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On November 20, 2017, NWAC remembers and honours the trans and Two-Spirited Indigenous women victimized and killed as a result of transphobic and racial violence. On this day of remembrance, we also look forward by committing to establishing a renewed relationship with trans, non-binary, and queer- identifying Indigenous women.
As a group that exists at the intersections of queer and/or transphobia as well as colonial racism, members of the Indigenous LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirited communities are disproportionately impacted by violence. Marginalization dramatically decreases both the availability and accessibility of supports and services, meaning that Indigenous people who are trans also face additional obstacles to accessing basic services such as healthcare, housing, and employment. This is particularly true for Indigenous youth.
Discussing these issues and creating safe spaces for trans and Two-Spirited Indigenous women means applying an intersectional lens to our advocacy work. In addition to being integral to decolonizing, NWAC sees this work as part of its mandate to advance the human rights of Indigenous women and girls. We also see the importance of undertaking work to educate ourselves and others on the ways we may unknowingly negatively impact gender-diverse, queer, and/or Two-Spirit individuals.
NWAC recognizes that by not responding to the gender diversity within our community, we risk replicating oppression. As such, NWAC is in the process of designing an engagement framework that will help us begin to understand the specific issues impacting queer and non-binary Indigenous women. This engagement will reflect NWAC’s responsibility and renewed commitment to responding to the needs of gender-diverse Indigenous women in a way that is trauma-informed and culturally-appropriate.
This Trans Day of Remembrance, NWAC honours and celebrates the Indigenous trans women in our communities, and all survivors of violence.
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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.