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Representatives from the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) attended the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York in May, thanks to the support of several Canadian labour organizations, including CUPE.

The Permanent Forum is an advisory body to the UN’s Economic and Social Council with a mandate to discuss indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights.

NWAC President Jeannette Lavell, along with Executive Director Claudette Dumont-Smith and Director of International Affairs and Human Rights Teresa Edwards attended the event.

We shared concrete ideas with the Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Issues, the UN Committee, and women leaders, as well as withrepresentatives from more than 18 countries and media” said Edwards. “We have created networks with other Indigenous women from North America and from the South. We met with youth and with brothers from Australia and New Zealand to share our experience, strength and hope in our collective effort to improve the lives of Aboriginal Peoples, and to protect those most marginalized, who are often women and children.”

The Native Women’s Association of Canada was founded to enhance, promote, and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of First Nations and Métis women.

CUPE has worked closely with NWAC through their work on the Sisters In Spirit project, which is responsible for bringing national attention to the hundreds of cases of murdered and missing Aboriginal women.

CUPE is proud to have supported NWAC’s participation in this important event.