International Unit

Issue: 19

Feb 16, 2024
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International Knowledge and Cultural Exchanges a Success

NWAC's Going Global initiative is aimed at enhancing the social, economic, cultural, and political well-being of Indigenous WG2STGD+ people worldwide. CEO Lynne Groulx recently embarked on a trip to Guatemala to strengthen connections with our overseas counterpart, further solidify NWAC’s core objectives, and explore various engagement avenues. The visit included efforts to foster trade opportunities, stimulate economic growth, exchange knowledge and culture with local Indigenous people, and participate in governmental discussions with organizations dedicated to women and gender equality.

While in Guatemala, our CEO also commemorated the Day of Truth and Reconciliation. She attended a presentation by Donald Nicholls, the Director of the Cree Nation Government Department of Justice and Correctional Services, on the Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan. The presentation emphasized the importance of facing historical truths, especially concerning residential schools and the forced disruption of Indigenous cultures within their communities, as a foundation for genuine reconciliation.

During the mission, NWAC’s CEO met with Sylvie Bedard, the Director General for Central America and the Caribbean, and Ms. Bedard reciprocated by visiting the NWAC headquarters in Gatineau. Discussions centred on our objectives for the Americas, with Ms. Bedard express commitment to helping NWAC achieving our Going Global goals. Our CEO and Ms. Bedard agreed to exchange information to strengthen ties with Indigenous communities abroad and pledged support for NWAC’s missions in the Americas.

Global Affairs Canada invited NWAC to participate in the Costa Rica, fireside chat event, where NWAC moderated discussions involving Mary Ng, Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development of Canada, and Manuel Tovar, Minister of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica and President of the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Promoter. Talks centred on inclusive trade; gender and Indigenous angles to trade (including trade agreements such as the Global Trade and Gender Arrangement-GTAGA and Indigenous Peoples Economic and Trade Cooperation Agreement-IPETCA; rules-based trade (importance of free trade agreements); economic cooperation in the hemisphere; and opportunities for investing in the innovation sector.

The event was a success, with NWAC’s insights on trade matters being acknowledged. A commitment was made to continue collaborative efforts for the well-being of Indigenous communities in Canada and women.