National Level Campaign Seeks to End Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls
OTTAWA – Action for Women, Canada’s first comprehensive initiative to end violence against Indigenous women and girls, will be launched today by the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC).
“The Friendship Centre Movement is making a proactive contribution to ending violence against Indigenous women and girls,” said campaign spokesperson Edith Cloutier, president of the Quebec Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres. “We developed Action for Women to reclaim safety in our communities now.”
Research has shown that the victimization of Indigenous women is close to triple that of non-Indigenous women, and that violent victimization of Indigenous females is most often committed by males and most often not reported to police.
Action for Women consists of seven programs and campaigns providing the information, tools and support Indigenous women and girls need to remain safe, plan for their future and participate in the conversation about violence and victimization.
The various programs and campaigns are designed to engage everyone – including youth, men, families and the public – in the discussion of ending violence. Youth are encouraged to join the A4W Live online community, while women and families can make use of the New Journeys website to find culturally-relevant services in urban centres. The I Am a Kind Man initiative and Moose Hide campaign provide tools for men and boys to stand up to violence.
“Engaging youth, men and communities is key to ending violence against Indigenous women and girls,” said Jeffrey Cyr, executive director of the NAFC. “We wanted to create an initiative that brought our communities together to end violence.”
Friendship Centres have provided services to Canada’s urban Indigenous population for more than half a century. The NAFC used this experience along with partnerships with Indigenous communities, thought leaders and grassroots partnerships to develop the Action for Women initiative.
The seven programs and campaigns build on proven, culturally-relevant Friendship Centre Movement initiatives scaled to the national level.
About the NAFC
The National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) is a network of 117 Friendship Centres from coast-to-coast-to-coast. Friendship Centres are the primary providers of culturally-enhanced programs and services to urban Indigenous people. They play a pivotal role in community and economic development by providing training and employment opportunities, facilitating social development, and building human and resource capacity.
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Communications and Social Media Officer
National Association of Friendship Centres
M: (613) 857-3502