Tools for Advocacy: The Warrior’s Briefcase and Equity Compass

Aug 04, 2023
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The Executive Policy Team at NWAC has published its long-awaited grassroots toolkit, which was developed to empower Indigenous WG2STGD+ activists and advocates in navigating federal level advocacy. A Warrior’s Briefcase: Tools for Engaging in Federal Level Advocacy was created with support from Crown-Indigenous and Northern Relations Canada and as a result of the generous feedback provided by Indigenous community members. Grassroots Indigenous WG2STGD+ people across the four directions shared their ideas and feedback in sharing circles conducted by NWAC in 2022. During these sessions, they stressed the need for guidance on how to effectively engage with the federal government as advocates while prioritizing self-care. The Warrior’s Briefcase was developed in response to those needs.

Informed by the determination, strength, and resilience of those who lent their voices to this project, this toolkit offers Indigenous WG2STGD+ activists and advocates practical guidance on navigating federal systems, with wellness and safety at top of mind. It includes tailored considerations about legislative processes, accessing federal-level funding, and guidance on community organizing, campaigning, and demonstrating. NWAC is thrilled to add this toolkit to its collection of accessible resources that ensure the rights of Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit, transgender, and gender-diverse+ (WG2STGD+) people.

Since 2007, culturally relevant gender-based analysis (CRGBA) has undergone significant changes following feedback from Indigenous activists, advocates, researchers, policymakers, and community members. During a series of virtual sharing circles held in 2022, considerable feedback was given by community members regarding the CRGBA framework. Although CRGBA continues to be a useful tool for policy analysis, research, and advocacy, community members emphasized the opportunity to reframe CRGBA to make it more accessible to the community for which it was designed. For example, the language of “analysis” imposes a colonial lens on the perspectives of Indigenous lived experiences and Ways of Knowing.

With these considerations, NWAC revised the CRGBA framework to ensure it continues to evolve and reflect wise practices and the perspectives of community members. In previous publications, CRGBA has been described not only as a tool for policymakers, but as a framework that should guide our ways of thinking, being, and doing.

The Equity Compass is a renewed conceptualization of the CRGBA framework, designed to provide guidance in navigating policy, research, and advocacy. It is a visual representation of how each concept—or direction—informs the other. “Equity” refers to both the means and the outcome of the journey, and like one’s journey in advocacy, the Equity Compass continues to evolve in line with the needs and perspectives of the Indigenous communities we are responsible to.

Equipped with the Warrior’s Briefcase and the Equity Compass, we will continue to develop tools that foster agency and empowerment for Indigenous WG2STGD+ people and their communities.