rights as Indigenous Peoples, which includes the implementation of the principles and objectives of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Participants at the World Conference officially adopted an action-oriented “Outcome Document” Monday, which deals specifically with the implementation of the rights of Indigenous Peoples and the achievement of internationally agreed upon development goals.

NWAC President Michèle Audette stated, “The adoption of the Outcome Document paves the way to implementing these rights because they are recognized at the highest level of the United Nations structure,” She then continued, “Had Canada not objected, this would have seen all members States collaborate with Indigenous Peoples to implement the principles of the UN Declaration. It is worrisome that Canada is the only one at the international level who is objecting to fully adopting the Outcome Document. This shows a lack of true commitment towards the process of reconciliation between the Indigenous Peoples and Canada.”

Canada has listed their primary objection for signing the Outcome Document as the principle of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) by Indigenous Peoples on activities that would interfere with their land and their rights in their territories. Although this principle is throughout the UNDRIP and has been echoed by the Supreme Court of Canada cases, the Canadian Government is refusing to sign on.

NWAC will sign on to Joint Statements and make interventions while at the WCIP that reflect the UNDRIP in an attempt to see the principles later implemented within Canada, particularly with respect to the safety and well-being of Aboriginal women. NWAC will continue to hold Canada accountable for the statements and agreements they make regarding implementing the rights of Indigenous Peoples so that they result in concrete action in 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.

Information on the first World Conference on Indigenous Peoples is available at: http://www.un.org/en/ga/69/meetings/indigenous/#&panel1-1

For more information, please contact:

Claudette Dumont Smith, Executive Director
1-800-461-4043 or cdumontsmith@nwac.ca

14.09.24 Outcome Document Not Adopted By Canada

Please follow and like us:

Canada uses World Conference to continue indefensible attack on UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 24, 2014 – Indigenous peoples’ organizations and human rights groups are outraged that the federal government used a high level United Nations forum on Indigenous rights as an opportunity to continue its unprincipled attack on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

On Monday, the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples — a high level plenary of the UN General Assembly in New York — adopted a consensus statement reaffirming support for the UN Declaration.

Canada was the only member state to raise objections.

Chief Perry Bellegarde, Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, said, “The World Conference was an opportunity for all states to reaffirm their commitment to working constructively with Indigenous peoples to uphold fundamental human rights standards. Alone among all the UN members, Canada instead chose to use this forum to make another unprincipled attack on those very standards.”

The Outcome Document, the product of many months of negotiations between states and Indigenous representatives prior to the World Conference, calls on member states to take “appropriate measures at the national level, including legislative, policy and administrative measures, to achieve the ends of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”’

The Outcome Document also affirms provisions in the UN Declaration that decisions potentially affecting the rights of Indigenous peoples should be undertaken only with their free, prior and informed consent.

After the Outcome Document was adopted, Canada filed a two page statement of objections, saying that it could not commit to uphold provisions in the UN Declaration that deal with free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) if these provisions were “interpreted as a veto.”

The notion that the  Declaration could be interpreted as conferring an absolute and unilateral veto power has been repeatedly raised by Canada as a justification for its continued opposition to the Declaration. This claim, however, has no basis either in the UN Declaration or in the wider body of international law.

Like standards of accommodation and consent set out by the Supreme Court of Canada, FPIC in international law is applied in proportion to the potential for harm to the rights of Indigenous peoples and to the strength of these rights. The word “veto” does not appear in the UN Declaration.

“The right of free, prior and informed consent is crucial to us, as self-determining peoples,” said Matthew Coon Come, Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees. “The government has never explained what it means by ‘veto.’ Is a ‘veto’ absolute? If so, then a ‘veto’ isn’t the same thing as ‘consent.’”

In international law, human rights are generally relative and not absolute. The right to free, prior and informed consent in the UN Declaration is not absolute.

Grand Chief Ed John, First Nations Summit, said, “In the recent decision recognizing Tsilhqot’in title, the Supreme Court itself rejected Canada’s incomprehensible position.”

In its unanimous decision recognizing Tsilhqot’in ownership of a large part of their traditional lands, the Supreme Court stated in June, “Governments and individuals proposing to use or exploit land, whether before or after a declaration of Aboriginal title, can avoid a charge of infringement or failure to adequately consult by obtaining the consent of the interested Aboriginal group.”

National Chief Ghislain Picard, Assembly of First Nations, said, “Canada keeps insisting that Indigenous peoples don’t have a say in development on their lands. This position is not consistent with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, decisions by its own courts, or the goal of reconciliation.”

Regional Chief Stan Beardy, Chiefs of Ontario, said, “Either through the social license to operate, which refers to the level of acceptance or approval that a local community provides to development, or a Notice of Assertions as provided by First Nations in Ontario this past summer, First Nations are already exercising a direct say about development on their lands — whether Canada objects internationally or not.”

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, said, “The Outcome Document speaks directly to the pressing human rights concerns of Indigenous Peoples in Canada such as Indigenous Peoples’ participation in consent-based decisions regarding resource development, the need to close the gap in access to government services, and the dire need to address violence against Indigenous women. In light of the game-changing Supreme Court of Canada Tsilhqot’in Nation decision, Canada should have embraced the Outcome Document rather than be the only State in the United Nations to invent self-serving reasons to object.”

Canada’s objection to the World Conference Outcome Document contradicts Canada’s 2010 statement of endorsement of the UN Declaration in which the government said, “We are now confident that Canada can interpret the principles expressed in the Declaration in a manner that is consistent with our Constitution and legal framework.”

In contrast, Canada told the UN that FPIC provisions in the Declaration “run counter to Canada’s constitution” and would “negate” Supreme Court mandated policies on consultation and accommodation.

“It strains credibility to think Canadian officials could actually believe the ridiculous claims they presented to the United Nations,” said Michelle Audette, President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada. “This kind of bad faith and dishonesty will only further tarnish Canada’s reputation and erode Canada’s influence on the world stage.”

On 1 May 2008, over 100 scholars and experts in Canadian constitutional and international law signed an Open Letter stating that the Declaration was “consistent with the Canadian Constitution and Charter … Government claims to the contrary do a grave disservice to the cause of human rights and to the promotion of harmonious and cooperative relations.”

The Outcome Document adopted by the UN General Assembly also calls for “equal access to high-quality education that recognizes the diversity of the culture of indigenous peoples, as well as health, housing, water, sanitation and other economic and social programmes to improve their well-being.” Specific measures are urged for Indigenous people with disabilities and to address HIV/AIDS.

In addition, the Outcome Document calls for “measures which will ensure the full and effective participation of indigenous women in decision making processes at all levels and in all areas,” as well as intensified efforts to stop violence against Indigenous women.

Ad hoc coalition on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Statement endorsed by:

Amnesty International Canada

Assembly of First Nations

Canadian Friends Service Committee

Chiefs of Ontario

Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations

First Nations Summit

Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)

Indigenous World Association

KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives

Native Women’s Association of Canada

Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs

14.09.24 Canada Continues Attack on UNDRIP Joint Statment

Please follow and like us:

NWAC Continues to call for a National Public Inquiry and a Comprehensive Plan of Action to Address Violence Against Aboriginal Women and Girls

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 17, 2014 (Ottawa, ON) – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is pleased that the Government of Canada is regarding violence against Aboriginal women and girls as a priority and that the high rates of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls is an unacceptable situation that must end.

NWAC is somewhat pleased to learn that the Federal Government is committed to renew funding for an additional five years for existing programs that are aimed at improving the lives of Aboriginal women, as outlined in the “Action Plan to Address Family Violence and Violent Crimes Against Aboriginal Women and Girls.” However, it is important to note that some of the programs, such as the National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains and the DNA Missing Persons Index, which will be very helpful in identifying the ethnicity of persons who have gone missing and were murdered, are for the general population and not Aboriginal-specific. “Nonetheless, putting in place this Action Plan is a step in the right direction,” said Michèle Audette, President of NWAC.

“We know that the existing measures that have been in place are inadequate to address the high rates of violence and murders of Aboriginal women. NWAC is asking for a National Roundtable where all levels of Government can come together with national Aboriginal Organizations and family representatives to look at issues such as economic development, training, housing, education, health and child care to review existing programs and services. This review will enable the development of a seamless and comprehensive Action Plan and will help to prevent fragmented and disjointed programs and services,” said NWAC President Michèle Audette.

“NWAC still sees the need for a non-partisan, National Public Inquiry that will assess the breadth of the problem and, once and for all, unveil the severity of the violence against Aboriginal women because predators feel that they can get away with the violence and murder of our women.” “NWAC is willing to work with the Federal Government in a collaborative and meaningful manner to address the issue of violence as this remains a matter of great priority for NWAC, as it should be for all Canadians,” continued Ms. Audette.

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.

– 30-

For more information, please contact:

Claudette Dumont Smith, Executive Director
1-800-461-4043 or cdumontsmith@nwac.ca

14.09.17 NWAC Response to GoC Action Plan Press Release

Please follow and like us:

Joint Statement on the Anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Land and resource rights must be recognized and protected

(12 September 2014)–September 13th marks the 7th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a consensus global human rights instrument. The Declaration calls on all states to safeguard the traditional land and resource rights of Indigenous peoples, including legal title to lands. The Declaration also requires fair and transparent mechanisms to ensure any disputes over lands and resources are resolved in a just and timely manner.

The rights recognition and protection called for by the Declaration is increasingly reflected in decisions by Canadian courts. For example, in a unanimous decision, Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in June that the Tsilhqot’in people in central BC continue to hold title to 1700 km2 of their traditional territory. Accordingly, they have the right to control how the land is used and to benefit from its resources.

In this landmark decision, the Supreme Court affirmed that Indigenous land title that pre-dates the arrival of Europeans in the Americas continues to exist and can be legally enforced. In the ruling, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin pointedly stated that where unresolved Indigenous title claims exist, government and industry would be wise to obtain the consent of the Indigenous peoples, since decisions made without their consent may be overturned once title is resolved. The decision stated, “if the Crown begins a project without consent prior to Aboriginal title being established, it maybe required to cancel the project upon establishment of the title.”

Such rights to control and consent are consistent with the UN Declaration. The UN Declaration and the Tsilhqot’in Nation decision present crucial opportunities to reframe the relationships with Indigenous peoples so that human rights are fully respected and Indigenous peoples are able to ensure the security and well-being of present and future generations. To achieve this, governments in Canada must be willing to break with the status quo that has dispossessed, marginalized and impoverished Indigenous nations, communities and families.

Our organizations call on the federal, provincial and territorial governments to affirm and uphold the rights of Indigenous peoples – as set out in the Canadian Constitution, Treaties, and international human rights law. This requires:

  • Working collaboratively with Indigenous peoples to resolve outstanding land and Treaty disputes in a manner that is fair, timely and consistent with Canada’s domestic and international legal obligations.
  • Abandoning adversarial and regressive approaches now firmly rejected by courts and international human rights bodies.
  • Providing effective protection of Indigenous peoples’ rights and interests pending the resolution of land and resource disputes, including respecting their free, prior and informed consent on all decisions with the potential for significant impact on their rights.

Respecting the Supreme Court’s ruling in Tsilhqot’in Nation that “incursions on Aboriginal title” can never be justified “if they would substantially deprive future generations of the benefit of the land.”

Almost two decades ago, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (“RCAP”) concluded that First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples have legitimate legal claims to a much larger land base than they currently control. RCAP warned that if Indigenous peoples “cannot obtain a greater share of the lands and resources in this country, their institutions of self-government will fail … they will be pushed to the edge of economic, cultural and political extinction.”

Affirmation of the land and resource rights of Indigenous peoples cannot be deferred for another generation. Governments in Canada must act now, with urgency and good faith. As the Supreme Court emphasized in the Tsilhqot’in decision, “What is at stake is nothing less than justice…and…reconciliation.”

Ad hoc coalition on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Signatory organizations:

Amnesty International Canada
Assembly of First Nations
Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers)
Chiefs of Ontario
Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations
First Nations Summit
Grand Council of Crees (Eeyou Istchee)
Indigenous World Association
KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
Métis National Council
Native Women’s Association of Canada
Tsilhqot’in National Government
Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs

14.09.15 Joint Statement on the Anniversary of UNDRIP

Please follow and like us:

NWAC announces the winners of the 2014 Helen Bassett Commemorative Student Award

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ottawa, ON (August 29th, 2014)—The Native Women’s Association of Canada is proud to announce the winners of the 2014 Helen Bassett Commemorative Student Award. This initiative assists Aboriginal women who are enrolled in post-secondary education, and was made available through the generous donations of Helen Bassett. As an active supporter of equal rights for Aboriginal peoples and in particular those of Aboriginal women, Ms. Bassett’s wish was for funds to be used for post-secondary student awards, and more specifically for women pursuing law careers.

The Native Women’s Association of Canada is committed to supporting young Aboriginal women in their pursuit of post-secondary education. This year the Helen Bassett Commemorative Student Award Selection Committee received and reviewed over 50 applications from Aboriginal women across Canada. NWAC is pleased to announce four awards in the amount of $1,000.00 to the following outstanding young women:

Siera Bearchell (WEST)
Siera is a Métis law student embarking on the first year of her Juris Doctor Degree at University of Saskatchewan. Siera’s passion for making a difference has allowed her to overcome many obstacles on her journey to law school. After her studies she’s aiming to become a leader in Canadian law and is striving to have memorable and meaningful impact in the lives of Aboriginal women.

Brittnee Sheridan (EAST)
Brittnee is a young First Nations woman from Newfoundland who is in her fourth year of Law & Justice and Indigenous Studies at Laurentian University in Sudbury. Brittnee is extremely active in the community where she resides and she plans to use her education to fulfill her desire to work to improve the rights of all Aboriginal Women across Canada.

Alyssa Flaherty-Spence (NORTH)
Alyssa is an Inuk woman who successfully completed the 8 week Legal Studies Program for Native Students and is now enrolled in her second year of the Common Law Program at the University of Ottawa. She is committed to achieving equality and aspires to one day help Aboriginal Women by practicing law in an institution that recognizes the injustices when it comes to the legal representation of Aboriginal people.

Caitlin Tolley (SOUTH)
Caitlin is a young Anishinabe woman admitted in the Juris Doctor Program at the University of Ottawa. At age 21, she was the youngest person in her community to be elected on council and has worked to address women’s issues specifically related to health and social services. Caitlin intends to use her education to continue to advocate and seek justice for First Nations.

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.

For more information, please contact:

Claudette Dumont Smith, Executive Director
1-800-461-4043 or cdumontsmith@nwac.ca

14.08.29 Helen Bassett Commemorative Student Award Winners

 

Please follow and like us:

NWAC Discouraged by Racist Assumptions in the Globe and Mail

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 27, 2014 (Ottawa, ON) – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is disappointed with the racist remarks made within the article published by the Globe and Mail – “Posturing is the only reason for a missing women inquiry.” The article is symptomatic of the problem that Aboriginal Peoples face every day. Racist generalizations are often made to try to dismiss the real issue, which is that Aboriginal women and girls are being specifically targeted in alarmingly high rates by predators compared to non-Aboriginal women given their populations and their perpetrators know that they will likely get away with it.

Nowhere in any of the reports by NWAC or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) does it state that missing and murdered Aboriginal women, are being killed by Aboriginal men, yet assumptions are being made by the Globe and Mail, which implies that all Aboriginal women are killed by Aboriginal men and that this is an “Aboriginal only” problem. The article by Jeffrey Simpson states: “Although the report does not say so directly, the data strongly suggest that aboriginal women were (and are) largely being victimized by aboriginal men, which means that solutions to the problem lie not within a public inquiry, but within aboriginal communities about why this is happening – and, of course, in a wider reflection on the disadvantaged situation of aboriginals in Canada.”

“The RCMP report, nor any of the research results completed by NWAC, makes reference to the race of the perpetrators who have been convicted of killing Aboriginal women, so to throw these generalizations out there is both dangerous and perpetuates racism against Aboriginal men,” said NWAC President Michèle Audette. Although the research results demonstrate that most homicides are most often perpetrated by spouses or someone known to the victim, it does not state that anywhere that Aboriginal women are married to Aboriginal men and that all their known acquaintances are Aboriginal. To assume that the spouses are Aboriginal is a false assumption.

“For the Globe and Mail to insinuate that the 1200 cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal women are nothing more than the result of violence within Aboriginal communities is irresponsible and detracts from the real issue, which is that there are significantly more Aboriginal women than non-Aboriginal women being killed in this country, and that investigations have not been conducted in a way that leads to their resolution, and that there are major problems with the justice and public response to these crimes,” continued Ms. Audette.

NWAC is asking that the Globe and Mail retract their unfounded statement and that other media be conscientious about fueling racism against Aboriginal Peoples in Canada when reporting on issues such as these in the news.

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.

– 30-

For more information, please contact:

Claudette Dumont Smith, Executive Director
1-800-461-4043 or cdumontsmith@nwac.ca

14.08.27 NWAC Discouraged by Racist Assumptions by Globe and Mail

Please follow and like us:

The Obvious Need for a National Public Inquiry!

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 19, 2014 (Ottawa, ON) – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is once again extremely disheartened and discouraged to learn that the wrapped body, pulled out of the Red River, Manitoba on August 18, was that of 15 year-old Tina Fontaine, who had only very recently gone missing. And, just a week ago prior to this event, the remains of another young Aboriginal woman, Samantha Paul, was found near Kamloops, BC. “Every week now, we hear of another Aboriginal girl or woman, who has gone missing, to be found brutally murdered. This must stop!” exclaimed Michèle Audette, President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC).

As indicated in the recently released Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) report, Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women: A National Operational Overview, the total number of Aboriginal who have been identified as missing or murdered clearly indicates that they are over-represented among all of Canada’s missing and murdered women. “This is a national disgrace, a national tragedy and a travesty of justice for Aboriginal women and is an issue that all Canadians have to take ownership of”, said President Audette. NWAC, and its’ many supporters, have been relentless in its call for a national public inquiry and a comprehensive action plan to address this crisis. “With the ever increasing number of missing and murdered Aboriginal girls and women, there is an obvious need for a National Public Inquiry – nothing else will do”, said President Audette.

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.

– 30-

For additional information, please contact:

Claudette Dumont Smith, Executive Director
1-800-461-4043 or cdumontsmith@nwac.ca

14.08.19 Need for a National Public Inquiry

Please follow and like us:

NWAC wants Thérèse Casgrain’s Name Restored to the National Volunteer Awards

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(August 6, 2014) (Ottawa, ON) – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is concerned that Thérèse Casgrain’s legacy is in jeopardy with the unceremonious and disrespectful removal of her name from the National Volunteer Awards.

The Thérèse Casgrain Volunteer Award was created to honour individuals who reflected the selfless nature of Casgrain’s work. With determination Casgrain fought for the right of Quebec women to vote, which they finally won in 1940.

NWAC President Michèle Audette stated, “In Quebec where my roots are, a strong tradition of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women leaders have helped women and girls know that they can be active participants in Quebec’s economic and political landscape. There is still much work to be done, however Thérèse Casgrain’s many contributions as an early feminist in Quebec cannot be understated or forgotten”.

The renamed “Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards” does not have at its core the principles Casgrain embodied and NWAC requests that Thérèse Casgrain’s name be restored and reattached to Canada’s National Volunteer Awards.

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.

– 30-

For additional information, please contact:

Claudette Dumont Smith, Executive Director
1-800-461-4043 or cdumontsmith@nwac.ca

14.08.06 NWAC Wants Therese Casgrains Name Restored to the National Volunteer Awards

Please follow and like us:

NWAC appeals to all MPs to support Bill S-212, to ensure equal Aboriginal male/female representation in the governing structures of Canada’s top economic institutions

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 31, 2014 (Ottawa, ON) – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is in full support of Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette’s Private Members’ Bill S-212 to modernize the gender composition of boards of directors of certain corporations, financial institutions and parent Crown corporations.

NWAC applauds Hervieux-Payette for introducing Bill S-212 and is appealing to all political parties and MPs to support the Act. Supporting Bill S-212 will bring equity and equality to Canada’s top economic decision making entities and will pay dividends with solid yet sustainable outcomes. “However, Bill S-212 does not go far enough”, said NWAC President Michèle Audette. “Bill S-212 should also call for equal composition of Aboriginal people, particularly highly qualified Aboriginal women, to have seats on Canada’s prestigious boardrooms. We know for a fact that very few, if any, sit on boards on any of the top 500 Canadian companies, Crown Corporations and other leading government agencies. Yet much of the work of these profitable corporations and agencies has an impact on the lives and well-being of Aboriginal peoples.” Audette further said.

NWAC is an Aboriginal Skills Employment and Training Strategy (ASETS) holder and concurs with the President about the benefits of female corporate leadership. NWAC’s ASETS training and employment partnerships with female led corporations and other institutions make great partners who hire skilled and hardworking NWAC clients.

NWAC President Michèle Audette further stated, “From my experience when women are equally represented in corporate governance or are in senior management roles, companies and corporations maintain their high level of profitability. When we speak about parity and equality, then we must also speak about the inclusion of Aboriginal peoples at all levels, especially at the board level, where important decisions are made, and particularly when corporations are doing business that generate substantial profit from our territories”.

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.

Claudette Dumont Smith, Executive Director
1-800-461-4043 or cdumontsmith@nwac.ca

14.07.31 NWAC Appeals to all MPs to Support Bill S-212 Press Release

Please follow and like us:

New Prostitution Law begins to recognize the Harm in Prostitution

We Want More For Women Pic

 

 

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

[Ottawa, Ont.]—Wednesday, June 4, 2014 –The Women’s Coalition for the Abolition of prostitution, Pan Canadian women’s-equality seeking coalition, is hopeful seeing the new law addresses the core harm of prostitution – the buying, the commodification and the pimping of women’s bodies. However, the coalition is critical that the law doesn’t fully address the compounding inequalities of gender, race and class of women in prostitution and that some elements of communicating for the purpose of selling sexual services are criminalized.

Michèle Audette for the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) explains the coalition’s position: “prostitution exploits women and increases inequalities based on gender, race, age, disability and poverty. Our goal is to stop the prostitution of women through legal measures and public policies that recognize the obligations of the state to provide basic needs and protect women and young women from male violence against women.”

The coalition insists that women should not be blamed for their own exploitation and that the sole responsibility will rest on the men who buy and sell women.

Lee Lakeman for CASAC (Canadian Association of sexual Assault Centre): “CASAC opposes the continued blame for women contained in this bill. No matter where this violence against women is committed it is the responsibility of those men who are buying sex. CASAC does therefore welcome the emphasis on criminalizing the actions of those buyers and managers of this sex industry. However vigilance will be required to assure that it is men buying not women selling sex against whom this law is imposed. The proposals for increased sentencing in this situation are both disheartening and unpersuasive since men are virtually never arrested much less effectively sentenced.”

Kim Pate for the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS) says: “Decriminalizing the women and holding accountable the men who buy and sell women and girls means nothing if women’s economic, racial and social inequality is not addressed.”

The coalition urges all parties in Parliament to support women’s groups in their fight for women’s equality and liberty. Diane Matte for Concertation des luttes contre l’exploitation sexuelle (CLES): “The Parliament needs to adopt new objectives to the law on prostitution. These objectives must take into account that prostitution is, at its very root, a form of violence against women. It is time that Canada looks at prostitution for what it is, a practice of inequality. We now count on all the political parties to embrace a non-partisan approach and choose women’s right to equality and security.”
-30-

Members of the Women’s Coalition for the Abolition of Prostitution:

Action ontarienne contre la violence faite aux femmes (AOcVF)

Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres (CASAC)

Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS)

Concertation des luttes contre l’exploitation sexuelle (CLES)

Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC)

Regroupement québécois des centres d’aide et de lutte contre les agressions caractère sexual (RQCALACS)

Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter

2014.06.09 New Prostitution Law begins to recognize the Harm in Prostitution

Please follow and like us:

NWAC not surprised by numbers of Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women reported in RCMP’s National Operational Overview

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ottawa, ON (May 16, 2014) – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) welcomes the RCMP’s National Operational Overview, a comprehensive account of Canada’s missing and murdered Aboriginal women. The RCMP`s Overview reports 1,181 Aboriginal women that have gone missing or were murdered between the years of 1980 and 2012. Canada’s 1181 missing and murdered Aboriginal women represent the number of families affected by the loss of a loved one.

For years, NWAC has been raising concerns about the alarming number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls from across Canada and have reported over 600 cases. “This report substantiates NWAC’s claims and the RCMP’s Overview only reinforces our position for a coordinated and compressive approach to ending the violence perpetuated against Aboriginal women and girls in Canada,” said NWAC President Michèle Audette.

Since 2011, NWAC has been calling for all Canadians and the federal government to support the implementation of a national public inquiry into this urgent issue. President Audette states that, “we can no longer deny the existence or seriousness of this issue and we hope that this ends the complacency and indifference previously shown by the RCMP and the federal government towards our missing and murdered sisters”.

In support of a national public inquiry, James Anaya, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and leading international organizations also recommends the need for a coordinated approach in addressing this issue. NWAC is waiting for a proactive response from the Canadian government to deal with this critical issue that continues to plague our communities.
NWAC is pleased that the RCMP’s national strategy aimed at supporting the needs of high risk communities and views this as an opportunity to work in partnership with our communities in overcoming the systemic issues that have previously hampered calls for a national public inquiry.

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.

Claudette Dumont Smith, Executive Director
1-800-461-4043 or cdumontsmith@nwac.ca

14.05.16 NWAC not Surprised by Numbers of MMAW reported in RCMPs National Operational Overview

 

Please follow and like us:

The Native Women’s Association of Canada Supports the Report Recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ottawa, ON (May 14, 2014) – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) welcomes the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya. This report highlights the ongoing human rights concerns of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada and provides recommendations for improvements that are required in existing government laws and policies. NWAC calls for the Canadian government to implement these recommendations in partnership with Aboriginal peoples and organizations.

In his report, Anaya urges the federal government to “undertake a comprehensive, nation-wide inquiry into the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls, organized in consultation with Indigenous peoples.” This recommendation comes at a critical time in light of the recent news reports claiming RCMP findings of 1,200 missing and murdered Aboriginal women across Canada. The federal government’s repeated inaction to calls for an inquiry has gained worldwide attention resulting in outcries from Aboriginal organizations, communities, members of parliament, and international bodies.

Anaya’s report came out of his visit to Canada in October, 2013 where he examined the situation of Aboriginal peoples, including the many claims of human rights violations made by Aboriginal women and their families. During his visit, the Special Rapporteur visited several locations across the country and met with representatives from the Canadian government and Aboriginal groups (including NWAC).

NWAC President Michèle Audette states “We are pleased to see that the Special Rapporteur is reiterating NWAC’s long-standing plea which is supported by many others for a national public inquiry and the need for a comprehensive plan of action to address the situation. The issue of violence against Aboriginal women and girls remains critical, and immediate strong action and support needs to be taken.

NWAC acknowledges the Special Rapporteur for his commitment in creating awareness on the human rights situation of Aboriginal Peoples, in particular women and girls, in Canada and applaud his efforts to encourage the Canadian government to meet its obligations to uphold and protect Aboriginal human rights. “I strongly urge the government to show consideration for the national and international community’s growing concern and implement a national public inquiry immediately,” President Audette said.

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.

– 30-

For additional information, please contact:

Claudette Dumont Smith, Executive Director
1-800-461-4043 or cdumontsmith@nwac.ca

14.05.14 Report Recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur Press Release

Please follow and like us:

NWAC Recognizes the Saskatchewan Government for Taking Action to Solve and Prevent Cases of Missing and Murdered by Establishing a Missing Persons Week

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 7, 2014 Ottawa, ON – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) congratulates the Saskatchewan Government for creating Saskatchewan Missing Persons Week for the week of May 4 to 10th, 2014. It is a week dedicated to hosting activities to solve cases and prevent future ones as well as honour those who have gone missing. The week’s activities will increase public awareness on the varied reasons persons may go missing and highlight five of the frequent causes.

Police agencies in Saskatchewan have jurisdiction over Missing Persons cases. For several years, all police services have been working together to share information on historical cases, which includes missing persons and cases of found human remains. This information is now being shared with the public in hopes of generating more tips to find missing persons.

Hundreds of people go missing every year, but most are returned safe and sound to their families and friends. In some cases they do not return, and the fear is that they have been a victim to foul play. The police have launched a web site which features the profiles of these missing people. One of the requirements for inclusion on this site is that they have been missing for more than six months and that they come from the province of Saskatchewan. Police continue looking for missing persons until the case is solved or until all investigational avenues have been exhausted.

Through the government initiative, the police are inviting everyone to view the information on this site. They have also released “Missing Person Week” videos to raise awareness with the public in order to resolve the cases and to help raise awareness for prevention on some of the ways people can go missing.. These releases are posted on behalf of the Provincial Partnership Committee on Missing Persons as part of Missing Persons Week in Saskatchewan. NWAC President Michèle Audette stated, “This is the kind of action that we need to see happen all over Canada – in a comprehensive way, so that we can put an end to the high rates of missing and murdered Aboriginal women’s cases that go unresolved and prevent more women from going missing.”

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 Nations, 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.

-30-

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

14.05.07 Saskatchewan Government Takes Action MMIW

Please follow and like us:

NWAC successfully completes the Evidence to Action II and looks forward to future projects addressing violence against Aboriginal women and girls

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 30, 2014 (Ottawa, ON) – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is celebrating today the successful conclusion of the Evidence to Action II (ETA II) project. The ETA II project was funded by the Status of Women Canada, with a budget of $1.89 M and operated between the periods of February 3, 2011 to April 30, 2014. The ETA II project was managed by the NWAC Violence Prevention and Safety department which receives 100% of their funding from the Status of Women Canada. The ETA II project grew out of the world renowned Sisters in Spirit Initiative (SIS) which ended in March 2010. The ETA II project represented the natural evolution of research and advocacy work generated by the SIS initiative through the development of tools and resources which served to meet the ETA II project objectives, which were to:

  • Strengthen the ability of communities, governments, educators and service providers to respond to issues that relate to the root causes of violence against Aboriginal women and girls, and;
  • Develop tools to support Aboriginal women, girls, families and communities to develop violence prevention strategies and respond to experiences of violence.

To undertake these objectives, seven key activities formed the ETA II project: SIS Vigils, Family Gatherings, Life Stories, Community Engagement Workshops, Community Resource Guide, a Clinical Tool and Knowledge Exchange. All project activity success indicators were successfully achieved and were exceeded in some cases. In total, it is estimated that approximately 58,553 individuals were directly engaged in the ETA II project, either through the SIS Vigils, the Community Engagement Workshops (example: Faceless Dolls), the Family Gatherings, and other activities.

“Today is bittersweet because although we have had these initiatives which were highly successful in raising the profile of Aboriginal women and the issue of violence and of the high rates of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls,” stated NWAC President Michèle Audette, “now that the ETA II project is over, we must lay off an entire team that has worked on violence prevention and who have the corporate memory.”

NWAC has submitted a new project proposal, Project PEACE to the Status of Women Canada. Project PEACE represents the best next step in moving forward in this field of work and we are excited to hear a positive response on this submission soon.

Project PEACE is designed to create safety nets for Aboriginal women and girls through Prevention, Education, Action, Change and Evaluation mechanisms. It will create a comprehensive tool, unlike any other in existence – that houses within one platform the processes to build the necessary safety nets for success for Aboriginal women and girls. The project proposes four key modules that respond to what has been learned throughout the SIS and ETA II projects, specifically professional development for service providers, engagement of Aboriginal women and girls, engagement of Aboriginal men and boys, and engagement of industry.

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 Nations, 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.

– 30 –

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

14.04.30 NWAC Completes ETA II

Please follow and like us:

NWAC President Honored As Nation Builder By Enbridge Famous 5 Ottawa

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 29, 2014 Ottawa, ON – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) congratulates President Michèle Taïna Audette as recipient of the Enbridge Famous 5 Ottawa Award, Listening to the Drumbeat: Recognizing our past and honouring our future with Aboriginal Women.

The Enbridge Famous 5 Ottawa is honouring leading Canadian Aboriginal Women as Nation Builders on April 29th at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. The award is being bestowed upon President Audette as well as Allison Fisher, Executive Director of the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health Ottawa, and Betty Ann Lavallee, National Chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples.
The Mission Statement of the Famous 5 is to inspire Canadian women and girls to courageously lead change that contributes to a society without boundaries for women, in the spirit of the Famous Five, ‘Integrity, Courage, Initiative, Determination, and Equality form the basis of all we do’.

In Canada today, Aboriginal women face systemic inequality, racism, and sexism. This inequality is built upon the colonial legacy of the Canadian government, which undermined equality between Aboriginal men and women with the legalization of sexist and racist discrimination in successive pieces of legislation contained in the Indian Act. President Audette has been working to undo this discrimination and forward the rights of Aboriginal women across Canada.

Some of President Audette’s achievements to date have been raising the profile of key issues, such as women’s health, safe housing for Aboriginal women, and youth issues. She continues to represent Aboriginal women and push for more recognition and priority for their place on the political agenda in Canada.

President Michèle Taïna Audette follows in the footsteps of her mother, respected Innu activist Evelyne St-Onge, who inspired Audette to advocate on behalf of Aboriginal women and raise decision-makers’ awareness of the inequities of Aboriginal peoples. President Audette urges that “we must work together, leaders and governments, to manifest the realization of the aspirations and promise of a better future for Aboriginal women, the most disadvantaged group in Canada.” Education and economic security, safety, and skills and training will provide Aboriginal women with options and empower them to become leaders and vital parts of the communities in which they reside.

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.

-30-

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

14.04.29 NWAC President honoured as Nation Builder by Enbridge Famous 5 Ottawa

Please follow and like us: