NWAC was founded to help establish equality in Canada for Aboriginal women. To achieve this, NWAC has continued to make progress on Aboriginal women’s rights and issues through partnerships and ally building, advocacy, engaging with various bodies and organizations that impact on Aboriginal women’s human rights, and developing resources on human rights to inform and empower.
NWAC has worked to raise the profile of many issues in order to address them such as: all forms of violence against women, the lack of justice response and the general treatment by the justice system often leading to the high rates of Aboriginal women being criminalized and in prison; the under-funding to on-reserve education; ongoing racism and discrimination that Aboriginal women continue to experience from other Canadians; lack of economic benefits, training and poverty; high rates of trafficking and sexual exploitations that targets Aboriginal girls and women; lack of access to running clean water, and other basic human rights.
NWAC continues to work with our many partners through several Coalitions to advance the rights of Indigenous women. One example of such work includes our research and working with women who have been sexually exploited such as our participation as Interveners in the Bedford case which went to the Supreme Court of Canada. The Bedford case focused on the issue of the legalization of prostitution, where we argued to criminalize traffickers, pimps, and johns but not women and to eradicate poverty and discrimination to offer Aboriginal women true choices.
NWAC has worked with the Canadian Human Rights Commission to develop the resource, “Your Guide to Understanding the Canadian Human Rights Act”, which is a guide for First Nations communities and individuals to understand how the Canadian Human Rights Act applies to them. Along with this resource, NWAC has developed a few other quick summary guides, “Understanding the Canadian Human Rights Act”, “Developing Community-Based Dispute Resolution Processes in First Nations Communities”, “Human Rights for First Nations”, “Additional Resources on the Repeal of Section. 67 of the Canadian Human Rights Act”, and the, “NWAC Report on the Five-Year Review of the Impacts of the Repeal of Section 67 of the Canadian Human Rights Act”. Also included is the Canadian Human Rights Commission resource, “A Toolkit for Developing Community-based Dispute Resolution Processes in First Nations Communities”.