On the International Front

Jul 29, 2022
Shining The Spotlight Issue9 WEBSITE 08

June was a busy month for NWAC’s International Department!

Given NWAC’s strong relationship with our sisters and brothers in the Americas, our secretary, Chief Lynne Kenoras Duck Chief, attended the IX Summit of the Americas from June 6–8 in Los Angeles. The theme of the virtual Summit was “Building a Sustainable, Resilient, and Equitable Future.” 

At the health and wellness working group session, we advocated for a trauma-informed approach to health and wellness; for land-based resiliency; and for ensuring that Indigenous Peoples are stewards and custodians of their own digital data.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 13, 2006, stipulates: “[T]he States Parties shall meet regularly in a Conference of States Parties in order to consider any matter with regard to the implementation of the present Convention.” NWAC was honoured to attend the 15th session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD (COSP15), which took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from June 14–16, 2022. The overarching theme was “Building Disability-Inclusive and Participatory Societies in the COVID Context and Beyond.”


NWAC drafted a shadow report and was on the list of speakers for general debate at the conference. We highlighted that helpful infrastructure like access to the internet can also replicate colonizing inequities, with significantly reduced access for Indigenous Peoples, especially for those who live in northern and remote communities.

NWAC also discussed the need to be inclusive when it comes to policy development in Canada. Due to the unique intersections of gender, Indigenousness, and disability, disabled Indigenous women and gender-diverse people are often left out of important policy conversations. This reinforces barriers and limits possibilities for change. We are working hard to ensure that all Indigenous Peoples can actively participate and thus ensure their economic and political self-determination.

The fourth meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework took place virtually from June 21–26, 2022, in Nairobi, Kenya. NWAC attended the meeting as part of the Canadian virtual delegation, and made progress on developing a standalone target for Indigenous Peoples. We will continue to monitor Canada’s commitments on the international stage and to advocate for meaningful change.