NWAC and FAFIA to Address Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on MMIWG

 

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(April 6, 2016) (Washington, DC) – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) will hold a critical hearing following up on its January 2015 report, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in British Columbia. The hearing will be held, on April 7, 2016 at 3:15 p.m. Eastern in Washington, D.C., and will serve as an opportunity for members of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to engage in open dialogue with Canadian officials on what progress has been made on the implementation of the IACHR’s recommendations.

Representatives from the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) and the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA) will deliver a joint presentation to the Commission during this hearing. Speakers will be Dawn Lavell-Harvard, President of NWAC;  Sharon McIvor, FAFIA Human Rights Committee Member; and Shelagh Day, Chair of the Human Rights Committee of FAFIA.

This hearing can we streamed online at the IACHR website: http://original.livestream.com/oasenglish2
The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) was founded in 1974 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. NWAC is widely recognized as the National voice of Indigenous women and girls in Canada, and was instrumental in bringing the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada to light. Visit us at nwac.ca or follow us at @NWAC_CA.

The Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA) is an alliance of more than sixty Canadian women’s organizations founded following the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing 1995. FAFIA’s central goal is to ensure that Canadian governments respect, protect and fulfill the commitments to women that they have made under international human rights treaties and agreements. Visit us at fafia-afai.org or follow us at @FAFIAAFAI.

 

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QUOTE:

“We know from our sisters on the ground in British Columbia, particularly on the Downtown Eastside, that a severe human rights crisis persists in this region resulting in the ongoing discrimination, violence and oppression of our women and girls. The IACHR’s report, released in December 2014, provided a robust framework and analysis toward the context in which Indigenous women and girls continue to go missing and be found murdered in British Columbia. With the national inquiry now underway, it is time for the federal and provincial governments to implement the recommendations found within this report. Violence against Indigenous women and girls must be stopped, and in order for this to happen we must heed recommendations from the international expert community.”
―Dawn Lavell-Harvard, President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada

BACKGROUND:

The full IACHR report is available here: http://www.oas.org/en/iachr/reports/pdfs/indigenous-women-bc-canada-en.pdf

NWAC and FAFIA’s history of engagement with the IACHR is available here: http://fafia-afai.org/en/solidarity-campaign/

 

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: [email protected]

NWAC Renews Call for An Immediate Strengthening of Health Services, Resources for Communities Struck by Suicide Epidemic

 

Native Women’s Association of Canada Renews Call for An Immediate Strengthening of Health Services, Resources for Communities Struck by Suicide Epidemic

 

(March 11, 2016) (Ottawa, ON) ― The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is heartbroken over the recent tragedies in the Pimicikamak Cree Nation of Northern Manitoba. We offer our sincere condolences to the community, as well as the families and friends who are grieving the loss of loved ones.

Recent reports of suicide and suicide attempts in Pimicikamak Cree Nation are devastating; however this reality is not an isolated occurrence. According to the First Nations Regional Health Survey 2002/03, 3 in 10 adults (31%) reported having had suicidal thoughts and 1 in 6 (16%) had attempted suicide at some point in their lives. Further, Indigenous women were more likely than men to have attempted suicide (18.5% versus 13.1%).

In 2010, Health Canada reported that the suicide rate among Indigenous youth is estimated to be five to six times higher than that of non-Indigenous youth in Canada. This is a human rights crisis that must be addressed immediately.

NWAC is currently partnered with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research in their Pathways to Health Equity for Aboriginal Peoples initiative, which focuses on moving research into culturally-relevant, gender-appropriate, community-based interventions related to mental health and wellness.

QUOTE:

“Indigenous communities are facing a suicide epidemic. When a member of our community is lost to suicide, particularly a young person, the entire community experiences the repercussions collectively. More robust services are required immediately in our communities to stop these tragedies from reoccurring – that means acknowledging the structural oppression our communities are subjected to, and putting forward stronger services now. Clearly, this epidemic demands immediate action; our communities cannot afford to wait.”
―Dawn Lavell-Harvard, President, 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.

 

 

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Jenn Jefferys
Native Women’s Association of Canada
[email protected]
+1 613-722-3033 ext. 235
+1 613-485-1988 (cell)

 

Statement on NWAC Exclusion from March 2016 First Ministers Meeting

Official Statement from Dawn Lavell-Harvard on the Exclusion of the Native Women’s Association of Canada from March 2016 First Ministers Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia

 

INDIGENOUS WOMEN AND GIRLS DESERVE A PLACE AT THE TABLE


(March 2, 2016) (Vancouver, BC) ― When former Prime Minister Paul Martin hosted the First Ministers and National Aboriginal Leaders meeting in the lead up to the Kelowna Accord in 2005, the Native Women’s Association of Canada was at the table.

Today, during this critical First Ministers Meeting in Vancouver, without clear explanation or justification, the Native Women’s Association of Canada was not invited.

Despite our strength, resilience and natural role as life givers – as the very heartbeat of our communities – for decades, Indigenous women and girls have struggled to have our voices heard.

Over the years, we have been categorically silenced, excluded, and forced out of critical decision-making processes by Indigenous and non-Indigenous men alike as a result of sexism, racism, and patriarchal systemic barriers.

To that end, in protest for my not receiving an official invitation to this First Ministers Meeting, I am present here in Vancouver today to fight for Indigenous women and girls from across Canada.

Choosing to exclude the Native Women’s Association of Canada from the First Ministers Meeting was unfair, and speaks volumes to the ongoing lack of respect for Indigenous women’s and girls’ voices in Canada.

While NWAC welcomes the decision to call a National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (an historic and long-awaited undertaking which NWAC was the first to call for), we refuse to be excluded from major meetings and consultations with the government, particularly with the Prime Minister.

Indigenous women and girls deserve a place at the table.

Sincerely,
Inline image 1

Dawn Lavell-Harvard
President
Native Women’s Association of Canada

 


FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES:

Jenn Jefferys
Native Women’s Association of Canada
[email protected]
+1 613-485-1988

NWAC Senior Manager of Violence Prevention and Safety, Gail Gallagher, Awarded Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship

NWAC Senior Manager of Violence Prevention and Safety, Gail Gallagher, Awarded Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship


The Native Women’s Association of Canada asks that you join us in congratulating our Senior Manager of Violence Prevention and Safety, Gail Gallagher, who has been awarded a substantial academic scholarship from the University of Alberta.

 

Ms. Gallagher is a proud First Nations Cree woman from Frog Lake First Nation, Alberta, who currently resides in the Nation’s capital. Currently, Gail is in her last year of her Masters’ degree with the Native Studies Faculty at the University of Alberta.

 

Her thesis focuses on the sexual exploitation and marginalization of Aboriginal women and ways that Aboriginal activism works to reduce this – critical subject matter that will not only continue to benefit her expertise in her role at NWAC, but will also contribute to the growing body academic research into the issue of Indigenous women’s social, economic and cultural inequality in Canada.
“The Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship for Masters level work is an outstanding achievement,” says NWAC Executive Director, Claudette Dumont-Smith. “I ask that all NWAC staff, board members and friends across Canada join me in congratulating Ms. Gallagher today on this extraordinary achievement. Gail’s work will undoubtedly inspire more Native women like her to succeed academically.”

 

Prior to her employment as the Senior Manager of Violence Prevention & Safety with the Native Women’s Association of Canada, Gail earned extensive work experience through building partnerships and relationships at the federal, provincial and First Nations regional levels.

 

Congratulations, Gail!

 

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: [email protected]

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)
[email protected]