NWAC – Celebration is Bittersweet

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Native Womens Association of Canada

Native Womens Association of Canada

Plight of Murdered and Missing Aboriginal Women

OTTAWA – ABORIGINAL – “Today is bittersweet because although we have had these initiatives which were highly successful in raising the profile of Aboriginal women and the issue of violence and of the high rates of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls,” stated Native Women’s Association of Canada President Michèle Audette, “Now that the ETA II project is over, we must lay off an entire team that has worked on violence prevention and who have the corporate memory.”

The NWAC have celebrated the successful conclusion of the Evidence to Action II (ETA II) project. The ETA II project was funded by the Status of Women Canada, with a budget of $1.89 M and operated between the periods of February 3, 2011 to April 30, 2014.

The ETA II project was managed by the NWAC Violence Prevention and Safety department which receives 100% of their funding from the Status of Women Canada. The ETA II project grew out of the world renowned Sisters in Spirit Initiative (SIS) which ended in March 2010. The ETA II project represented the natural evolution of research and advocacy work generated by the SIS initiative through the development of tools and resources which served to meet the ETA II project objectives, which were to:

  • Strengthen the ability of communities, governments, educators and service providers to respond to issues that relate to the root causes of violence against Aboriginal women and girls, and;
  • Develop tools to support Aboriginal women, girls, families and communities to develop violence prevention strategies and respond to experiences of violence.

To undertake these objectives, seven key activities formed the ETA II project: SIS Vigils, Family Gatherings, Life Stories, Community Engagement Workshops, Community Resource Guide, a Clinical Tool and Knowledge Exchange. All project activity success indicators were successfully achieved and were exceeded in some cases. In total, it is estimated that approximately 58,553 individuals were directly engaged in the ETA II project, either through the SIS Vigils, the Community Engagement Workshops (example: Faceless Dolls), the Family Gatherings, and other activities.

NWAC has submitted a new project proposal, Project PEACE to the Status of Women Canada. Project PEACE represents the best next step in moving forward in this field of work and we are excited to hear a positive response on this submission soon.

Project PEACE is designed to create safety nets for Aboriginal women and girls through Prevention, Education, Action, Change and Evaluation mechanisms. It will create a comprehensive tool, unlike any other in existence – that houses within one platform the processes to build the necessary safety nets for success for Aboriginal women and girls. The project proposes four key modules that respond to what has been learned throughout the SIS and ETA II projects, specifically professional development for service providers, engagement of Aboriginal women and girls, engagement of Aboriginal men and boys, and engagement of industry.

The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote, and foster the social, economic, cultural, and political well-being of First Nations and Métis women within First Nations, Métis, and Canadian societies. As a national organization representing Aboriginal women since 1974, NWAC’s mandate is to achieve equality for all Aboriginal women in Canada.