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OTTAWA, ON – January 25, 2018
Representatives from Indigenous groups as well as government officials gathered in Ottawa for an emergency meeting on Indigenous child welfare issues in Canada. Minister of Indigenous Services, The Honourable Jane Philpott, has stated that the issue of child welfare affecting Indigenous children in Canada has become a humanitarian crisis.
After the first day of a two day summit, voices from across the country are being heard. The Native Women’s Association of Canada was embedded in meaningful conversation with leaders of communities and government stakeholders. President Francyne Joe stated, “Indigenous women from the many nations in this country reach out to NWAC on a daily basis confirming the need to represent their voices and be a conduit to initiate change.” The President added, “We take this responsibility seriously and we are here to represent Indigenous women as we have since 1974. These generational issues ranging from foster care, health care and overall child welfare are pillars of importance, and we anticipate that this summit will finally initiate tangible change for the future”.
For more than 40 years NWAC has advocated on behalf of Indigenous women and today we shared the voice of these women at this historic emergency meeting. President Joe said, “It is an incredibly complicated matter that we can’t undo in two days. However, today we touched on important questions regarding policy on foster care and the removal of Indigenous children from their homes, the value of keeping Indigenous culture at all times for children that enter foster care and equality in health care for Indigenous children. This is just scratching the surface, but we are encouraged.”
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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.