Should NWAC be at Premier’s table? Yes, absolutely! Premiers listen intently as NWAC offers unique perspective on issues facing Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit, transgender and gender-diverse people

Published on July 11, 2023

Press release eng

WINNIPEG- The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) appeared before the annual meeting of Premiers on Tuesday to offer its unique perspective on the issues facing Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit, transgender and gender-diverse people, and to outline the actions it is taking to improve Indigenous lives.

Carol McBride, NWAC’s President, said the Premiers were engaged in what her organization had to say and appeared to be invested in its call for more collaboration and cooperation with governments. “NWAC has been here for almost 50 years, representing the Indigenous women who are rights holders in their respective communities,” said Ms. McBride. “We understand their complex identities. We have a role to play and an obligation to be at the table when the issues that affect their well-being are discussed. The Premiers clearly wanted to hear from us. They asked excellent questions, and we felt valued by them.”

Ms. McBride told the Premiers of the important work NWAC’s member associations in 12 provinces and territories are doing to enhance Indigenous lives. She highlighted the many programs launched by NWAC to end economic disparities. She reported on the lack of action taken by all governments to address the 231 Calls for Justice of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Women and Girls. She spoke about the work NWAC is doing internationally. And she talked about social issues facing her members, including climate change.

Lynne Groulx, NWAC’s Chief Executive Officer, said it is clear that Premiers were eager to learn about the many initiatives launched by the organization, and to hear that NWAC is starting to develop its own sources of revenue. “We explained that we need governments to invest in helping us carry out important work, including the construction of Resiliency Healing Lodges in every province and territory for Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit, transgender and gender-diverse people who have been traumatized by colonization and the ongoing violence,” said Ms. Groulx. “They listened intently when we talked about the programs we are running in skills training and apprenticeships that will improve the lives of thousands of Indigenous people, and we hope the provinces and territories want to work more closely with us on those initiatives.”

As the meeting progressed, the sound of drumming from an outside protest echoed through the room. Indigenous people are demanding that the local Prairie Green landfill be searched for the remains of Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran, two Indigenous women who are believed to have been murdered by a serial killer. “We could hear the women outside sounding their voice with their drum, and it was heartbreaking.” said Melissa Critch,” the co-chair of Manitoba Moon Voices, NWAC’s member association in Manitoba. “Those women are the mothers, daughters, sisters, aunties and relatives of the victims. NWAC has been the leader in calling attention to the violence that continues to haunt us. This is why Indigenous women and 2S+, and with NWAC as our advocate, must be at the table when issues of national importance to us are being discussed.”


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.