Nunavut Joins NWAC to have Inuit Women’s Voices Heard. The Nunavut Inuit Women’s Association is now a Provincial Territorial Member Association of NWAC

Ottawa, ON- The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is proud to welcome a new Provincial Territorial Member Association (PTMA) representing Nunavut, the Nunavut Inuit Women’s Association (NIWA). This is an important and historic step for NWAC to bring the voices of Inuit women to the national level and the first time NWAC has PTMAs in all provinces and territories.

NIWA is a voice for Inuit women who seek to advance political empowerment for Inuit women in all spheres of life. As an organization, NIWA seeks to promote Inuit women in leadership roles, address challenges limiting equity, facilitate economic empowerment, and create programs to address the intergenerational impacts of colonization and ongoing inequities.

“NWAC is excited to welcome NIWA to our Provincial Territorial Member Associations. It is through our PTMAs that we bring the voices of grassroots women to the national level. With NIWA we can empower Inuit women living in Nunavut,” said NWAC CEO Lynne Groulx.

The President of NIWA is Madeleine Redfern, an Inuk politician and the mayor of Iqaluit, Nunavut. She is a businesswoman, the first Inuk woman to be offered a clerkship at the Supreme Court of Canada, a founding member of the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health and a strong social advocate.

Along with Madeleine, NIWA board members Pamela Gross, Ningeolaa Killiktee, Mary Killiktee, Meeka Kiguktak, and Jasmine Redfern bring a diversity of knowledge, skills and lived experience, and will utilize their combined expertise to advocate for the rights of Inuit women living in Nunavut.

With this new relationship comes opportunities to strengthen our advocacy, and NWAC is eager to begin working with NIWA to bring the distinct needs and priorities of Inuit women to the national level.

-30-For more information please contact Lucy Juneau – Director of Communications 
[email protected] | 343-997-3756

NWAC STATEMENT ON DEFEAT OF BILL S-215, AN ACT TO AMEND THE CRIMINAL CODE (SENTENCING FOR VIOLENT OFFENCES AGAINST INDIGENOUS WOMEN)

Trigger warning: this statement contains discussion and themes that may be retraumatizing for families of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people, and survivors of violence.

NWAC is deeply disappointed that Bill S-215, an Act to Amend the Criminal Code (sentencing for violent offences against Indigenous women) was defeated at the Second Reading of the House of Commons on Tuesday April, 10. Introduced in 2015 by Senator Lillian Eva Dyck, Bill S-215 represented recognition of the fact that Canada’s colonial history means that crimes happen to Indigenous women for distinct reasons, and seeks to have violent offenders punished accordingly.  

The causes and outcomes of violence against Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people are often the product of Canada’s legacy of colonialism and genocide. The bill recognized that because crimes happen to Indigenous women for different reasons, they require a different response.

As a supporter of this bill, NWAC hoped it would be an important step forward with respect to the urgent issues Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people face today such as heightened likelihood of disappearance, human trafficking, violent crimes, and forced and coerced sterilization. NWAC hoped the House of Commons would see Bill S-215 as a step towards justice for Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people who face so much discrimination in Canada’s legal system.

Reconciliation requires that Canada recognize the harmful impacts of colonialism, and take tangible action to enable safety and justice for Indigenous women. Words and promises are meaningless without action. Reconciliation is not achieved through empty promises.

Indigenous women have been denied justice in the colonial system for far too long, and we will not forget or stand by quietly while it continues to happen.

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For more information please contact Lucy Juneau – Director of Communications
[email protected] | 343-997-3756


FIRST NATIONS WOMEN LEADERS DEMAND AN END TO INDIAN ACT SEX DISCRIMINATION

Media Advisory – Media Conference April 9, 2019, Ottawa Avis aux médias – Conférence de presse le 9 avril 2019, Ottawa Le français suit.

When: Media conference 12:30 p.m. April 9

Where: Press Conference Room in 135-B West Block, Parliament Buildings, Ottawa.

What: First Nations women leaders will gather in Ottawa on April 9 to demand an end to Indian Act sex discrimination before the election. The sex discrimination can be removed by Order-in-Council, because provisions are already included in Bill S-3 that will have the effect of removing the core of the sex discrimination. Those provisions are not in force, but can be brought into force by a Cabinet decision, any Tuesday. The sex discrimination in the Indian Act is 143 years old.

Who: Sharon McIvor is a Thompson Indian and a member of the Lower Nicola Band. She is a lawyer who challenged the sex discrimination in Canada’s courts, and filed a petition with the United Nations Human Rights Committee, which resulted in a ruling on January 11, 2019 that the sex discrimination violates Canada international human rights obligations to guarantee equality to First Nations women and equal enjoyment of culture. Francyne Joe is a proud member of the Nlaka’pamux Nation in British Columbia. She is the President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada. Dawn Lavell Harvard is a member of the Wikwemikong First Nation. She is the President of the Ontario Native Women’s Association. Viviane Michel is an Innu woman from Maliotenam. She is the President of Quebec Native Women. Jeannette Corbiere Lavell, along with Yvonne Bedard, brought the first legal challenge to the -sex discrimination in the Indian Act in 1973, and has been a lifelong advocate for the rights of First Nations women. Dr. Pamela Palmater is a Mi’kmaw citizen and member of the Eel River Bar First Nation in northern New Brunswick, a lawyer and the Chair in Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University. Senator Lillian Dyck is a member of the Gordon First Nation in Saskatchewan. She is the Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, and has been a champion of equality for First Nations women.

For further information, please contact:

Shelagh Day: [email protected]; 604-872-0750 NWAC: Lucy Juneau, – Director of Communications, [email protected], 343-997-3756 ONWA: Andre Morriseau, Communications Manager, [email protected], 647-970-7661 QNW: Miriam Fillion – Communication Officer, [email protected], 819-460-5552 0000

Un message en français suivra.

8 avril 2019

DES REPRÉSENTANTES DES FEMMES DES PREMIÈRES NATIONS EXIGENT LA FIN DE LA DISCRIMINATION BASÉE SUR LE SEXE DANS LA LOI SUR LES INDIENS

Quand: Conférence de presse le mardi 9 avril 2019, à 12h30

Où: Salle de conférence de presse 135-B, Édifice de l’Ouest du Parlement, Ottawa.

Quoi: Les représentantes des femmes des Premières Nations se réuniront à Ottawa le 9 avril pour demander la fin de la discrimination sexiste dans la Loi sur les Indiens avant les élections. La discrimination fondée sur le genre peut être supprimée par décret, car le projet de loi S-3 contient déjà des dispositions qui auront pour effet de supprimer l’essentiel de la discrimination fondée sur le genre. Ces dispositions ne sont pas encore entrée en vigueur, mais peuvent être mises en œuvre par une simple décision du Cabinet, qui se réunit chaque mardi. Rappelons que la discrimination fondée sur le sexe dans la Loi sur les Indiens persiste depuis 143 ans.

Qui: Sharon McIvor est une autochtone Thompson et membre de la bande de Lower Nicola. Avocate, elle a contesté la discrimination fondée sur le genre devant les tribunaux canadiens et a déposé une plainte auprès du Comité des droits de l’Homme des Nations Unies, lequel a conclu le 11 janvier 2019 que la discrimination fondée sur le genre dans la Loi sur les Indiens contrevient aux obligations internationales du Canada en matière de droits humains de garantir le droit à l’égalité des femmes des Premières Nations et de leur permettre de jouir de leur culture de façon égale. Francyne Joe est fière membre de la nation Nlaka’pamux en Colombie-Britannique. Elle est présidente de l’Association des femmes autochtones du Canada. Dawn Lavell Harvard est membre de la Première Nation Wikwemikong. Elle est présidente de l’Ontario Native Women’s Association. Viviane Michel est une femme innue originaire de Maliotenam. Elle est la présidente de Femmes autochtones du Québec. Jeannette Corbiere Lavell accompagnée de Yvonne Bedard a lancé le premier recours judiciaire contre la discrimination fondée sur le genre dans la Loi sur les Indiens en 1973. Elle a toujours défendu les droits des femmes des Premières Nations. Pamela Palmater, citoyenne mi’kmaw et membre de la Première Nation d’Eel River Bar dans le nord du Nouveau-Brunswick, est avocate et présidente du conseil d’administration de la gouvernance autochtone à l’Université Ryerson. La sénatrice Lillian Dyck est membre de la Première Nation Gordon en Saskatchewan. Elle est présidente du Comité sénatorial des peuples autochtones et travaille activement pour la défense du droit à l’égalité des femmes des Premières Nations.

Pour plus d’informations, veuillez contacter:

Shelagh Day: [email protected]; 604-872-0750 NWAC: Lucy Juneau, Directrice des communications, [email protected], 343-997-3756 ONWA: André Morriseau, Directeur des communications, [email protected], 647-970-7661 FAQ: Miriam Fillion – Responsable des communication, [email protected], 819-460-5552

NWAC calls for an international alliance to end human trafficking of Indigenous women and girls at 63rd session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

Ottawa, ON- This week, the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is attending the 63rd session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the UN headquarters in New York.

Today, NWAC will be attending a session hosted by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on “Preventing the Trafficking of Women and Girls for Sexual Exploitation: Understanding States Obligations to Address Demand Under the Palermo Protocol.” We must address the overrepresentation of Indigenous women as victims of human trafficking globally. 

In Canada, Indigenous women make up four per cent of the population, but are roughly 50% of the trafficking victims. We know this is not only a Canadian issue, but an international issue as well. Around the world, Indigenous women experience violence at disproportionate rates. It is time for an international commitment to address these issues.

Within NWAC’s recently signed Accord with Canada, our first priority is to improve the well-being of Indigenous women, which includes addressing domestic and international human trafficking. NWAC emphasizes that human trafficking has no boundaries or borders, and calls for an international alliance of women to end human trafficking.  

Our women and girls deserve better. Let’s work together to create a safer future for Indigenous women globally.


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For more information please contact Lucy Juneau – Director of Communications.

[email protected] 343-997-3756 8sϋ

NWAC hosted side event at the 63rd session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

Ottawa, ON- Today marks the beginning of the 63rd session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the UN headquarters in New York. Global leaders, non-profit organizations, UN member states and activists from around the world gather to discuss the rights and empowerment of women and girls. The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is attending to represent the distinct perspectives of Indigenous women across Canada.

NWAC hosted a side event today titled, “Empowering Indigenous Women in Canada” to discuss violence against Indigenous women and girls in Canada, employment development, access to supports and best practices, and gaps in services.

NWAC Executive Director Lynne Groulx identified an urgent need for healing services in Canada stemming from colonialism and different forms of inter-generational traumas noting survivors are in acute need of culturally appropriate services. 

In Canada, systemic racism and the legacy of colonialism continue to hinder equal access to basic infrastructure, public services and social supports for Indigenous women and girls. Many of our communities do not have access to clean water, transportation, equitable healthcare, safe housing, and essential services. Yet, many view Canada as a global leader for human rights.

In 2019, there is no excuse for these ongoing inequities. Indigenous women must be at all decision-making tables on all issues affecting our lives. It’s time Indigenous women lead the change.

NWAC looks forward to connecting with other organizations, leaders, and activists advocating for women’s rights and gender equality globally throughout the week. We must surpass colonial boarders to form an international alliance of Indigenous women and strengthen the international alliance of all women to make gender equality a reality.

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For more information please contact Lucy Juneau – Director of Communications.

[email protected] 343-997-3756

NWAC MEETS WITH THE PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE

Ottawa, ON—Today, the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) met with the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous Services Seamus O’Regan, and Minister for Women and Gender Equality Maryam Monsef.

After the historic signing of the Canada-NWAC Accord, this is the second step in establishing a renewed relationship where NWAC is recognized as a full and equal participant.

Discussions included the implementation of the Canada-NWAC Accord and the importance of our participation in the development of all policies, programs, and legislation to ensure a culturally-relevant gender based lens is applied. NWAC’s leadership and expertise ensures the specific and necessary inclusion of Indigenous women, girls, and gender diverse people.

NWAC stressed the need for social and cultural innovation initiatives including funding for culturally appropriate healing and healthcare services. With the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls closing, there is an urgent need for healing. NWAC’s upcoming Resiliency Centre led the dialogue, as it will facilitate important healing, honouring and commemoration resources and activities in NWAC’s new building.

NWAC also advocated for the full implementation of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Ongoing collaboration between NWAC and Canada on these key items is vital to advance a reconciliation process to decolonize, creating policies, programs, and legislation that enables self-determination, safety, and justice.

NWAC is optimistic this is the beginning of a productive dialogue, and an indication of Canada’s commitment to Indigenous women, girls, and gender diverse people.

After decades of discrimination the #WomenOfNWAC deserve nothing less than full equality and inclusion, followed by tangible action. #OurVoicesMatter

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For more information please contact Lucy Juneau – Director of Communications.

[email protected] 343-997-3756

NWAC MEETS WITH NATIONAL COORDINATION OF INDIGENOUS WOMEN IN COLOMBIA (CONAMIC) TO SHARE KNOWLEDGE AND BUILD SOLIDARITY

Ottawa, ON- The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) met with delegates from the National Coordination of Indigenous Women in Columbia (CONAMIC) to discuss shared priorities and issues.

NWAC and CONAMIC found similarities among our Indigenous women including disproportionate rates of violence and human trafficking and difficulty reporting missing women or navigating the justice system.

NWAC emphasized the importance of international human rights mechanisms like the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) in our advocacy work both domestically and internationally and highlighted the necessity of taking a culturally relevant gender-based approach to this work.

“It is not just about Indigenous rights, we need gender based rights as well,” said Lynne Groulx, NWAC’s Executive Director.

Sharing knowledge and building solidarity among Indigenous women globally is a key tenant of NWAC’s international advocacy. NWAC and CONAMIC will work to form an alliance together to collaborate on shared issues, policy priorities, and the political empowerment of Indigenous women.

“We are forming a sisterhood of support between Indigenous women globally,” said Groulx.

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For more information please contact Lucy Juneau – Director of Communications 343-997-3756 – [email protected]

NWAC CALLS FOR TRUTH AND TRANSPARENCY AMIDST SNC-LAVALIN SCANDAL

OTTAWA, ON- NWAC was disappointed over the resignation of Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould as Minster of Veterans Affairs on Tuesday. As the only Indigenous woman in the federal cabinet, she provided an important perspective and key leadership on Indigenous issues. To truly advance reconciliation in Canada, the voices of Indigenous women, girls, and gender-diverse people must be heard at all levels of government.

Former Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould has not provided detailed reasons for her decision to resign. NWAC respects her right to speak for herself and will not engage in speculation about her decision to resign as Minister of Veteran Affairs. As a National voice representing women of many Indigenous Nations in Canada, NWAC believes in supporting the voices of Indigenous women, girls, and gender-diverse people. This means respecting that each person speaks for themselves.

As discussions about the SNC-Lavalin scandal continue, former Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould’s voice remains noticeably absent. To truly shed light on what happened, former Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould must be allowed to speak freely. Therefore, NWAC calls for truth and transparency, and the waiving of solicitor-client privilege. We all deserve to know the truth, and former Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould must be allowed to speak as the expert of her own experiences.

Furthermore, by the Prime Minister speaking publicly about former Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould’s resignation, his meeting with her and indicating that he put no pressure on her with respect to the SNC – Lavalin criminal charges, then the Prime Minister has waived the Government of Canada’s right to solicitor-client privilege.  By so doing, former Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould is allowed to speak freely before the Justice Committee.

NWAC is committed to upholding the principles of honesty and transparency in the work that we do, and we expect the same from our elected officials.

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For more information please contact Lucy Juneau – Director of Communications.

[email protected] 343-997-3756

Native Women’s Association of Canada Signs Accord

With the common goals of establishing a renewed Nation-to-Nation relationship between Indigenous Nations and Canada, the Government of Canada and the Native Women’s Association signed an Accord on February 1, 2019. The Accord will recognize NWAC as a full participant in decision-making processes at the national and international levels.

This Accord means Canada will work with NWAC to establish a reconciliation building process to decolonize, which includes meetings with the Prime Minister, Ministers, Deputy Ministers responsible for policy development and key federal Cabinet Ministers.

For too long, the voices of Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people have been silenced. Through this Accord, their perspectives and political voices will be heard and will assist the development and design process of programs, services, policies and laws.

Since 1974, NWAC has advocated for women, girls, gender diverse people and families of many Indigenous Nations, fighting for an inclusive world that understands and respects their diversity and uniqueness.

This historic Accord will allow NWAC and Canada to collaboratively address policy priorities including health and well-being (with particular attention to mental health), economic empowerment, youth well-being and leadership, environmental protection, housing, education, overrepresentation of Indigenous women in prisons, and international relationships, all of which directly affect the lives and rights of Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people.

NWAC and Canada agreed it is a shared priority to empower Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people, as leaders, in the design and the co-development of laws, programs services, operational practices and policies.

This Accord is a significant step towards healing and reconciliation. It’s time to end the legacy of colonialism, colonial attitudes, and gender-based violence wherever they remain in all Federal legislation, institutions, policies and operational practices.


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For more information please contact Lucy Juneau – Director of Communications [email protected] 343-997-375

                                                         

NWAC TO ATTEND OFFICIAL GLOBAL LAUNCH EVENT OF THE 2019 INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES

Ottawa, ON— On Monday, 28 January 2019, NWAC President Francyne Joe and Executive Director Lynne Groulx are attending the official global launch event of 2019 Year of Indigenous Languages.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) co-organized the event.

This will bring together government officials, Indigenous peoples, academia, media, civil society, United Nations agencies, private sector bodies, and more, to UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France. The theme for the event is:

“Indigenous languages matter for sustainable development, peace building and reconciliation.”

Indigenous languages contain our worldviews, cultures, and identities. Language revitalization is cultural revitalization. It is a crucial component of reconciliation.

Indigenous women and gender-diverse people are keepers of tradition, culture, and language. We have an important role to play in language revitalization and NWAC is delighted to have the opportunity to bring the voices of grassroots Indigenous women, girls, and gender-diverse people to this International forum.

#WeAreIndigenous and it is time our voices are heard.

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For more information please contact Lucy Juneau – Director of Communications

[email protected] 343-997-3756 

UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE FINDINGS THAT INDIAN ACT STILL DISCRIMINATES AGAINST FIRST NATIONS WOMEN, NWAC URGES FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO ACT

Ottawa, ON— On January 14, 2019 the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) released a decision on Sharon McIvor’s petition claiming registration provisions in the Indian Act discriminate against First Nations women, and their descendants, on the basis of sex.

The Committee found Canada failed to adequately protect First Nations women from discrimination. They stated Canada is obligated to remove existing sex-based discrimination from the Indian Act. Canada must ensure all First Nations women and their descendants are eligible for Indian Status on equal footing as First Nations men.

For decades, grassroots Indigenous women, and organizations like NWAC have advocated for the removal of sex-based discrimination in the Indian Act. Sex-based discriminationmeans First Nations women are more likely to be disenfranchised and face barriers in accessing services like healthcare and housing.

Since 1985, numerous amendments try to remove sex-based discrimination from the Indian Act, but none achieved full equality for First Nations women and their descendants.

If implemented, the second phase of provisions under Bill S-3 would remove all of the sex-based discrimination McIvor, and people in her circumstances, face. UNHRC cautioned Canada to ensure similar violations do not occur again.

Canada has180 days to report back on measures taken to fix the issue. The federal government can easily take the necessary actions and set a specific date to implement the second phase of provisions under Bill S-3.

NWAC calls on the federal government to take immediate action. A more expansive approach is required to account for all discriminatory provisions, including the second generation cut-off rule and the burden of proof to establish “Indian parentage”.

This ruling is historic for many First Nations women and their descendants. Indigenous women deserve nothing less than full equality. Canada must act now. Canada must stop discriminating.

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For more information please contact Lucy Juneau – Director of Communications

[email protected] 343-997-3756

NWAC TO LEAD 2019 OTTAWA WOMEN’S MARCH WITH ASSEMBLY OF SEVEN GENERATIONS

Ottawa, ON – On Saturday January 19, 2019, the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) will gather on unceded Algonquin territory to participate in the 2019 Ottawa Women’s March. This year, NWAC will lead the march behind drummers from the Assembly of Seven Generations, a youth-led non-profit organization focused on cultural support and youth empowerment, and the Ogimaakwewak Singers.

The Ottawa Women’s March takes place on the same day thousands of people will rally in the streets throughout Canada and the world. The Women’s March is an annual global movement to raise awareness and advocate for legislative and policy changes concerning women’s rights, Indigenous rights, reproductive rights, environmental issues, 2SLGBTQ+ rights, racial equity, and more.

This year, NWAC marches to put an end to violence against women and girls. Due to the history and ongoing practice of colonization in Canada, Indigenous women, girls, and gender-diverse people experience disproportionate rates of violence. This must end.

For decades, NWAC worked to draw attention to the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) crisis and advocate to end violence against Indigenous women and girls. Any progress made in 2018 is not enough. There is still so much work to be done to achieve safety and justice for MMIWG and their families.

NWAC acknowledges the interconnected nature of our struggles, and looks forward to marching alongside other organizations, individuals, and allies working to create positive change in their communities.

It’s 2019. It’s time we #StopDiscriminating. It’s time all women are heard. It’s time to march.

Join the #WomenOfNWAC in our march for equality.

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For more information please contact Lucy Juneau- Director of Communications

[email protected] 343-997-3756

NWAC’s Executive Director Wins the Hope and Empowerment Award


Ottawa, On – The Embassy of Gabon in Canada honoured Lynne Groulx,  the Executive Director of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), as one of the 20 inspiring women from around the world at the 2018 Women Who Work Gala last night. Groulx received one of the highest awards of the evening, “The Hope and Empowerment Award”.
His Excellency Mr. Sosthène Ngokila, Ambassador of Gabon to Canada, said Ms. Groulx’s efforts are creating a Canadian society in which no woman is ever afraid to walk, lose her life or chances because of her status or race and in which no woman is afraid to defend her beliefs.
“Ms. Groulx is a model of success for many, fighting for women’s rights in Canada,” said Ambassador Ngokila.
“For me, hope means having full confidence that what I want, what I really aspire for the most, will actually materialize. For me, that kind of intense focus and visioning didn’t come naturally. It was a skill that I had to learn over time,” said Groulx.
“We know that we must heal ourselves individually, before we can heal as a community or a nation and before we can really become empowered. We cannot empower others if we ourselves are not empowered.”

For more information, you can visit Women Who Work Initiative’s website.
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NWAC’s Executive Director, Lynne Groulx, named one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women

Ottawa, ON – The Native Women’s Association of Canada’s (NWAC) Executive Director, Lynne Groulx LL.L., J.D., was named one of Women’s Executive Network (WXN) 2018 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner presented by KPMG.

Groulx was recognized in the “Trailblazers & Trendsetters” category for being the first in her field making outstanding contributions to Canadian society. She is paving the way for culturally appropriate and gender-specific services and supports for Indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse people at NWAC with the upcoming launch of its new building the “Social and Cultural Innovation Centre”.

NWAC’s new building will feature a Resiliency Centre, an Indigenous-led health and wellness centre to promote healing for survivors and their families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG). There is a current gap in Canada and a desperate need for culturally safe supports, especially with the National Inquiry into MMIWG coming to a close.

“It’s an honour to be recognized as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women, especially among so many other inspirational women who have made significant contributions influencing a better future for everyone,” said Groulx. “I hope this will shed light on the importance of culturally appropriate and gender-specific services.”

The Top 100 Winners pays tribute to women across Canada who serve as an inspiration for the next generation of leaders.

“All 100 are role models for the generations who will follow – which is why it’s very important to recognize and celebrate their great achievements,” said Sherri Stevens, CEO of WXN.

For a full list of winners, please visit https://wxnetwork.com/wxn/top100winners/.

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For more information please contact Lucy Juneau – Director of Communications 

[email protected] 343-997-3756

NWAC Condemns Ontario Government’s Decision to Debate Existence of Gender Spectrum

Ottawa, ON – On November 20, 2018, NWAC remembers and honours the Two-Spirit, Trans, and non-binary Indigenous people victimized and killed as a result of transphobic and racial violence. In this spirit, we condemn the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party’s recent resolution to debate the existence of the gender spectrum. These people are loved, valued, and their existence and worth cannot be voted on or debated.

Different forms of violence are too common in the lives of Indigenous Two-Spirit and LGBTQ+ individuals. Marginalization and systemic discrimination have reduced both the availability and accessibility of supports and services, meaning Indigenous people who are Trans also face additional obstacles to accessing basic services such as healthcare, housing, and employment.  This is particularly true for Indigenous youth.

In the face of transphobic and colonial violence, Trans, Two-Spirit, and non-binary Indigenous folk have demonstrated incredible strength and resilience. They are leaders, healers, and crucial parts of our communities. It is essential they can safely access services, participate in ceremony, and are present at decision-making tables impacting their lives, not erased.

NWAC recently committed to building stronger and more responsive relationships with the Trans, non-binary, and queer-identifying Indigenous people we represent. We recognize by not responding to the gender diversity within our community, we risk replicating their oppression and erasure.

On this day of remembrance, we express our renewed solidarity to these communities and re-state our commitment to being respectful and accountable advocates in this work.

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For more information please contact Lucy Juneau – Director of Communications

343-997-3756 – [email protected]

NWAC LEFT OUT OF OVER 100 ENGAGEMENT SESSIONS ON FEDERAL RECOGNITION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF INDIGENOUS RIGHTS FRAMEWORK

Ottawa, ON – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is deeply alarmed the Government of Canada’s Recognition and Implementation of Indigenous Rights Framework will not recognize, represent or implement Indigenous women’s rights, voices or perspectives. Any Indigenous Rights Framework will fail if the federal government does not include NWAC as a full and equal participant.

Since February 14th, 2018, the department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs (CIRNA) held over 100 engagement sessions on the framework with over 1,600 participants. NWAC was not invited to a single engagement session.

As the only National Indigenous Organization representing all Indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse people, NWAC must be a full and equal partner throughout this process. The omission of NWAC from these discussions is discrimination and only further marginalizes Indigenous women.

Minister Carolyn Bennett stated on International Women’s Day 2018, “(t)o ensure the Framework is truly representative of the rights, needs and interests of all Indigenous peoples, we are making a special effort to ensure women’s voices are heard.” Thus far, Bennett has muted the voices of Indigenous women.

Minister Bennett wants to know “how to effectively dismantle colonial, patriarchal structures.” NWAC has answers.

NWAC must be included in discussions to represent the voices of Indigenous women in the development of this framework and to ensure their rights are implemented. We can provide the critical gender-based perspective for this framework to effectively represent all Indigenous women’s rights and voices. As the most vulnerable group in Canada, it is appalling the federal government is not taking more action to renew this relationship.

It is already too late for us to have equal participation, but it is not too late for NWAC to be a full and equal partner and to hear Indigenous women’s voices.

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Quotes

“The federal government continuously ignores and excludes NWAC from critical-decision making tables and discussions. A renewed relationship respects Indigenous women as equal partners. I fail to see how the current process for this framework includes and values Indigenous women as equals,” said NWAC President Francyne Joe.

“NWAC’s representation is fully inclusive and unique as we represent a multitude of Indigenous women and gender-diverse people who are First Nations, Métis and Inuit. These women can be status, non-status, disenfranchised, on reserve or off reserve. Without NWAC’s participation, many of these women are being left out and their voices ignored,” said NWAC President Francyne Joe.

 

Un message en français suivra.

 

 

L’AFAC EST EXCLUE DES SÉANCES DE MOBILISATION FÉDÉRALES AU SUJET DU CADRE DE RECONNAISSANCE ET DE MISE EN ŒUVRE DES DROITS DES PEUPLES AUTOCHTONES

OTTAWA (Ontario) – Ni les droits, ni les voix, ni les points de vue des femmes autochtones ne seront reconnus, représentés ou mis en œuvre par le Cadre de reconnaissance et de mise en œuvre des droits des peuples autochtones du gouvernement du Canada, ce qui inquiète vivement l’Association des femmes autochtones du Canada (AFAC).

Depuis le 14 février 2018, le ministère des Relations Couronne-Autochtones et des Affaires du Nord (RCAAN) a tenu plus de 100 séances de mobilisation au sujet de ce cadre auxquelles ont participé plus de 1 600 personnes. L’AFAC n’a pas été invitée à une seule de ces séances.

À titre du seul organisme autochtone national qui représente toutes les femmes, les filles et les personnes de diverses identités de genre autochtones, l’AFAC doit être partenaire à part égale et entière pendant tout le déroulement de ce processus. L’exclusion de l’AFAC de ces discussions est un acte discriminatoire et ne fait que marginaliser davantage les femmes autochtones.

La ministre Carolyn Bennett a déclaré à l’occasion de la Journée internationale des femmes 2018 : « Afin que le Cadre reflète véritablement les droits, les besoins et les intérêts de l’ensemble des peuples autochtones, nous déployons des efforts particuliers pour veiller à ce que les voix des femmes soient entendues. » Jusqu’ici, la ministre Bennett a désactivé les voix des femmes autochtones.

La ministre Bennett veut savoir quelles sont « les mesures à prendre pour démanteler efficacement les structures coloniales patriarcales ». L’AFAC a des réponses.

L’AFAC doit être incluse dans les discussions pour représenter les voix des femmes autochtones dans l’élaboration de ce cadre et pour garantir la mise en œuvre de leurs droits. Nous pouvons fournir le point de vue crucial fondé sur la notion de genre pour que ce cadre représente efficacement les droits et les voix de toutes les femmes autochtones. C’est consternant que le gouvernement fédéral n’en fasse pas davantage pour renouveler cette relation avec le groupe le plus vulnérable au Canada.

Il est déjà trop tard pour que nous participions à part égale, mais il n’est pas trop tard pour que l’AFAC soit une partenaire à part égale et entière et pour que les voix des femmes autochtones soient entendues.

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Citations

« Le gouvernement fédéral persiste à ignorer et exclure l’AFAC des tables et des discussions de prise de décisions d’importance critique. Une relation renouvelée respecte les femmes autochtones en tant que partenaires égales. Je ne vois pas comment les femmes autochtones peuvent être incluses et valorisées comme partenaires égales dans le processus actuel de ce cadre », a dit la présidente de l’AFAC, Francyne Joe.

« La représentation de l’AFAC est entièrement inclusive et unique, puisque nous représentons une multitude de femmes et de personnes de diverses identités de genre autochtones qui sont Métisses, Inuites et citoyennes des Premières Nations, avec ou sans statut, émancipées, sur ou hors réserve. Sans la participation de l’AFAC, un grand nombre de ces femmes sont exclues et leurs voix sont ignorées », a dit la présidente de l’AFAC, Francyne Joe.

 

For more information please contact Lucy Juneau, Director of Communications

[email protected] 343-997-3756

NWAC ANNOUNCES NEW LGBTQ2S+ UNIT

(Ottawa, ON) NWAC is excited to announce the creation of a new LGBTQ2S+ Unit dedicated to expanding and enhancing its advocacy efforts for Two-Spirit, LGBTQ+, and gender-diverse Indigenous people.

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.

For these reasons, NWAC is working purposefully towards filling the remaining gaps in our services and advocacy in order to better reflect the strength and diversity of our communities. Part of these efforts led to the creation of a LGBTQ2S+ Unit, focusing on education, outreach, and policy development.

NWAC’s LGBTQ2S+ Unit is committed to repairing and strengthening relationships with community members and organizations already engaged with this work. To begin this process, we have created two new positions in education and policy. If you have any questions, concerns, or want to share your thoughts on the new Unit’s direction, please feel free to contact:

RJ Jones – LGBTQ2S+ Educator – [email protected] – (343) 997-7626

Kim Wakeford – LGBTQ2S+ Policy Advisor – [email protected] – (613) 410-1501

The Unit is launching a survey to gather anonymous preliminary information on specific needs and barriers faced by Two-Spirit and LGBTQ+ Indigenous women and non-binary people. This information will guide the Unit’s future activities and shape policy, education, and language priorities.

Access the survey here: https://s.surveyplanet.com/QDbEd0Mle

If you or someone you know would like to fill out the survey, but do not have regular access to the Internet, please let us know and we will mail you a hard copy.

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L’AFAC ANNONCE SON NOUVEAU SERVICE LGBTQ2E+

OTTAWA (Ontario) – L’AFAC est fière d’annoncer la création d’un nouveau service LGBTQ2E+ voué au développement et à la mise en valeur de ses efforts de plaidoyer en faveur des personnes autochtones Deux-Esprits, LGBTQ+ et de diverses identités de genre.

En tant que groupe qui existe aux intersections entre la notion de « queer » (que l’on traduit par « altersexualité » et « allosexualité »), la transphobie et le racisme colonial, les membres autochtones des communautés LGBTQ+ et Deux-Esprits sont touchées de façon disproportionnée par la violence. La marginalisation réduit énormément la disponibilité et l’accessibilité de soutiens et de services; les Autochtones qui vivent au sein de ces groupes marginalisés sont confrontées à des obstacles additionnels lorsqu’il s’agit d’accéder à des services de base.

Pour ces raisons, l’AFAC travaille résolument à combler les écarts qui restent dans nos services et nos actions de plaidoyer afin de mieux refléter les forces et la diversité de nos communautés. Ces efforts ont mené notamment à la création d’un service LGBTQ2E+, axé sur l’éducation, le rayonnement et l’élaboration de politiques.

Le service LGBTQ2E+ de l’AFAC est déterminé à rétablir et renforcer les relations avec les membres des communautés et les organisations déjà engagées dans ce travail. Pour lancer le processus, nous avons créé deux nouveaux postes en matière d’éducation et de politiques. Si vous avez des questions ou des préoccupations ou si vous voulez faire savoir à la direction du nouveau service ce que vous en pensez, n’hésitez pas à communiquer avec :

Le service LGBTQ2E+ lance un sondage pour recueillir de l’information préliminaire anonyme sur les besoins des personnes autochtones Deux-Esprits, LGBTQ+ et non binaires. Cette information guidera les activités du service à l’avenir et modèlera ses priorités en matière de politiques, d’éducation et de langues.

Pour accéder au sondage en ligne : https://s.surveyplanet.com/QDbEd0Mle

Si vous voulez répondre au sondage, mais n’avez pas toujours accès à l’Internet, faites-nous le savoir et nous vous enverrons le sondage sur papier par la poste; la même chose s’applique à toute autre personne de votre connaissance qui serait dans cette situation.

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European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights Reaches out to the Native Women’s Association of Canada – Raises Concerns about Discrimination Against Indigenous Women in Canada

Ottawa, ON – Today, the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) met with representatives from the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) to discuss the ongoing systemic and aggravated forms of discrimination against Indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse people in Canada.

“The international community’s concern regarding the staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women in Canada demonstrates the need for action,” said NWAC’s President Francyne Joe. “It is important the world is aware of how colonization continues to negatively impact our women and how Canada is failing their obligations.”

DROI, made similarities between Indigenous women’s issues in Canada and Romani women in Europe. Soraya Post, a member of DROI pledged support to NWAC offering an alliance. Post is tired of fighting for equality and basic human rights for women.

“I don’t want an apology and I am tired of begging. I am demanding. I want action,” said Post.

NWAC’s President, Francyne Joe (left) and Soraya Post, a member of DROI (right).

Despite NWAC’s ongoing efforts to advocate for Indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse people, Canada has failed to include Indigenous women’s political voices at critical decision-making tables and to provide stable and equitable funding to NWAC.

“Our goal is to seek support from the international community to put an end to the discrimination against Indigenous women and the discrimination against NWAC as the organization that represents them,” said Joe.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Lucy Juneau–Director of Communications
343-997-3756 [email protected]

 

La Sous-commission des droits de l’homme du Parlement européen tend la main à l’Association des femmes autochtones du Canada et attire l’attention sur la discrimination envers les femmes autochtones au Canada

 

Ottawa (Ontario) – Aujourd’hui, l’Association des femmes autochtones du Canada a rencontré des représentantes de la Sous-commission des droits de l’homme (DROI) du Parlement européen pour discuter des formes de discrimination systémiques continues et aggravées envers les femmes, les filles et les personnes de diverses identités de genre autochtones au Canada.

« La préoccupation de la communauté internationale au sujet des taux effroyables de violence envers les femmes autochtones au Canada démontre la nécessité de passer à l’action », a dit la présidente de l’AFAC, Francyne Joe. « Il est important de noter que le monde est conscient du fait que la colonisation continue à avoir des effets négatifs sur nos femmes et que le Canada ne respecte pas ses obligations. ».

DROI a fait un parallèle entre les problèmes des femmes autochtones au Canada et ceux des femmes roms en Europe. Soraya Post, membre de DROI, a promis de soutenir l’AFAC par l’offre d’une alliance. Mme Post en a assez de se battre pour l’égalité et les droits fondamentaux des femmes.

« Je ne veux pas d’excuses et j’en ai assez de supplier. J’exige. Je veux de l’action », a dit Mme Post.

Malgré les efforts continus de l’AFAC, qui plaide en faveur des femmes, des filles et des personnes de diverses identités de genre autochtones, le Canada n’a pas inclus les voix politiques des femmes autochtones aux tables de prise de décisions essentielles et n’assure pas à l’AFAC un financement stable et équitable.

« Notre objectif est de demander le soutien de la communauté internationale pour mettre fin à la discrimination envers les femmes autochtones et à la discrimination envers l’AFAC à titre d’organisation qui les représente », a dit Mme Joe.

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POUR OBTENIR PLUS D’INFORMATION : Lucy Juneau, directrice des Communications

343-997-3756 [email protected]

Career Opportunity – Policy Advisor of Housing, Infrastructure, Food/Water and Emergency Services 

Job Posting:  Policy Advisor of Housing, Infrastructure, Food/Water and Emergency Services 

Reports to:           Director of Housing, Infrastructure, Food/Water and Emergency Services
Salary Range:      $50,000 to $55,000
Term:                      Permanent
Closing Date:       Open until filled
Location:               Ottawa

Summary

The Policy Advisor – Housing, Infrastructure, Food/Water and Emergency Services is involved in all aspects of the development and implementation of the Native Women’s Association of Canada’s strategies related to advocacy and policy from both a national and international perspective. This intermediate position will support developing and executing NWAC official positions in a number of policy areas pertaining to Housing, Infrastructure, Food/Water and Emergency Services.  This is an exciting opportunity to be part of a team that will make a difference in the lives of Indigenous women in Canada and around the world.

General duties

The NWAC Policy Advisor – Housing, Infrastructure, Food/Water and Emergency Services will:

  • Actively maintain a Housing, Infrastructure, Food/Water and Emergency Services family, policy work plan incorporating relevant priorities as identified by Senior Management and based on NWAC Board identified priorities, and operational needs;
  • Assist in providing technical expertise in the areas of Housing, Infrastructure, Food/Water and Emergency Services Policy development to the Executive Director;
  • Research policy issues and provide advice on international and domestic Housing, Infrastructure, Food/Water and Emergency Services policy issues impacting Indigenous women and girls;
  • Engage in background research, prepare fact sheets, briefing notes, documents and reports, and analyze data;
  • Undertake gender and inter-sectional analysis, as required;
  • Communicate and collaborate with governmental and non-governmental organizations as necessary;
  • Maintain regular and ongoing communications with the other NWAC departments;
  • Work with other NIO’s and NGO’s to address issues impacting Indigenous women and girls and gender diverse people;
  • Develop communications materials for NWAC communications unit and website in the area of housing, water, infrastructure and emergency management;
  • Assist in writing proposals; and,
  • Other related duties as required from time to time.

Studies and Work Experience Requirement

  • A post-secondary degree in political science, social science, law, gender studies or related field of study;
  • Minimum five (5) years of experience working with NGOs, organizations, interest groups and government, agencies or private, business/corporate entities;
  • Relevant experience working or volunteering with Indigenous peoples, groups, or organizations is an asset;

Key Skills

  • Strong writing and verbal communication skills in both plain language and academic styles;
  • Ability to work in a Team and good interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to carry out culturally-relevant gender-based analysis;
  • Ability to apply sound judgment and make decisions within the area, often on short notice;
  • Ability to prioritize, multi-task and organize work effectively and under pressure;
  • Ability to conduct research in cooperation and consultation with diverse stakeholders;
  • Ability to facilitate meetings;
  • Ability to supervise or carry out research, analyzes data, and advance effective advocacy and communication strategies under the supervision of the Director.

Knowledge Requirements

  • Knowledge and understanding of concerns and issues impacting Indigenous Peoples in Canada and internationally;
  • Knowledge and understanding of Indigenous Peoples in Canada, their cultures, histories and traditions;
  • Understanding and knowledge of key issues, and norms and standards relevant to promotion and protection of Indigenous women’s rights;
  • Strong understand of social policy;
  • Bilingualism is an asset

Please submit your resume and cover letter to:

Please submit your resume and cover letter to:
Christèle Goupy
Human Resources
1 Nicholas Street, 9th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7
[email protected]
(Email submissions preferred).

Preference will be given to Indigenous candidates.
Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.
Interviews will be held in Ottawa or by teleconference.

Career Opportunity – Director of Housing, Infrastructure, Food/Water and Emergency Services 

Job Posting: Director of Housing, Infrastructure, Food/Water and Emergency Services 

Reports to:            Managing Director of Policy
Salary Range:     $60,000 to $65,000
Term:                      Permanent
Closing Date:       Open until filled
Location:               Ottawa

Summary

The Director of Housing, Infrastructure, Food/Water and Emergency Services is involved in all aspects of the development and implementation of the Native Women’s Association of Canada’s framework and strategies related to advocacy and policy from both a national and international perspective. The Director of the Housing, Infrastructure, Food/Water and Emergency Services Unit will also work closely and collaboratively with all NWAC units in a number of other policy areas.  This is an exciting opportunity to be part of a team that will make a difference in the lives of Indigenous women in Canada and around the world.

General duties

The Director of the Family, Housing and Infrastructure will:

  • Supervise the Unit’s research, policy, project and administrative staff;
  • Provide strategic advice to the NWAC Executive Director related to policy and implementation surrounding Housing, Infrastructure, Food/Water and Emergency Services;
  • Prepare complex briefing notes, reports, position papers, letters and responses to correspondence within tight deadlines for the Executive Director and funders;
  • Develop policies, procedures, forms, templates and work instructions, as needed;
  • Work closely with NWAC communications to develop a communications strategy on housing, infrastructure, water and emergency services, including for social media; provide specific materials to the unit for a communications unit;
  • Ensure the application of a gender and inter-sectional perspective in all policy documents;
  • Monitor, review, help develop, and change legislation affecting Indigenous women and girls;
  • Maintain good relationships with government offices, partners, stakeholders, and members of the public;
  • Adhere to all standards of excellence in file management and record keeping;
  • Research policy issues and provide advice on international and domestic policy issues impacting indigenous women and girls as it related to Housing, Infrastructure, Food/Water and Emergency Services;
  • Ensure that Unit Team members implement environment scans, backgrounders, fact sheets, briefing notes, letters, press releases, position papers, reports and more;
  • Assign specific portfolio and tasks to team members as applicable;
  • Ensure proper consideration and application of culture and gender based lenses with a focus on Métis, Inuit and First Nations and the LGBTQ2S communities;
  • Develop and implement an NWAC strategic policy framework in the area of Housing, Infrastructure, Food/Water and Emergency Services;
  • Complete relevant administrative tasks;
  • Create an inspiring team environment with an open communication culture;
  • Set clear goals;
  • Communicate clear instructions to the team;
  • Manage the day-to-day operations of the unit;
  • Delegate tasks and set deadlines;

Studies and Experience Requirement

  • University degree in the area of policy, law, social sciences or other related studies or equivalent lived experience working on Indigenous issues will be considered;
  • Minimum of eight years of experience working in the area of policy;
  • Minimum of 8 years of experience in a managerial role;
  • Relevant experience working or volunteering with Indigenous peoples, groups, or organizations is an asset;
  • Experience in managing a diverse workforce;

Key Skills

  • Strong writing and verbal communication skills;
  • Ability to supervise a Team and good interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to carry out culturally-appropriate gender-based analysis (training will be provided);
  • Ability to apply sound judgment and make decisions within the area, often on short notice;
  • Ability to prioritize, multi-task and organize work effectively and under pressure;
  • Ability to conduct research in cooperation and consultation with the NWAC Provincial/Territorial Member Associations and with diverse stakeholders;
  • Ability to facilitate meetings;
  • Ability to work with a team;
  • Ability to carry out research, analyzes data, and advance effective advocacy and communication strategies under the supervision of the Executive Director.

Knowledge Requirements

  • Experience with managing a diverse workforce;
  • Knowledge of leadership and management principles and practices;
  • Knowledge and understanding of historical and contemporary concerns and issues  Indigenous
  • Understanding and knowledge of Indigenous issues, norms and standards relevant to promotion and protection of Indigenous women’s rights;
  • Knowledge and understanding of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and internationally, their cultures, histories and traditions;
  • Understanding and knowledge of Indigenous issues, and norms and standards relevant to promotion and protection of Indigenous women’s rights;
  • Some knowledge of key issues impacting Indigenous women and girls in Canada and internationally;
  • Some understanding of social policy (including violence prevention and impacts, housing, etc.);
  • Knowledge of government systems and bureaucracy with regards to funding, politics, public policy and legislation; and,
  • Bilingualism is an asset.

Please submit your resume and cover letter to:

Christèle Goupy
Human Resources
1 Nicholas Street, 9th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7
[email protected]
(Email submissions preferred).

Preference will be given to Indigenous candidates.
Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.
Interviews will be held in Ottawa or by teleconference.