Policy Sectors

Human Rights

Indigenous women are holders of inalienable human and Indigenous rights that must not be violated; they deserve universal human rights’ protection and benefit from equal rights, self-determination, justice, freedom, peace, and dignity.

Human rights LEGAL WEB GRAPHICS 02

Our goals are to:

  • NWAC advocates for full implementation of human rights of Indigenous women and girls, as well as the human rights obligations of the Canadian government.
  • NWAC is committed to address and eliminate human rights violations against Indigenous women and 2SLGBTQQIA individuals by bringing them forward to international human rights monitoring mechanisms.
  • NWAC’s policy development and service offering is rooted in a human rights-based approach; its standards, analysis and outcomes are grounded in human rights, including instruments that set out women’s human rights and the rights of Indigenous Peoples.


The human rights of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA have been continuously violated since colonization through dispossession of their traditional territories, disassociation with their traditional roles, participation in political decisions in their communities, and the disorientation of culture and tradition, etc.

Canada is bound by treaties, declarations, and agreements, including the Declaration on the Rights of Man which requires Canada to act with due diligence to protect the human rights of Indigenous women and girls. Canada has also ratified the United Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, guaranteeing the full enjoyment of civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights to Indigenous women and girls.

The Canadian government continues to violate the human rights of Indigenous women and girls, including service gaps due to jurisdictional issues (Jordan’s Principle), funding extractive projects on traditional territories, the overrepresentation of Indigenous children in the children’s aid and protective services system, the over-incarceration of Indigenous women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ individuals, the high rates of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, forced sterilization, etc.