Ottawa, ON, February 25, 2020 – The President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), Lorraine Whitman, today encouraged all sides to come together for a peaceful resolution to the ongoing protests against the proposed pipeline and First Nations lands:

Standing up for your land and title is of utmost importance to Indigenous Peoples in Canada. History has demonstrated over and over that reconciliation cannot be achieved through force, arrests, and violence. Short-term solutions to the protests such as forcibly removing protesters from their land, tearing down peaceful exhibits of iconic red dresses that signify violence against Indigenous women, or making arbitrary arrests does not work. What is needed is to address the long-standing problems that exist between the Crown and Indigenous Peoples.

We need to provide long-term resolution through meaningful and peaceful dialogue. Action must be taken towards dismantling the colonial and paternalistic systems that have led us to this place.

And we are not starting from scratch. We have had the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls deliver strong recommendations that must be implemented in order to address many of these long-standing issues. Reconciliation is not dead, as some have tried to claim. We can only resolve these long-standing, unresolved issues through partnership, communication and respect.

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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, Métis and Inuit women. NWAC is an aggregate of thirteen Native women’s organizations from across Canada and was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1974.

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