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September 14, 2021
OTTAWA – An in-depth analysis of the campaign platforms of the five major political parties competing in the 2021 federal election finds some are promising measures that directly align with the priorities of Indigenous women in Canada, and others are missing the mark.
The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) commissioned Nanos Research to compare the parties’ platforms with the 11 policy issues NWAC determined to be of primary importance. Those policy issues include human rights, self-determination, reconciliation, environment, clean water, housing, child welfare, justice and policing, employment and economic development, and health care. The result is a 79-page document called SCORECARD: Where do the federal parties stand on Indigenous women’s issues which is available, along with NWAC’s Priorities document, at www.NWAC.ca.
The New Democratic Party’s platform was given an A for addressing the significant needs of Indigenous women in almost every area. The Liberals and the Green Party were given a B for making promises that go a long way to match the priorities of Indigenous women.
But campaign commitments of the Conservatives and the Bloc Québécois have sizeable gaps when it comes to the issues that Indigenous women require by the next government of Canada. Those parties were given a D.
On the issue of clean drinking water, for instance, the NDP and the Liberals were given 5 out of 5 for their campaign commitments, the Green Party and the Conservatives were given 3 out of 5, and the Bloc was given a 1. On reconciliation and residential schools, the NDP was given a 5, the Green Party was given a 4, and the other parties received a 3.
NWAC stands behind this comprehensive analysis which comes after a majority of Canadians who responded to a Nanos poll in August said reconciliation with Indigenous people is important to them and would affect how they cast their vote in this election. This analysis was commissioned to help Indigenous women choose which party to support when marking their ballots but, given the demand being expressed across Canada for governments to address Indigenous issues, NWAC hopes it will also influence the vote of the broader Canadian electorate.
It must be stressed that this report looks at campaign platforms alone and does not assess the performance of party leaders or their past records. NWAC also points out that promises are only good if they are kept after the parties are elected and, too often, what has been said on the campaign trail has not been realized once a party gets into power.
“SCORECARD makes it clear that some parties have a better understanding than others about the pressing needs of First Nations, Métis and Inuit women,” says Lynne Groulx, NWAC’s Chief Executive Officer. “We would like to have a conversation with those parties that did not do as well in this report card. We would like to talk about what they can do to improve the lives of Indigenous women. That is what reconciliation is all about.”
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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.