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: lgroulx@nwac.ca

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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: lgroulx@nwac.ca

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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

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NWAC welcomes long-awaited inquiry into #MMIWG

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

As first Canadian national organization to bring issue to light, NWAC welcomes long-awaited inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls



(December 8, 2015) (Ottawa, ON)
― The Native Women’s Association of Canada joins the chorus of voices from coast to coast to coast in celebrating today’s long-awaited announcement from the Government of Canada confirming that a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women is underway.

The Minister for Indigenous and Northern Affairs Dr. Carolyn Bennett, Minister for Status of Women Patty Hajdu, and Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould collectively confirmed today that the national inquiry will be launching following a thorough, respectful consultation process with families directly impacted by these tragedies. Additionally, it is confirmed that expert researchers, grassroots Indigenous organizations and NAOs such as NWAC will all be involved and deeply engaged throughout this process.

NWAC President Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard was present for both Prime Minister Trudeau’s address at the Assembly of First Nations’ Special Chiefs Meeting this morning, as well as the subsequent Ministers’ announcements concerning this matter outside the House of Commons on Parliament Hill.

“As the first Canadian organization to spark the international conversation surrounding the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women, NWAC is encouraged today,” says Dr. Lavell-Harvard. “Justice for our stolen sisters is long overdue. We will remain central to this process every step of the way.”

For years, NWAC has called on the Government of Canada to hold this national inquiry – not only for our mothers, daughters, sisters, aunties and grandmothers – but for our future generations, to ensure that this systemic, racial and gender-based violence is stopped, and that our children can look to the future with optimism. NWAC is hopeful that this Government will at long last work to acknowledge and validate our needs, and will act transparently, compassionately and collaboratively with us – nation-to-nation.

NWAC respectfully urges the Government to continue to consult our organization, our sister organizations, and those who fully comprehend the Indigenous lived experience and seek to ensure a peaceful and prosperous future of reconciled relations. We have a significant amount of work ahead of us, and we must approach this carefully and strategically.

We look forward to working with this new Government, with our allied organizations and with the families of our sisters in spirit on this critical and historic undertaking. We will continue to embark on this journey together, and we will achieve justice for our sisters.
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

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CUPE ‘Rock for Public Services’ draws more than 7,000 attendees, raises over $12K for NWAC’s Sisters in Spirit project

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

CUPE Rock for Public Services draws more than 7,000 attendees, raises over $12K for NWAC’s Sisters in Spirit project

 

 
(November 17, 2015) (Ottawa, ON) ― The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is thrilled to announce that CUPE’s ‘Rock for Public Services’ benefit concert on Saturday, November 14 was a roaring success. More than 7,000 people joined NWAC at TD Place stadium for an excellent performance featuring Amanda Rheaume, Matt Mays and Sam Roberts Band in support of our Sisters in Spirit initiative.

‘Rock for Public Services’ is a presentation of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 503 and CUPE Ontario, serving as a fundraiser while also celebrating the efforts of municipal workers and health care workers in the Ottawa-Gatineau region.

NWAC wishes to extend special thanks to the Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (part of a comprehensive response to the Indian Residential School legacy), who took time out of his busy schedule to join us for this event. Likewise, NWAC wishes to extend Chi-Miigwetch to Elder Irene Lindsay for joining us and for providing the opening prayer.

NWAC also wishes to thank CUPE Local 503 President Brian Madden and Wil Kelly, Health and Safety Coordinator for Local 503, for their incredibly hard work and generous support.

A grand total of $12, 246.72 was collected on Saturday from the many generous donors in attendance –including a $5,000.00 donation from Jewitt McLuckie & Associates of Ottawa.

Claudette Dumont-Smith, Executive Director of NWAC, says she is overjoyed by the outpouring of love and respect shown to Aboriginal women throughout this event. “I am so humbled by the compassion shown to our cause and our people this evening,” she said. “I look forward to keeping this important conversation going. This was a true example of reconciliation.”

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 or for media inquiries:

Jenn Jefferys
Communications Officer
Native Women’s Association of Canada
1 Nicholas Street, 9th Floor. Ottawa, ON. K1N 7B7
+1 613-656-3016   |   jjefferys@nwac.ca

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