Vision Statement

NWAC envisions a world where Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people: 

“…have the right to the full enjoyment, as a collective or as individuals, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognised in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights laws.”

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Article 1

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Summary

For almost 500 years, the human rights of Indigenous peoples have been violated by colonizers. These violations of human rights have included the kidnapping of Indigenous men, women and children, the removal of children from their homes and placed in residential schools, Indigenous children taken from their families and placed in foster care and forced sterilization. These human rights violations as well as many more have been determined by the Inquiry for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls amount to “genocide”.

Contrary to what many people think, human rights violations are not isolated acts of the distant past. The last residential school closed in 1996, the abduction of Indigenous children to place them in foster care or for adoption occurred between the 1960’s to the 1980’s.

Today the new residential schools and 60’s scoop is the child welfare system, known as the millennium scoop. According to the Canadian government there are some 28,661 children in foster care, mean while 14,970 are Indigenous children. This means 52% of all children in foster care are Indigenous. Compare these numbers to the total number of children in Canada, and Indigenous children make up 7.7% of all children in Canada.1

According to the Canadian Poverty Institute 25% of Indigenous peoples live in poverty and 40% of Indigenous children live in poverty.2

Consistent with the conditions of poverty, Indigenous peoples are much more likely to experience homelessness than non-Indigenous peoples. The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness in 2017, reported that Indigenous people are 8 times more likely to experience homelessness than non-Indigenous peoples.3

Indigenous peoples also suffer from much higher than average food insecurity. Feed the Children reported that Indigenous children and adults living on and off the reserve range from 21% to 83% food insecurity compared to 3% to 9% for Canadians.4

Human rights violations against Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people continue to occur in Canada. Indigenous women’s voices must be heard by the governments of Canada and action must be taken to end these human rights violations.

Recommendations

  1. The Canadian government enact UNDRIP through legislation.
  2. The Canadian government implement meaningful Calls for Justice by the Inquiry on MMIWG.
  3. The Canadian government adopt all human rights declarations by the United Nations and the Organization of American States.
  1. Government of Canada “Reducing the Number of Indigenous Children in Care”< https://www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1541187352297/1541187392851>.
  2. Canadian Poverty Institute “Poverty in Canada” < https://www.povertyinstitute.ca/poverty-canada>.
  3. The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness “About Homelessness” < https://www.homelesshub.ca/about-homelessness/population-specific/indigenous-peoples >.
  4. Feed the Children Canada “The Challenges Facing Children” <https://canadianfeedthechildren.ca/where/canada/>.