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!



“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



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





The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), through the Aboriginal Women’s Business Entrepreneurship Network (AWBEN) program invites interested and established women entrepreneurs to serve as a Mentor for Métis, Status and Non-Status women interested in starting their own business.  Mentors will be selected from 6 regions across Canada.


The objectives of AWBEN are to:


  • provide a safe, supportive, collaborative, empowering and culturally supportive environment that addresses the challenges of female Aboriginal entrepreneurs and those that aspire to become entrepreneurs
  • enhance, develop and accelerate growth for current and aspiring female entrepreneurs in a sustainable way through programs and resources
  • promote community leadership through volunteerism as a reflection of respect and reciprocity




6 Mentors from different regions across Canada will offer guidance and support by sharing their experience and knowledge, act as a sounding board, help find appropriate resources, build confidence in women and help mentees focus on developing or growing their businesses.  Mentors will have the ability to encourage all members to participate actively in the group and the skills to facilitate balanced sharing between group members.


The successful Mentors will:


  1. Collaborate with NWAC to recruit 10 Métis, Status and Non-Status women interested in starting their own business.
  2. Plan, organize and facilitate 10 (2.5 hour) sharing circle mentoring engagements where businesses will explore and test a social innovation/enterprise component. Entrepreneurs will learn an efficient process for testing their ideas, reducing risk and confirming/ denying market viability.
  3. Identify 2 women to be considered as a participant in a 4 day Boot Camp and a 1 day AWBEN conference at the end of February 2016.
  4. Mentors will be required to participate and facilitate a workshop at a 4 day Boot Camp for 12 Aboriginal women at the end of February 2016.
  5. Mentors will be required to participate and facilitate a workshop at a 1 day AWBEN Conference following the 4 day Boot Camp with 80 Aboriginal women.
  6. Provide an up to date Criminal Record Check.




This is a short term contract with the work will be completed from December 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016.




A preliminary budget for this project has been established.  The total contract award is $8000 inclusive of GST.




Thank you for your interest in becoming a Mentor with the Aboriginal Women’s Business Entrepreneurship Network.  Proposals from applicants with Aboriginal ancestry are preferred however all applicants will be considered.  Your contact information will be kept on file for future mentorship opportunities.


The proposals should be submitted electronically to:

Jane Luhtasaari, Economic Development Officer

Identify the following in the Subject Line: AWBEN Mentorship Proposal + Name of proponent

[email protected]


Proposals will be accepted until Friday November 27, 2015.





Please complete the following information and questions below:







Identify Your Top 3 Areas of Expertise:

Cashflow and/or budgeting, Marketing and/or Promotion, Networking, Organization and Administrative Skills, Sales Strategies & Tactics, Strategic Planning for Business Growth, Understanding Legal Documents, Understanding Financial Documents, Understanding Regulations, Satisfaction and Work/Life Balance, Other – please describe.




  1. Please provide a description of your business. (150 words or less)
  2. Have you been a business mentor previously? If so, please briefly describe how you supported your mentee(s) and what are the outcomes of your mentorship?
  3. Briefly describe 2 areas where you can mentor a mentee.
  4. Do you have a network of existing and aspiring entrepreneurs who are Aboriginal women? If so, please briefly describe. (150 words or less)
  5. Briefly identify what kind of business workshops you have facilitated. (150 words)
  6. For Statistical reasons, please identify if you are Aboriginal or Non-Aboriginal
  7. Please use this space to provide any additional information you would like included to help guide the selection of Mentors.  (150 words or less)


Please attach copy of your current résumé or CV and Biography