ONWA Supporting Human Rights
THUNDER BAY – Aboriginal News – This year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Human Rights Day, yet Canada is still plagued with serious human rights concerns – especially when it comes to Aboriginal women and their families, who are among the most vulnerable population in Canada. A UN Special Rappauteur recently documented that Canada faces a crisis when it comes to the situation of Indigenous peoples of the country. With this report, Canada has been called out internationally for the continued mistreatment of Aboriginal peoples, but has yet to meaningfully recognize or address the issues.
Every year on December 10th, people all around the world celebrate Human Rights Day. Proclaimed in 1950 by the UN General Assembly, Human Rights Day aims to bring attention to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and nations. The Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) recognizes Human Rights Day and calls for the promotion and protection of the rights of Aboriginal women and their families.
Key areas of concern include the gap in well-being between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in Canada, unresolved Treaty claims, homelessness and severe housing inadequacies, high suicide rates among Indigenous youth, the long-standing and devastating affects of Residential schools, substandard education, barriers to self-determination and capacity building for First Nation communities, and the disturbing phenomenon of missing and murdered Aboriginal women .
“ONWA’s vision is to be a unified voice for equity, equality and justice for Aboriginal women. On a daily basis, ONWA advocates on behalf of Aboriginal women and their families for safer communities, improved and increased access to social services, increased affordable housing, improved and self-governed education, and for the elimination of violence,” says Betty Kennedy, ONWA Executive Director. “In order to resolve the human rights issues that plague Canada’s Aboriginal peoples, Canada needs to undergo a process of healing and reconciliation that will help address the decades of intergenerational trauma that have impacted so many of our families and communities.”
Today, on Human Rights Day, ONWA calls for all Canadians to stand together and acknowledge the current human rights violations perpetrated against Aboriginal women and their families as unacceptable, and demand action on behalf of the federal government.
To learn more about the Ontario Native Women’s Association, please vist www.onwa.ca, or call 1-800-667-0816.