December 2, 2016 (Ottawa, ON) – For this year’s 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women, The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is proud to present “Voices in Honour: Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women & Girls.” The event takes place Monday, December 5th at 5:30pm at the Jock-Turcot University Centre on the University of Ottawa campus.
Speaker Tracie Léoste is visiting from Regina, Saskatchewan to share her inspiration for running and advice for with those wishing to take action to help end violence against women. A woman of Métis descent, Léoste ran an astounding 115 kilometres from Oak Point, Manitoba to The Forks in downtown Winnipeg to raise awareness for missing and murdered Indigenous women and raise funds for a not-for-profit organization designed to support the families of the missing and murdered in 2015. She was only 16 years old at the time.
Juno-nominated performer Amanda Rheaume identifies herself as Métis and often draws from her family history in weaving rich musical narratives. Her song ‘Red Dress’ is inspired by Métis artist Jaime Black’s REDress Project and brings attention to the high rates of gendered and racialized violent crimes against Aboriginal women occurring in Canada. Rheaume will play a short set that includes the powerful ‘Red Dress.’
NWAC hopes that this event will inspire attendees to take action and make a contribution to the movement to end violence against Indigenous women and, in solidarity, all women. “We will bring awareness to the epidemic of violence against Indigenous women and pay tribute to the missing and murdered Indigenous women of Canada,” offered NWAC Executive Director Lynne Groulx.
“I’ve been honoured to speak at the 16 Days opening press conference and the ‘End Violence Against Women Now’ panel hosted by KAIROS,” NWAC President Francyne Joe commented. “Violence against Indigenous women and girls is one of the core issues that NWAC is actively addressing and one that’s very personal to me.”
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.
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