During the months of March and April 2022, the Executive Policy Team received ongoing capacity-building funding from Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada to increase NWAC’s internal capacity around implementing culturally relevant, gender-based research and policy analysis (CRGBA). For the first year of this funding, we sought feedback on the CRGBA framework from Indigenous community members, advocates, researchers, and policy experts. To do this, NWAC conducted three sharing circles: two with grassroots Indigenous advocates and community members, and one with Indigenous policy experts and researchers.
Overall, feedback was positive, and participants agreed that the framework is a useful tool to foster inclusivity and gender equality for advocacy and policy initiatives. Suggestions from participants included:
- Develop further training, workshops, and other resources that are tailored to informing people about Indigenous issues to facilitate cultural sharing and understanding
- Develop cultural competency training for non-Indigenous people to better inform and develop policies that are culturally relevant and trauma-informed
- Provide more information to communities on accessible, compassionate, and culturally relevant resources, especially around Indigenous health services
- Increase accessibility of information about Indigenous, First Nations, and gender-diverse people using social media and other online platforms (for example, develop podcasts or community newsletters to promote, discuss, and share knowledge on the CRGBA framework)
- Increase communication between Indigenous communities and municipal, provincial, and federal governments
- Encourage communities to work collaboratively to become more inclusive and to foster collaboration and information-sharing across Indigenous cultures
- Continue to lobby the government to commit to reconciliation and appropriately address the impacts of residential schools on community members today (we cannot wait any longer)
- Encourage discussion by community members and provide further information on the topic of Indigenous intersectionality
NWAC has used feedback received from participants to inform further work around the CRGBA framework, including planning future training and tools to help build the capacity of communities to self-advocate. NWAC is also continuing to develop tools and training to help key stakeholders, including federal policy-makers and researchers across Turtle Island, apply the framework.
Further to this, the Executive Policy Team is excited to announce the publication of Culturally Relevant Gender-Based Analysis: A Roadmap for Policy Development later this month. This roadmap is a comprehensive and accessible guide to applying the CRGBA framework in policy. It contains detailed case studies and interactive activities and thought exercises to encourage critical analysis and self-reflection. We hope this tool will help support state actors, researchers, and advocacy groups in their work to foster inclusivity and equity across government policies and programs.
As we embark on the new fiscal year, we are looking forward to all the possibilities that our CRGBA framework will provide. We are already planning how to best use the framework to foster empowerment and agency in the communities we represent. To this end, we are planning further engagement sessions in the upcoming months to help us develop potential training and tools for community organizers and advocates, with the aim of supporting our Indigenous siblings in taking action in their own communities.
A key takeaway from our work so far is that Indigenous voices don’t just need to be at the table. Our voices must also be heard and actively engaged in issues that impact our communities. We hope our future CRGBA work will facilitate just that.