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October 3, 2017 (Ottawa, ON) – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) was not invited to the First Ministers’ Meeting (FMM) on sustainable economic growth. NWAC’s exclusion from the October 3rd 2017 meeting has once again silenced the voices of Indigenous women at the federal level.
An aggregate of twelve Indigenous women’s organizations, NWAC represents the political voice of Indigenous women in Canada. NWAC President Francyne Joe stated “NWAC represents many Nations of Indigenous women who are life holders and water carriers. Canada must recognize that Indigenous women have established NWAC as their representative body at the regional, provincial, territorial, national and international levels.”
NWAC was previously excluded from First Ministers’ Meetings held March of 2016 and on December 9th, 2016, as well as from a high-level reconciliation meeting with the Prime Minister’s Office on December 8th, 2016.
Indigenous women are being systematically excluded from the Nation-to-Nation relationship with this government. “ Indigenous women have been disenfranchised long enough” stated Joe “They have suffered from historic injustices as a result of colonization, including loss of identity, dispossession of their lands, territories, and resources, which increases the many forms of discrimination and violence against them.”
The existing nation-to-nation framework fails to decolonize Canada’s relationship with Indigenous women. “Its 2017 and we will no longer put up with these exclusionary actions. NWAC must be part of all Nation-to-Nation discussions” stated President Joe. NWAC is calling for the Government of Canada to ensure NWAC’s inclusion at all future meetings, and promote the active and equal participation of Indigenous women in decision-making.
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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.