A statement by Carol McBride, President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada, to mark the holiday season

Published on December 21, 2023

Press release eng

“Winter Solstice has been one of the most important times of year for First Peoples since their arrival on Turtle Island. The harsh winds may blow, but there is such warmth beside the fire when the season of storytelling is upon us. We rejoice on the shortest day of the calendar because we know the sunlight will start to increase as we anticipate the return of spring.

For many of us, this is Christmas. It is a time to join with family and friends to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and to relive the traditions – both religious and secular -- that have been passed down from generation to generation.

For other First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people, this is the holiday marked by the Ancestors to ward off winter’s chill. It is a time to relax with loved ones. Maybe it is Ziigwan, a time for personal healing. Or maybe it is just a quiet time for reflection and sharing and love.

I would be remiss if I did not point out that this time of year can also be difficult for those in need, or who are ill, or who are spending the holidays alone or without cherished family members. My heart is with you, and I hope you can find comfort in friendship and small pleasures.

However you spend the final festive days of 2023, I am reaching out from the Native Women’s Association of Canada to wish you Peace on Earth, joy, and happiness in this season, and in all of the days to come.

Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Joyeux fêtes!”


About The Native Women’s Association of Canada

The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is a national Indigenous organization representing political voices of Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit, transgender, and gender-diverse people in Canada. NWAC is inclusive of First Nations—on- and off-reserve, status, non-status, and disenfranchised—Inuit, and Métis. An aggregate of Indigenous women’s organizations from across the country, NWAC was founded on a collective goal to enhance, promote, and foster social, economic, cultural, and political well-being of Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit, transgender, and gender-diverse people within their respective communities and Canadian 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.