NWAC SHARING KNOWLEDGE IN BOLIVIA, SOUTH AMERICA

February 26, 2018

OTTAWA – ON – The Native Women’s Association of Canada has accepted an invitation to visit South America to share experiences and best practices with Indigenous women in Bolivia.  Executive Director of NWAC, Lynne Groulx will provide her profound insights, passion for Indigenous women’s rights and knowledge with local organizations in the capital city of La Paz.

The Political Affairs section of the Canadian Embassy has been working with Indigenous women’s groups in this region of South America regarding women’s issues.  Following consultations and input, there was a strong desire to foster cooperation and exchange knowledge and experiences from Indigenous women in Canada.  Executive Director Lynne Groulx stated, “This is an opportunity to provide a broader understanding, share NWAC success stories and offer tools that will be of great value to Indigenous women in leadership in Bolivia.  This is a unique opportunity to bring Indigenous women from two different parts of the world together to share knowledge and experiences based on similar forms of injustice and inequities.”

During this mission, Executive Director Lynne Groulx will facilitate several presentations and consultations on Indigenous women in leadership, building the capacity of women’s organizations, engaging with government officials and combatting discrimination and violence against women.  The international visit began Sunday, February 25th and will continue through February 28th.  Groulx added, “Given the mandate of the Native Women’s Association of Canada, it will be an honour to confront these issues and initiate change for Indigenous women in Bolivia.”

NWAC will also travel to Brazil, South America at the end of March 2018 to provide Indigenous women leaders in Brazil with advocacy tools as it relates to the psychological and physical well being of Indigenous women.

-30 –

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.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Joël Lamoureux – Media Relations Officer – 613-722-3033 X100 – Cell 343-997-1354  jlamoureux@nwac.ca

www.nwac.ca

NWAC FAULTS BROKEN SYSTEMS WITH LACK OF JUSTICE FOR TINA FONTAINE

February 23, 2018

OTTAWA, ON – The Native Women’s Association of Canada is disheartened upon hearing the verdict in the Raymond Cormier murder trial.  Injustice has again been imposed on Tina Fontaine, her family and Indigenous people.  We are disillusioned that the social and justice systems that are supposed to protect children are doing exactly the opposite.

When will action be taken to change a justice system that is defective and unjust for Indigenous women, girls and two-spirited people?  NWAC President Francyne Joe stated, “The inequities, pain and helplessness caused by broken systems that Tina faced throughout her life are unimaginable for most.  Sadly, these same experiences have become normalized for Indigenous people.”  She added, “The guilty or not guilty verdict does not change the fact that another Indigenous child was mishandled by the system and became the victim of a violent crime.  As the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls visits Rankin Inlet this week, we are reminded of the importance of the Inquiry and the work that must be done to save lives.”

The Indigenous youth of our Nations are witnessing the tragic cases of victimization and marginalization of Indigenous women.  If Indigenous youth are to have a just future, the systems must change and the violence against Indigenous women must end.  Indigenous women, girls and two-spirited people are sacred and the devastating outcomes of their lives are much more than social or justice system statistics!  President Francyne Joe added, “The time for “wanting” to find solutions has long passed.  Indigenous people can no longer be marginalized and immediate action is critical.”

For the youth of our Indigenous Nations: we ask that you hear our important message for you.  You are the most precious gift to your family and to the world.  Hear our hearts and know that you are loved, important, equal, cherished, admired, respected, beautiful, valued and resilient. Know that you have unlimited power to follow your dreams.  Now more than ever, the country and the world need you to be true to who you are and be true to your spirit.  Do not let the actions of a few take away the pride you have for your culture and who you are.  You are the future.  Be proud of who you are, dream big, and believe in yourself.

Our love is with Tina Fontaine’s family and the countless Indigenous families that continue to suffer in silence.  Together, we join hearts across the Nations to honour the family and the legacy of Tina Fontaine.  NWAC will continue our advocacy work with families and survivors of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two Spirit individuals in order to demand that stories like Tina Fontaine’s are not repeated.

-30-
The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) was 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.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lynne Groulx – Executive Director – 613-722-3033  X223 – 1-800-461-4043  lgroulx@nwac.ca
Joël Lamoureux – Media Relations Officer – 613-722-3033 X100 – Cell 343-997- 1354  jlamoureux@nwac.ca

NWAC PREPARED TO ENGAGE ON NEW INDIGENOUS RIGHTS FRAMEWORK

February 16, 2018

OTTAWA, ON – The Native Women’s Association of Canada commends Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Government of Canada on the announcement of a new Indigenous framework that ‘will develop – in full partnership with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples – a Recognition and Implementation of Rights Framework.”  This apparent willingness to initiate change in full partnership with Indigenous people is a positive sign that Canada is committed to enhanced and renewed acknowledgment of Indigenous rights in Canada.

This thorough examination and implementation of a new framework must include the perspective and involvement of Indigenous women; therefore, “we anticipate the federal government will ensure that NWAC is a full partner and participant in engagement related to building and implementing the new Framework”, stated Francyne Joe, President of NWAC. Joe further stated, “Indigenous women are life holders and water carriers and collectively, NWAC represents a multitude of Nations of Indigenous women who are First Nations, Métis, Inuit. These women represent non-status women and girls and rights holders with Treaty rights, inherent rights, Métis rights, human rights and gender-based rights.  As a representative of Indigenous women, NWAC will provide the required gender-based perspective. In order to achieve success in this new Indigenous rights framework, the Government of Canada must include equal gender-based representation.”

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) requires particular attention to the rights and special needs of Indigenous Elders, women, youth, children and persons with disabilities.  Canada must recognize that Indigenous women have long recognized NWAC as their representative body at the regional, provincial, territorial, national and international levels.

The proposed Framework is a monumental undertaking and unprecedented.  The next steps will be telling and must help ensure success in this potentially historic redirection on the rights of Indigenous people of many Nations, as stated by the Prime Minister, these discussions will be in “full partnership with First Nations, Métis and Inuit people”.  In order for that to be true, it will include the distinct voice of Indigenous women through that of the Native Women’s Association of Canada.

-30-
The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) was 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.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Lynne Groulx – Executive Director – 613-722-3033  X223 – 1-800-461-4043  lgroulx@nwac.ca
Joël Lamoureux – Media Relations Officer – 613-722-3033 X100 – Cell 343-997-1354  jlamoureux@nwac.ca

NWAC KICKS OFF THE 5TH ANNUAL ABORIGINAL WOMEN’S BUSINESS ENTREPRENEURSHIP NETWORK CONFERENCE IN SASKATOON, SK

February 15, 2018

SASKATOON, SK – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is pleased to announce the beginning of the 5th Annual Aboriginal Women’s Business Entrepreneurship Network (AWBEN) Conference.  This year the conference takes place February 14 – 16 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan with more than one hundred registered participants.

These women are examples of leadership and true entrepreneurial spirit. Participants will further enhance their knowledge and skills at this AWBEN event.  Since 2012, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) have sponsored the event.  AWBEN addresses the very specific and unique challenges that Aboriginal women entrepreneurs face in business.  At the AWBEN conference, participants will learn, grow and network in a culturally supportive environment.  Within this conference is a strong focus on sustainable initiatives driven by community leadership.

NWAC Executive Director, Lynne Groulx says, “Indigenous women in business are some of the most dedicated and passionate entrepreneurs on the planet.  These women experience more hurdles than most in business.  Participants this weekend will leave with overflowing business toolkits ultimately leading to even more success.  NWAC welcomes this year’s Indigenous entrepreneurs and wishes each of them swift success in their individual businesses.”

This year’s AWBEN conference includes discussion panels, presentations, educational seminars and leadership relevant all levels of entrepreneurs.  The content for the weekend will include business planning, idea development, social media for entrepreneurs, funding, public relations, live business pitches and more.

Please share your experience and feedback using #AWBEN2018.
Follow the success stories and get involved by visiting www.awben.org.

– 30 –

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lynne Groulx – Executive Director – 613-722-3033  X223 – 1-800-461-4043  lgroulx@nwac.ca
Joël Lamoureux – Media Relations Officer – 613-722-3033 X100 – Cell 343-997-1354  jlamoureux@nwac.ca

MEDIA RELEASE – NWAC CALLING FOR REAL CHANGE TO JUSTICE SYSTEM

February 13, 2018

OTTAWA, ON – The Native Women’s Association of Canada adds their voice calling for real change to the Canadian justice system.  NWAC has been struggling to find the words to make a statement.   Most importantly, our thoughts are with the Boushie family, the Red Pheasant Nation and the people of Saskatchewan during this difficult time.

Justice was not served by this verdict and Colten Boushie is being victimized for a second time. NWAC President, Francyne Joe said, “As a mother I can’t begin to comprehend how this family must feel.  Consistently, Indigenous victims of violence are blamed for their victimization – the victims are put on trial. It happened to Tina Fontaine and now to Colten Boushie. It must stop.”

Upon learning of the verdict, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the justice system “…must do better.” Colten Boushie will not have a chance to speak.  This tragedy cannot be separated from the racism Indigenous people face every day.  The injustice is historic and the systemic racism continues to regulate Indigenous people as second-class citizens.  Very little progress has been made to right the wrongs of the past and the injustice in the system continues.

The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls crisis continues and horrific acts of violence continue.  Indigenous youth are being denied full and productive lives and fear in our communities is rooted in daily life.  As mothers, we are asking, “Will our child be next?”  As grand mothers, we are asking, “Will my family be next?” As women, we are asking, “Will I be next?”

NWAC continues to stand with all Indigenous peoples, united and fighting for real change and real justice.  NWAC calls on the Federal Government and the Canadian justice system to be better and ‘do better’ for the Indigenous people of many Nations on this land.

                                                                                                   – 30 –

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lynne Groulx – Executive Director – 613-722-3033  X223 – 1-800-461-4043  EMAIL

Joël Lamoureux – Media Relations Officer – 613-722-3033 X100- Cell 343-997-1354  EMAIL

150 KM WINTER WALK FOR SECOND MMIWG INQUIRY IN NORTHERN SASKATCHEWAN

February 9, 2018 – Ottawa, ON

Family members of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls from Northern Saskatchewan are in Saskatoon today to participate in a walk from the capital city, northward into Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. The purpose of the walk is to raise awareness to the fact that almost one hundred families have not had the opportunity to offer statements in the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

The original idea for the walk came from Pernell Ballantyne. Mr. Ballantyne’s sister, Monica Lee Burns was the victim of a murder in Prince Albert, SK. This is the second time organizing a walk following his first successful walk in 2015. “These missing and murdered women do not have a voice and justice has only heard one side of their story,” states Mr. Ballantyne. He added, “When the National Inquiry came to Saskatchewan, many families weren’t notified in time to make statements. At this moment, almost one hundred families have yet to share the voice of their missing and murdered family members. Women are sacred, and this walk will bring awareness for the need to have a second inquiry for northern Saskatchewan families.”

His co-organizers, Conrad Burns and Patricia Crowe are supporting the walk and are making the journey with him. Additionally, the Saskatchewan Aboriginal Women’s Circle Corporation, a Provincial Member of the Native Women’s Association of Canada, is providing strong local support. Judy Hughes, president of the SAWCC says, “It is crucial that the National Inquiry completes a second round of hearings in Saskatchewan to engage northern families, and that the National Inquiry is extended to a minimum of four years. Family members carry the hope and solution to helping end violence against Indigenous women and girls. We applaud Pernell and Conrad and wish them well on their journey today”.

Mr. Ballantyne and supporters will begin the walk at noon Central Time in Saskatoon, SK. The roughly one hundred and fifty-kilometre walk will take approximately sixty hours to complete. Organizers are requesting a second round of “statement gathering” from the National Inquiry in northern Saskatchewan so that those nearly one hundred families can share their stories.

For more than four decades, the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) has worked to document the systemic violence affecting Indigenous women, their families, and communities.
– 30 –
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

 

Lynne Groulx – Executive Director
Native Women’s Association of Canada
lgroulx@nwac.ca

Joël Lamoureux – Media Relations Officer
jlamoureux@nwac.ca

NWAC Reprimands Media For Coverage in Tina Fontaine Murder Trial

OTTAWA, ON – February 1, 2018

The Native Women’s Association of Canada is adamantly opposed to the media’s use of victim-blaming rhetoric and negative, unfounded stereotypes in their reporting in the Tina Fontaine murder trial.

Media outlets must instead focus on the actions of the accused. Victim blaming and focusing on narratives that perpetuate damaging stereotypes and myths about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls serve no purpose but to harm victims, survivors, and their families as they try to begin their healing process.  Tina Fontaine is not on trial.

NWAC calls on all members of the media to deeply consider the narratives they engage in and consider the damage to Indigenous families.  Consider the stereotypes and myths on which narratives are based before constructing stories and headlines that harm communities and families who are suffering.  NWAC works with these families and regularly witnesses the damage that negative media language and thoughtless coverage causes.

Tina deserves better. Tina’s family deserves better. The public deserves better.

-30 –

For more information, please contact:

Lynne Groulx                                         Joël Lamoureux
Executive Director                                Media Relations Officer
613-722-3033  x223                               613-722-3033 x100
1-800-461-4043                                     1-800-461-4043

EMAIL LYNNE                                      EMAIL JOËL

Follow NWAC on: Twitter –  FacebookInstagram      www.nwac.ca

 

NWAC Brings the Voice of Many Nations of Women to Emergency CFS Ottawa Meeting

OTTAWA, ON – January 25, 2018

Representatives from Indigenous groups as well as government officials gathered in Ottawa for an emergency meeting on Indigenous child welfare issues in Canada.  Minister of Indigenous Services, The Honourable Jane Philpott, has stated that the issue of child welfare affecting Indigenous children in Canada has become a humanitarian crisis.

After the first day of a two day summit, voices from across the country are being heard.  The Native Women’s Association of Canada was embedded in meaningful conversation with leaders of communities and government stakeholders.  President Francyne Joe stated, “Indigenous women from the many nations in this country reach out to NWAC on a daily basis confirming the need to represent their voices and be a conduit to initiate change.”  The President added, “We take this responsibility seriously and we are here to represent Indigenous women as we have since 1974.  These generational issues ranging from foster care, health care and overall child welfare are pillars of importance, and we anticipate that this summit will finally initiate tangible change for the future”.

For more than 40 years NWAC has advocated on behalf of Indigenous women and today we shared the voice of these women at this historic emergency meeting.  President Joe said, “It is an incredibly complicated matter that we can’t undo in two days.  However, today we touched on important questions regarding policy on foster care and the removal of Indigenous children from their homes, the value of keeping Indigenous culture at all times for children that enter foster care and equality in health care for Indigenous children.  This is just scratching the surface, but we are encouraged.”

-30-

For more information, please contact:

Lynne Groulx                                         Joël Lamoureux
Executive Director                                Media Relations Officer
613-722-3033  x223                               613-722-3033 x100
1-800-461-4043                                     1-800-461-4043

EMAIL LYNNE                                      EMAIL JOËL

Follow NWAC on: Twitter –  FacebookInstagram      www.nwac.ca

NWAC DISMAYED WITH ONGOING ISSUES AT NATIONAL INQUIRY

OTTAWA, ON – January 11, 2018

The Native Women’s Association of Canada was shocked and outraged to learn today that Debbie Reid, Executive Director of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls has resigned.

First and foremost, our thoughts are with survivors of violence and with the families of the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls who are again having to endure very upsetting news from the Inquiry.  These families have faced insurmountable obstacles coming to terms with personal tragedy; this resignation creates instability and a further setback at the National Inquiry.

In the second of two report cards issued by NWAC in 2017 on the status of the National Inquiry, it gave failing grades in almost all key areas.  NWAC made definitive recommendations to improve communications, transparency and most other areas of the Inquiry.  These recommendations were made in hopes of bringing the direction of the Inquiry to a more successful pathway.  The continued lack of communication with families and with NWAC points out the operational issues at the National Inquiry.  NWAC is deeply concerned that the ongoing operational failures will damage what remaining trust and belief families may still have in the inquiry.

NWAC strongly believes that in order for the National Inquiry to be a success, it must re-examine its administrative issues and operations.   Most importantly, survivors and families of the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls must come first.  These families are left in the dark and are learning the on-goings of the inquiry through sporadic and at times anecdotal communications. It is imperative that the National Inquiry’s leaders implement a clear and robust strategy for transparent communication to benefit families and achieve a successful outcome.30 –
-30-

For more information, please contact:

Lynne Groulx
Executive Director
613-722-3033  X223
1-800-461-4043  EMAIL

 

Joël Lamoureux
Media Relations Officer
613-722-3033 X100
1-800-461-4043  EMAIL

 

 

Follow NWAC on: Twitter –  FacebookInstagram      www.nwac.ca

NWAC Congratulates Jeannette Corbiere -Lavell on Being Awarded the Order of Canada

January 5, 2018 (Ottawa, ON)  The Native Women’s Association of Canada extends heartfelt congratulations to Jeannette Corbiere-Lavell on her appointment to the Order of Canada (C.M).

Jeannette Corbiere-Lavell has created a legacy of accomplishments throughout her lifetime for Indigenous women and this rare distinction honours her work. Through her dedication and tireless efforts to empower Indigenous women, the fruits of her contributions will be recognized for generations to come.

As a Past President of NWAC, her foresight and visionary ideas helped create opportunities and programs to challenge policy and open the doors of possibility.  To this date, those ideas continue to positively shape lives and empower Indigenous women from coast to coast.  NWAC President Francyne Joe stated, “The work that NWAC does for Indigenous women today is partly made possible by the incredible amount of work and commitment that Jeannette Corbiere-Lavell dedicated her life too. Without her contributions we would not have overcome the many seemingly insurmountable obstacles that Indigenous women have had to endure.”

Indigenous sisters everywhere celebrate the honour of Jeannette Corbiere-Lavell receiving the Order of Canada.

Thank you for your passion and innovative vision to empower the Indigenous women of Canada.

-30-

For more information, please contact:

Lynne Groulx                                         Joël Lamoureux
Executive Director                                Media Relations Officer
613-722-3033  x223                               613-722-3033 x100
1-800-461-4043                                     1-800-461-4043

EMAIL LYNNE                                      EMAIL JOËL

NWAC Voices Support For Indigenous Activist’s Liver Transplant

NWAC VOICES SUPPORT FOR INDIGENOUS ACTIVIST’S LIVER TRANSPLANT

December 19, 2017

The Native Women’s Association of Canada has voiced support to have Indigenous Activist Delilah Saunders immediately placed on the waiting list for a liver transplant.

President Francyne Joe stated “We are gravely concerned for the health and wellness of Ms. Saunders and time is of the essence.  Although, we recognize the protocols that must be considered when considering a liver transplant, it is our position that the discriminatory policy that exists in determining recipients is outside of the guidelines of Canada’s international human rights policy.”

Delilah Saunders is recognized internationally for her advocacy of Indigenous women’s rights.  The Native Women’s Association of Canada adds our voice along others such as Amnesty International and Indigenous people throughout Canada to place her name on the liver transplant waiting list.

President Joe added, “She has placed the concerns of Indigenous women as a priority in her daily life and consequently, her own life has suffered.”

NWAC joins the campaign of voices to have Delilah Saunders immediately added to the liver transplant waiting list and calls for an end to the discriminatory policy that is keeping her off the list.  The end of this oppressive policy would allow all people with previous addictions access to life saving treatment.

-30-

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Lynne Groulx Executive Director 613-722-3033 X223 1-800-461-4043 EMAIL
Joël Lamoureux Media Relations Officer 613-722-3033 X100 1-800-461-4043 EMAIL

NWAC Declares Sex-Based Discrimination & Boycotts Ministers Meeting

December 11, 2017 (Ottawa, ON) – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is boycotting a federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) meeting in Gatineau, QC with Ministers from across the country as a consequence of sex-based discrimination.  The Ministers’ Meeting has failed to provide NWAC a seat at the table of National leaders occupied by the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), Métis National Council (MNC) and the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK).

This historic FPT meeting of Ministers represents the first time in 30 years that they gather to discuss human rights in Canada.  The Prime Minister’s Office has maintained it has taken a feminist approach working towards gender equality, yet an equal position for women via NWAC is once again not offered.  NWAC President Francyne Joe stated, “The Women of Many Nations are equal rights holders and deserve equal time.  These women are the heart of our communities and deserve a seat at the National table”.  Joe added, “This sex-based discrimination continues to minimize the voice of Indigenous women and the voices of our grass roots organizations”.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly committed to building a renewed nation-to-nation relationship between the Government of Canada and Indigenous peoples, “based on recognition, respect for rights, co-operation and partnership”.  However, the Government of Canada has unilaterally decided to exclude NWAC from the nation-to-nation framework, choosing to include only AFN, MNC, and ITK.  The narrative the Prime Minister’s Office has chosen: “our work is incomplete, especially for Indigenous Peoples” is indeed incomplete as it fails to equally recognize Indigenous Women and Girls.  This approach fails to recognize or respect that NWAC’s constituency (Indigenous Women and Girls) are not adequately represented by other National Indigenous Organizations.  Furthermore, it denies equality to the national body with which Indigenous women have chosen to represent them on issues that matter most.

This sex-based discrimination continues to minimize the voice of NWAC and the women and girls it represents.   This most recent discrimination is now a growing list of past omissions that includes exclusion for First Ministers’ Meetings (FMM) in October of 2017, December of 2016 and March of 2016.  In addition, NWAC did not receive an invitation to participate in a high-level reconciliation meeting with the Prime Minister’s Office in December of 2016.

NWAC continues to call on the Government of Canada to respect the Indigenous women and girls of Canada and provide an opportunity for equal participation and an equal voice in all future meetings and decisions.

For more information, please contact:

Lynne Groulx                                         Joël Lamoureux
Executive Director                                Media Relations Officer
613-722-3033  x223                               613-722-3033 x100
1-800-461-4043                                     1-800-461-4043

EMAIL LYNNE                                      EMAIL JOËL

 

Follow NWAC on: Twitter –  FacebookInstagram
www.nwac.ca