NWAC Communications

Issue: 19

Feb 16, 2024
STS19 COMMS960x540

During the months of December 2023 and January 2024, the Communications team worked on various campaigns to promote NWAC’s advocacy work and further our objectives to uplift Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit, transgender, and gender-diverse (WG2STGD) people.

In December, we published issue 22 of NWAC’s magazine Kci-Niwesq. This edition focused on traditional healing, land-based treatments, our Resiliency Lodges, and medical practices informed by ancestral knowledge. It included an article on the power of plant-based medicines, including the “big four” tobacco, sage, sweetgrass, and cedar. It also featured initiatives at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto to incorporate traditional healing into treatment plans for Indigenous patients.

On December 1, we issued a press release applauding the first steps taken by the federal government to create an alert system for missing Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit, transgender, and gender-diverse people. NWAC thanked NDP MP Leah Gazan for her efforts to make the Red Dress Alert system a reality, but urged the government to continue consulting with survivors, frontline workers, and families to implement the alert program in the most effective way possible.

On December 9, we released a statement in a press release marking the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. This press release highlighted the fact that genocide continues against Indigenous Peoples in Canada today.

On December 10, to mark the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we issued a press release stating that this vital declaration continues to provide the framework for much of our advocacy work.

In recognition of the winter solstice and the holiday season, on December 21, we issued a press release sending wishes of peace, joy, and happiness across the world.

To mark National Ribbon Skirt Day on January 4, we produced a press release to unveil the special Ribbon Skirt Exhibit, which showcased the rich cultural heritage of ribbon skirts; these skirts represent a powerful symbol of identity and empowerment. The exhibit was displayed in the vault on the first floor of our head office at 120 Promenade du Portage, in Gatineau, Quebec, and ran for one month, beginning on December 21.

This year marks the 2nd anniversary of National Ribbon Skirt Day, which was inspired by a young Indigenous girl from Cote First Nation who, during her elementary school's “formal dress day,” wore a ribbon skirt and was shamed and dismissed by educators. The incident fueled a collective effort urging the federal government to officially acknowledge the cultural significance of the ribbon skirt.

We started the new year with a new issue of Kci-Niwesq. This edition covered the correctional system in Canada and the disproportionate and alarming overincarceration of Indigenous women, Two Spirit, transgender, and gender-diverse people. It included an interview with Ivan Zinger, the Correctional Investigator of Canada, who concluded that Indigenous healing lodges offer far better outcomes than incarceration and that the current incarceration rate of Indigenous women, Two Spirit, transgender, and gender-diverse people in Canada is “unconscionable.” This issue also highlighted the 12 Indigenous women who have experienced injustice in the Canadian correctional system.

Social Media

During the month of December, our social media accounts saw a 77.1% increase in engagements across several platforms, including X/Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. In particular, our Facebook profile saw a 66.5% growth in followers and our video views across platforms increased by 156%, representing over 18,000 views. During the month, we published 266 total posts with a net audience growth of 1,569. A post featuring the beautiful artwork of a grandmother and baby by Eloy Bida (@eloybida) with the caption “The roots never forget their flowers” had our greatest reach, with 480,531 views.

As we started a new year, our audience numbers continued to grow across platforms, with a 13.3% total net audience growth. Our Instagram account saw a boost of 9.3% in engagements and a 28.7% growth in net followers.

One of our most popular posts this month was the artwork of Malaika Ishtiaq (@minimal.artistic) with the caption “You spend most of your life inside your head, make it a nice place to be,” which received 12,113 engagements.

During the month of January, we published 266 social media posts across our platforms, including X.com (Twitter), Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.