Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Grand Chief Raising Women’s Issues at UN

The United Nations are holding meetings on women's issues in New York
The United Nations are holding meetings on women's issues in New York

NEW YORK – United Nations Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Grand Chief Sheila North wants international attention brought to the challenges and concerns faced by First Nation women and families in the Keewatinowi territory. Grand Chief North was invited to speak in front of the United Nation’s Committee on the Status of Women, in New York, during the 62nd annual meeting of the Committee (CSW62). This is her second time attending the CSW’s annual meeting.

During her time at the UN events, the Grand Chief has spoken on a panel hosted by Crown-First Nations Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett, will be attending a town hall with the UN Secretary-General, and will present in front of the UN’s CSW62 event. The CSW62 conference brings together NGOs from all over the world to discuss women’s issues throughout the world. The focus of this year’s CSW62 is on rural and Indigenous women.

“I have found the Committee on the Status of Women’s annual meetings to be an excellent chance to meet possible Indigenous partners and to bring attention to First Nation issues on a global stage. Not only will I be bringing greater attention to the challenges First Nations families face, I will also be addressing the outside perspectives on Canada as a beacon of Indigenous rights, democracy, and support for women,” Grand Chief North said. “I will bring forward our concerns about the issues that lead to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, the challenges Indigenous women face within the justice system and while incarcerated, and the hurdles that our communities must clear under the democracy-challenged Indian Act system. Since being here, we have been told twice that the world is looking to Canada to provide leadership on women’s issues. As an Indigenous person, I feel it is crucial that First Nations present our perspective on Canada, its justice issues, and the hardships faced due to the Indian Act governance system.”

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