A Message from the CEO

Mar 26, 2023
Shining The Spotlight Issue14 WEBSITE CEO 02

The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is a national Indigenous organization representing the political voices of Indigenous Women, Girls, Two-Spirit, Transgender, and Gender-Diverse+ (WG2STGD+) People in Canada. We were founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote, and foster their social, economic, cultural, and political well-being within their respective communities and Canada societies.

Everything we do, every file we work on, revolves around trying to effect transformational change. I am talking about the type of cultural and societal change that will transform the lives of the people we represent; that will lift them out of poverty, empower them to be all they can be in their homelife, their community, their work life, and society at large.

In this issue of our newsletter Shining the Spotlight, you will read about some of our national and international initiatives. There’s the RED Path Project, which is designed to empower Indigenous Women who are currently incarcerated, with the goal to promote harm reduction strategies and healthy sexuality and relationships, and to educate employees of federal correctional institutions through trauma-informed, evidence-based, culturally competent training. Culturally relevant gender-based analysis (CRGBA+) is at the heart of our work, and we are encouraging its use across all our policy areas and by federal and provincial/territorial decision-makers. We are also integrating the Seven Grandfather Teachings into our operations and external advocacy efforts. The social development team continues to press forward on revitalizing Indigenous languages and to enhance knowledge and understanding among disparate groups, including youth across Turtle Island. 

We are also developing resources such as the Circle of Care Toolkit for Indigenous People living with dementia and their caregivers.

Transformational change also means a shift in the business culture of an organization resulting from a change in the underlying strategy and processes that the organization has used in the past.

NWAC has been in existence for close to half a century, and during all this time, we have yet to receive stable core funding from the federal government. Projects to date have been accomplished through project-based funding, along with the sheer grit and hard work of NWAC’s board of directors, senior management, and dedicated staff.

To this end, NWAC has once again prepared a budget proposal to the government for operational funding in increments of 10-year blocks. We also have an “ask” into Infrastructure Canada to support the rollout of land-based healing lodges in B.C., Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. 

As always, NWAC continues to make our voice heard on multiple fronts—ever mindful that we speak for all Indigenous Women, Girls, 2SLGBTQQAI+ People, and their families and communities.