Policy Sectors

Press Release

NWAC To Hold Online Support Circles For Residential School Survivors And Others Affected By Horrors Of Residential School System

June 3, 2021

OTTAWA – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) will hold support circles over the next several weeks to help residential school survivors, their families and others who have been affected by the horrific news that 215 children’s bodies were found in unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.

On Tuesday of this week, NWAC released its action plan for meeting the Calls for Justice of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. That plan, called Our Calls, Our Actions contained 65 costed, measurable actions that NWAC will take to begin to address the violence that the Inquiry found to be a genocide against Indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse people.

The cornerstone piece of the NWAC plan is its Resiliency Lodges, one that the association has already built in Chelsea, Que. and others that they intend to replicate across the country.

Over the next weeks, and beyond if the demand continues, NWAC’s Resiliency Lodge will host support circles, via Zoom, in which residential school survivors, intergenerational survivors, families and others affected by this tragedy can gather to share their memories and stories in a safe and protected environment. The circles will be Elder led.

“Indigenous women across Canada are grieving the loss of these children, and are revolted by the thought that their deaths were covered up for decades and that families were left to wonder what happened to their sons and daughters,” said NWAC President Lorraine Whitman. “As the representative of Indigenous women from coast to coast to coast, it is NWAC’s responsibility to provide ways to help them deal with that grief. And we can do that through the Resiliency Lodge.”

To date, NWAC has run more than 200 online workshops out of the Resiliency Lodge that have been attended by more than 5,000 Indigenous women.

“The time for aspirational plans to deal with the violence inflicted upon Indigenous people is over,” said Ms. Whitman. “NWAC is taking concrete action and healing plays such an important role.”


Media Contact:

For information, or to arrange an interview, contact:

Laurel Sallie
+1 (905) 751-6370

Pour obtenir plus d’information ou prendre des dispositions pour une interview, contacter:

Laurel Sallie
+1 (905) 751-6370

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, transgender, Two-Spirit, 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.

À propos de l'Association des femmes autochtones du Canada

L'Association des femmes autochtones du Canada (AFAC) est une organisation autochtone nationale qui représente la voix politique des femmes, des filles, des transgenres, des bispirituels et des personnes de sexe différent au Canada, y compris les membres des Premières nations vivant dans les réserves et hors réserve, les Indiens inscrits et non inscrits, les personnes privées de leurs droits, les Métis et les Inuits. Regroupant des organisations de femmes autochtones de tout le pays, l'AFAC a été fondée dans le but collectif d'améliorer, de promouvoir et de favoriser le bien-être social, économique, culturel et politique des femmes autochtones au sein de leurs communautés respectives et des sociétés canadiennes.