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June 20, 2017 (Ottawa, ON) - The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) would like to congratulate newly elected Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) Bernadette Smith on her win as a New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate in the riding of Point Douglas, Manitoba. Raised in the North End of Winnipeg, where violence is reported to be normalized and Indigenous women are at an increased risk of experiencing violence, this Métis activist brings lived experiences of poverty, ample work experience, and a great degree of passion to advocating for the well-being of First Nations and Métis women.
Smith, whose sister Claudette Osborne has been missing since 2008, is best known for her advocacy work on behalf of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) and received the Order of Manitoba in 2016 for her exceptional contributions to the movement to end violence against Indigenous women. Vocal about addressing systemic violence and racism, holding the media accountable for its portrayal of Indigenous women, and the need to eliminate poverty, Smith has brought an informed grassroots perspective to the Board of Directors of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) as the President of Manitoba Moon Voices, one of NWAC’s thirteen Provincial and Territorial Management Associations. The teacher and mother of five has also served her community tirelessly in the areas of children and youth advocacy and ran on a platform of restoring funds to community organizations and initiatives.
“I am thrilled to see a leader who is so committed to her community and who understands the unique needs of Indigenous women and girls receiving the support of voters,” NWAC Interim President Francyne D. Joe shared. “It was a great pleasure to have her voice on our Board of Directors and I have every confidence that she’ll continue to be a catalyst for meaningful change in her new position.”
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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.