NWAC Bids Farewell to Outgoing Executive Director, Claudette Dumont-Smith: Passionate Activist, Health Expert & Beloved Algonquin Leader

Claudette

 

 

(March 31, 2016) (Ottawa, ON) ― Today it is with deep sadness that the staff and board of the Native Women’s Association of Canada bid farewell to the magnificent and unflappable Claudette Dumont-Smith. A strong Algonquin woman from Kitigan Zibi, Quebec, Claudette has worked tirelessly her entire life for the betterment of Indigenous peoples, particularly for our women and girls.

Claudette Dumont-Smith is a former commissioner for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada who worked as a health-care professional within Indigenous communities since the late 1970s. A registered nurse, she has held executive positions at multiple national organizations that specialize in the health of Indigenous women and children, including the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada, and the National Aboriginal Child Care Commission. She has also worked as an independent management consultant, specializing in health consultation.

Claudette has researched and written about abuse and health issues within Indigenous communities, including Elder abuse, child abuse, domestic violence and problems that Indigenous women face on and off reserves. She holds a master’s degree in public administration from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the University of Quebec.

For those of us who have had the great fortune to work for and with Claudette, we know that she is one of the most genuine, warm and respectable human beings you could ever meet. She cares deeply for all those who surround her both personally and professionally, she leads with a unique sense of patience and tenacity, and she takes great care to lift up all those around her with her sharp Algonquin wit and infectious sense of optimism.

Claudette will be missed greatly, and we wish her all the best in retirement. Congratulations, Claudette!

 

QUOTE:

 

“Claudette has been an incomparable asset to NWAC. She provided strong and steady leadership and took great care to ensure her staff were valued and cared for. I am truly blessed to have been able to call Claudette a colleague, and even more to call her a dear friend. Thank you so much for everything you have done for this organization, Claudette, and for Indigenous women and girls across Canada. Congratulations on your retirement!”
―Dawn Lavell-Harvard, President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada

 

 

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MEDIA REQUESTS:
Jenn Jefferys
Native Women’s Association of Canada
jjefferys@nwac.ca
+1 613-485-1988

 

NWAC Marks International Women’s Day 2016

NWAC Marks International Women’s Day 2016

 

(March 8, 2016) (Ottawa, ON) – Today on International Women’s Day, the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) joins voices on every continent in celebrating the vital role women play in our communities.

Despite ongoing structures of discrimination, women hold a growing number of powerfully influential roles around the world and here at home in Canada. We know that without our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, daughters and aunties, our very way of life would crumble.

In certain Indigenous cultures, women retain a special and distinct relationship to water; rooted in cultural beliefs, social practices and economic contexts. When it comes to many of our teachings surrounding language and culture, women are the carriers of this knowledge ― ultimately holding our traditions, and by extension our families and communities, together.

As the national voice for Indigenous women in Canada, NWAC seeks to express deep respect, appreciation and love toward all women ― who, against all odds, are keeping our communities alive around the world in so many ways.

On behalf of all of us at the Native Women’s Association of Canada, Happy International Women’s Day!

 

QUOTE:

“Indigenous women are the epitome of strength and resilience. Our women are leaders, life givers, caregivers, healers, decision-makers, and the very heartbeat and lifeblood of our communities. Without our women, there would be no community at all. Today and every day, I encourage both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples alike to give thanks to the women in their lives for all that they do for us.”
―Dawn Lavell-Harvard, President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada

 

MEDIA CONTACT:

Jenn Jefferys
Native Women’s Association of Canada
jjefferys@nwac.ca
+1 613-485-1988

Nikki Fraser, Western Regional Youth Representative for NWAC, One of Ten Canadians Chosen by CBC to Interview the Prime Minister

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(January 31, 2016) (Ottawa, ON) ― Nikki Fraser is not your typical 25 year-old. She’s a mover and a shaker, a mother of two, an Indigenous woman from Tk’emlups Te Secwepemc (one of the 17 bands within the Secwepemc Nation) – and she’s our Regional Youth Representative for the West here at the Native Women’s Association of Canada.

Between her story, her warmth and her tenacity, and her tireless commitment toward ending violence against Indigenous women and girls, Nikki caught our eye at NWAC long ago. Now, Nikki has also captured the attention of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation – and the entire country.

Nikki was invited to travel all the way from her home province of British Columbia to partake in CBC’s segment: “Face to Face with the Prime Minister” in Ottawa – which aired tonight (January 31, 2016) on The National.

Nikki was one of ten Canadians individually selected for this segment from across the country, for a one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Nikki and the other nine individuals selected were given the opportunity to interview the Prime Minister on a topic of their choosing – and that topic for Nikki was missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Congratulations, Nikki!
QUOTES

 

“I do this work in honour of my Aunty Dorothy and my cousin Samantha, and the other beautiful Indigenous women and girls stolen from our nation. Despite the harsh reality that I and so many other young Indigenous ladies live, I will continue to honour them and seek justice.”
-Nikki Fraser, NWAC Regional Youth Representative for Western Canada

“Nikki has an incomparable energy about her. We are so grateful to have her, and so proud of her for fearlessly bringing this issue directly before the Prime Minister. Everyone at NWAC applauds you Nikki for your bravery and unwavering commitment to the cause. You are an inspiration to women and girls everywhere – Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike.”
-Dawn Lavell-Harvard, President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada

 

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. To make a donation to NWAC, please visit nwac.ca.

 

 

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For more information, please contact:

Lynne Groulx
Executive Director
1 Nicholas Street, 9th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7
Toll-free 1-800-461-4043
Tel: 613-722-3033 ext. 223
Email: lgroulx@nwac.ca

NWAC President Dawn Lavell-Harvard appointed to Senate Advisory Board

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

(January 19, 2015) (Ottawa, ON) ― The Native Women’s Association of Canada seeks to congratulate our elected president, Dawn Lavell-Harvard, PhD., who today was named a member of the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments.

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Democratic Institutions, announced the establishment of the Advisory Board today (January 19, 2016), appointing eight members from across Canada, including Lavell-Harvard.

“I am honoured to accept this prestigious appointment,” says Lavell-Harvard. “I look forward to ensuring a high standard of integrity, collaboration, and non-partisanship in the Senate.”

The Advisory Board will be an independent and non-partisan body whose mandate is to provide the Prime Minister with merit-based recommendations on Senate nominations. Currently, there are 22 vacancies in the Senate. Lavell-Harvard will participate in filling those vacancies.

You can read the official announcement from the Government of Canada regarding the new Advisory Board here.

 

 

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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For media inquiries or more information, please contact:
Jenn Jefferys – Communications Officer
Native Women’s Association of Canada
+1 613-722.3033 ext. 235
+1 613-485-1988 (cell)
jjefferys@nwac.ca

NWAC urges survivors, families and loved ones of MMIWG to actively participate in pre-inquiry consultations

PUBLIC ADVISORY – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

(January 19, 2016) (Ottawa, ON) ― Be advised that the Government of Canada’s pre-inquiry consultation meetings are underway, and they are open to survivors, families, and loved ones of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls, as well as representatives of front-line and Indigenous organizations.

This is your opportunity to be heard on the national level. To that end, NWAC urges everyone who is willing to participate to take part in these regional consultations to do so in-person or online.

As of January 19, 2016, here is a list of upcoming meetings:

 

  • Thunder Bay, Ontario: January 6, 2016
  • Yellowknife, Northwest Territories: January 8, 2016
  • Whitehorse, Yukon: January 11, 2016
  • Vancouver, British Columbia: January 13, 2016
  • Prince George, British Columbia: January 15, 2016
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia: January 20, 2016
  • Québec City, Québec: January 21, 2016
  • Montréal, Québec: January 22, 2016
  • Iqaluit, Nunavut: January 29, 2016
  • Toronto, Ontario: February 5, 2016
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba: February 8, 2016
  • Regina, Saskatchewan: February 9, 2016
  • Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: February 10, 2016
  • Edmonton, Alberta: February 11, 2016
  • Calgary, Alberta: February 12, 2016
  • Ottawa, Ontario: February 15, 2016

If you are survivor, family member or loved one and would like to attend one of these meetings, you are asked to email AADNC.EFFAAD-IMMIWG.AANDC@aadnc-aandc.gc.ca or call toll-free at 1-877-535-7309.

You are also encouraged to visit the National Inquiry website here.

NWAC continues to respectfully urge the Government of Canada to consult our organization, our sister organizations, and those with Indigenous lived experience every step of the way.

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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For more information or for media inquiries, please contact:

Jenn Jefferys – Communications Officer
Native Women’s Association of Canada
+1 613-722-3033 ext. 235 |  jjefferys@nwac.ca