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Press Release

NWAC Applauds Gord Downie’s Call to Action for Indigenous Communities

August 23, 2016 (Ottawa, ON) – The Native Women’s Association of Canada honours and applauds Gord Downie, the lead singer in Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip, for bringing widespread public attention to the injustices faced by Indigenous communities during the band’s final concert on August 20, 2016 in Kingston, ON. An audience of millions listened and watched as Downie applied public pressure to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take action on addressing Canada’s painful relationship with Indigenous peoples, as he promised after last year’s election.

“Our deepest gratitude and praise go out to The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie. Having the eyes and ears of the nation and using that to bring much needed scrutiny of the Government of Canada’s past negligence regarding the injustices and inequities faced by Indigenous communities across Canada is truly honourable,” said President Lavell-Harvard.

Diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in May of this year, the Canadian rock icon has been a beloved artist and long-time activist for decades. Downie’s commitment to the plight of Indigenous peoples includes serving on the board of environmental group Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, performing concerts near Indigenous communities at James Bay, and recording a song named for Attawapiskat, a northern Ontario First Nations community.

With support from social conscious Canadian artists such as Gord Downie or First Nations visual artist Maxine Noel, a truly renewed, reconciled relationship can be realized between Indigenous peoples and the Government of Canada – but only if it addresses the gender-based issues as well.

The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote, and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of First Nations and Métis women within First Nation, Métis and Canadian societies. As a national organization representing Aboriginal women since 1974, NWAC’s mandate is to achieve equality for all Aboriginal women in Canada.


Media Contact:

For information, or to arrange an interview, contact:

Annette Goerner
+1 (613) 818-6941

Pour obtenir plus d’information ou prendre des dispositions pour une interview, contacter:

Annette Goerner
+1 (613) 818-6941

About The Native Women’s Association of Canada
The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is a National Indigenous Organization representing the political voice of Indigenous women, girls, transgender, Two-Spirit, and gender-diverse people in Canada, inclusive of First Nations on and off reserve, status and non-status, disenfranchised, Métis and Inuit. An aggregate of Indigenous women’s organizations from across the country, NWAC was founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of Indigenous women within their respective communities and Canada societies.

À propos de l'Association des femmes autochtones du Canada

L'Association des femmes autochtones du Canada (AFAC) est une organisation autochtone nationale qui représente la voix politique des femmes, des filles, des transgenres, des bispirituels et des personnes de sexe différent au Canada, y compris les membres des Premières nations vivant dans les réserves et hors réserve, les Indiens inscrits et non inscrits, les personnes privées de leurs droits, les Métis et les Inuits. Regroupant des organisations de femmes autochtones de tout le pays, l'AFAC a été fondée dans le but collectif d'améliorer, de promouvoir et de favoriser le bien-être social, économique, culturel et politique des femmes autochtones au sein de leurs communautés respectives et des sociétés canadiennes.