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March 8, 2017 (Toronto, ON) - The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) Interim President Francyne D. Joe joined other Indigenous women leaders in thanking hosts and welcoming delegates to the fifth National Indigenous Women’s Summit (NIWS) on Monday, saying “It is essential to the success of reconciliation that Indigenous women determine and develop our own priorities in the areas of health, education, climate change, gender equality, and safety. ”
Taking place through Wednesday, March 8th, International Women’s Day (IWD), NIWS brings together leaders from National Indigenous Organizations (NIOs), Chiefs, Elders, youth leaders, and regional representatives together to be inspired by keynote speakers and artists, network, and workshop solutions to the issues affecting Indigenous women. NIWS 2017 is hosted by the Province of Ontario and carries the theme of Empowering Indigenous Women Now and In the Future. The summit culminates today with presentations of the workshop recommendations and responses to those recommendations by federal, provincial, and territorial governments, followed by a press conference.
“This IWD, we celebrate the strength of Indigenous women, our contributions to our communities, and the acknowledgment of the wisdom, knowledge, and spirit that we have to share. I am saddened that Indigenous women everywhere continue to live without equal rights by any standards, as well as those of the United Nations. NWAC will continue to advocate for dignity, respect, and freedom from fear for First Nations and Metis women alongside the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to policy affecting Indigenous women,” Joe stated.
Joe concluded that “NIWS empowers us to explore how we as a collective can make a significant change. Building off of last year’s recommendations, we are able to create our own strategies for implementing a gendered lens and population-specific applications to the findings put forth by the TRC and UNDRIP.”
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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 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.