November 26, 2019

(Ottawa, ON): Gender-based violence, particularly as it relates to Indigenous women and girls in Canada, is the focus of next week’s 3 day visit to Canada by Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS).
Mr. Almagro’s visit to Canada follows a formal invitation issued by the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) during a meeting held with CEO Lynne Groulx in June, 2019, at an OAS meeting in Medellin, Colombia. The OAS, which brings together all 35 independent states of the Americas and constitutes the main political, juridical and social governmental forum in the hemisphere. The OAS is establishing an expert panel following the findings of genocide by the National Inquiry. As the leading political voice of Indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse people in Canada, NWAC has been front and center in advocating for their social, economic, cultural and political well-being, and in pushing for progress on the implementation of the 231 Calls for Justice.
While in Canada, Mr. Almagro will gain a first-hand perspective on the challenges that Canada’s Indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse people face during a visit of Indigenous communities with NWAC President Whitman and CEO Lynne Groulx on December 5th.
“We are pleased to host an international dignitary with such a prominent international portfolio. The OAS Secretary General’s timely attendance is clear evidence that the international human rights community is watching Canada and our response to the Calls for Justice,” says Ms. Whitman.
It is also opportune that Mr. Almagro’s visit falls during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which is an international campaign that runs annually from November 25 (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) to December 10 (World Human Rights Day). The 16 Days are designed to unite with partners around the world and reflect on what we can each do in our own communities and in our own lives to eliminate the disproportionate violence faced by women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA individuals.
“The OAS Secretary General’s visit during this important campaign will help shine an international light on the crisis that has devastated Indigenous communities across Canada,” adds Ms. Whitman.

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For media inquiries:
Joan Weinman
(613 294 5679
joanweinman@rogers.com