Policy Sectors


NWAC President: Protests against gender diversity policies in school are putting vulnerable youth at risk

A statement by Carol McBride, President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC)

Published on September 21, 2023

Press release eng

As President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), I am appalled by protests that would end policies created to provide a layer of safety for transgender and gender-diverse youth.

The organizers of these protests say they are marching for children. In fact, the changes they would impose upon curricula and student privacy in schools across the country would have exactly the opposite effect.

Recent research shows that transgender and gender-diverse youth are four times more likely to consider suicide than other adolescents. It is not their sexual orientation that puts them at greater risk, but societal rejection, bullying, and, in too many cases, lack of acceptance by their own families.

The protesters would remove discussions of sexual orientation in the classroom that help to reduce the intolerance and the stigma.

They would “out” children whose parents do not approve of gender diversity or transsexuality, or force those children to mask their true natures through some of the most socially critical years of their lives.

In Indigenous cultures, we recognize there are those with Two Spirits. We do not shame them or blame them for who they are. Rather, we embrace the diversity. That is one reason NWAC now represents Indigenous Two-Spirit, transgender and gender-diverse people along with women and girls. In addition, the Final Report of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) Call for Justice 15.5 urges everyone to [C]onfront and speak out against racism, sexism, ignorance, homophobia and transphobia, and teach or encourage others to do the same, wherever it occurs: in your home, in your workplace, or in social settings.

We also understand that, as parents, our children are individuals with rights to their own privacy, and it is up to them to share details of their sexual orientation when they see fit, and with whom they see fit.

These protesters would put vulnerable children, adolescents, and teenagers at risk, and I am calling upon all Canadians to stand up against their harassment.

Media Contact:

For information, or to arrange an interview, contact:

Roselie LeBlanc
+1 (604) 928-3233

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

Roselie LeBlanc
+1 (604) 928-3233

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.