Supporting Indigenous communities to advance gender equality
From: Women and Gender Equality Canada
January 21, 2022 – Ottawa, ON – Women and Gender Equality Canada
Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit, and all LGBTQQIA+ Indigenous people have the right to be safe and have every opportunity to fully participate in the economic, social, and cultural life. The Government of Canada continues to support Indigenous communities to advance reconciliation and achieve equity for all Indigenous peoples.
Today, the Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, announced over $14 million to fund 34 projects that will support Indigenous women by improving economic participation, increasing leadership in various sectors, and preventing and eliminating gender-based violence. While enhancing reconciliation and distinction-based approaches for Indigenous women and girls, these projects will address the intersectional barriers to equality that many communities face.
Minister Ien also met with two community organizations fostering learning and empowering Indigenous people.
- Trent University’s First Peoples House of Learning discussed their project to create an Indigenous women-led interactive and experiential training model. The project will also raise awareness of the many ways in which unconscious bias makes Indigenous women more vulnerable to gender-based violence. The organization received over $491,000 in funding.
- The National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association discussed capacity building for its network of Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFIs). The network will advance gender equality and address barriers to entrepreneurship for Indigenous women by offering training. It will also launch a national campaign to increase the representation of many Indigenous women entrepreneurs and raise awareness of the barriers they face. The organization received $560,000 in funding.
“We cannot achieve true and lasting gender equality without ensuring the safety of diverse Indigenous peoples. Throughout the pandemic, community organizations saw an increased demand for support, and many workers acted to fulfill the community’s needs. The Government of Canada understands the impact and importance of these critical services and is committed to supporting the important work of Indigenous organizations across the country. Investing in these projects will address systemic issues and move us forward on the path to reconciliation.”
The Honourable Marci Ien, P.C., M.P., Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth
“Trent University is proud to be taking an active role in ensuring Canada is a safe and supportive place for all women. With the support of Women and Gender Equality Canada, our new training program will share diverse perspectives and empower Indigenous women and girls across Canada.”
Dr. Leo Groarke, President, Trent University
“Support for Indigenous women entrepreneurs through WAGE’s programs is welcomed and needed more than ever given the disproportionate effects the pandemic and its ongoing response have had on an already marginalized group. By inspiring young women and girls in Indigenous communities to consider entrepreneurship as a viable career path and breaking down the barriers they face in accessing capital and other supports, we will advance not only the economic security and prosperity of Indigenous women, their families, and their communities, but recognize and empower the important role they can and must play in Canada’s economic recovery.”
Magnolia Perron, Indigenous Women and Youth Team Lead, National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association
- Through Budget 2021, the Government of Canada committed $3 billion over five years to increase efforts to end gender-based violence, including $601.3 million over five years toward a National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence.
- Despite only accounting for 5% of Canada’s population, Indigenous women and girls accounted for 21% of all women killed by an intimate partner in 2020.
- 43% of Indigenous women reported having been sexually assaulted at least once since the age of 15 (compared to 30% of women who are not Indigenous).
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth
Women and Gender Equality Canada