Open Letter to Minister Kellie Leitch

Funding for Native Women's Association of Canada Violence Prevention Project

Minister Kellie Leitch

House of Commons

Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

Dear Minister Kellie Leitch,

The Native Women's Association of Canada has done critical work with and on behalf of Indigenous women in Canada for years. I am deeply concerned by their current loss of capacity given the realities that Indigenous women face in our country.

Therefore, I urge the Government to support NWAC's proposal to continue their violence prevention work.

NWAC has a very strong track record in terms of its work in the area of violence against Indigenous women. Evidence to Action II (ETA) was a successful program that served 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. The cessation of funding of ETA, their last remaining program focused on violence against women, has meant that NWAC has had to lay off their staff and close that office. As it stands, a national office run by and for Indigenous women and focused on violence prevention, is no more.

NWAC is proposing to continue violence prevention work through their proposed Project PEACE. Unfortunately they have yet to hear if their proposal has been approved.

The need to take action on violence against Indigenous women is urgent. As you know, Indigenous women are three times more likely to face violence than non-Indigenous women. We now know that nearly 1,200 Indigenous women and girls have gone missing or have been murdered over the last thirty years. Supporting violence prevention work ought to be a priority.

Supporting the work of Indigenous women in Indigenous communities is critical. The focus on prevention as set out in the Project PEACE proposal is key.

Time is of the essence. Action by this Government is imperative.

I look forward to your timely response on this critical matter.

Sincerely,

Niki Ashton

Member of Parliament (Churchill)