Giving Voice to Families

NWAC Life Stories

For years, communities have pointed to the high numbers of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada. The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) has been honoured to work with families of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls to share the story of their loved one. As part of the storytelling process, families’ are also invited to share their experiences with the justice system, media, victim services and other institutional and community supports. Storytelling is a way of teaching and learning. The stories shared by family members are intended to raise awareness, educate, and promote change. They have been told to honour the daughters, sisters, mothers and grandmothers that have been lost to violence and remember those still missing. This is what their stories tell us.

NWAC Digital Stories

The Life Stories are a part of Evidence to Action II (ETA II), a project funded by Status Women Canada. These “digital” Life Stories build on NWAC’s legacy of working directly with families who have a missing or murdered loved one and highlights the importance of sharing, caring, raising awareness and working towards prevention. This unique process enabled family members to share the life story of their daughter, sister, mother or grandmother and reflect on their experiences with the justice system, the media, victim services and other support services. These three new Life Stories are a new addition to the eleven life stories in print.

What Their Stories Tell Us

In 2005, NWAC secured funding for the Sisters In Spirit initiative – a five-year research, education and policy initiative supported by Status of Women Canada – to address the root causes, circumstances and trends of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls. NWAC has collected the evidence to document, in systematic way, issues of violence that women, families, and communities had been pointing to for the last generation. What Their Stories Tell Us: Research findings from the Sisters In Spirit initiative brings together five years of research related to missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada. The purpose of this report is to answer three fundamental questions: What are the circumstances, root causes and trends leading to violence against Aboriginal women in Canada? How many Aboriginal women and girls have gone missing or have been found murdered in Canada? And, why this violence has led to such disturbingly high numbers of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada without connection by police or justice authorities?