Canada's New Government takes action to end violence against First Nations women



    CORNER BROOK, NL, June 22 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's New Government is
helping First Nations communities address the critical need for family
violence prevention programs and services on reserve through a five-year
investment of almost $56 million.
    The announcement was made today at the National Aboriginal Women's Summit
by the Honourable Bev Oda, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women,
on behalf of the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and
Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Jim Prentice and
Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Canada and Minister
Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Monte Solberg.
Brenda Combs, Chairperson of the National Aboriginal Circle Against Family
Violence, joined Minister Oda to make this announcement.
    "Our government is deeply concerned about discrimination and violence
against First Nations women. Today I am pleased to announce the extension of
the mandate for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada's (INAC) Family Violence
Prevention Program (FVPP) until 2012," said Minister Oda.
    "This new funding will help the 35 existing shelters and go towards
construction of up to five shelters," Minister Oda said. "These funds are over
and above the $6 million that was announced in October 2006 as a one-time
allocation to the Family Violence Prevention Program to assist with immediate
shelter needs."
    The current Family Violence Prevention Program supports a network of
35 shelters serving approximately 265 First Nations communities. The total
budget is $18.5 million per year, $11.5 million of which goes to operational
funding and $7 million is used for approximately 350 community-based
prevention projects.
    The breakdown of the new investment includes: $53.45 million will go
directly towards operational costs of existing shelters to provide protection
and prevention services that meet the needs of women, children and families
ordinarily resident on-reserve. A total of $2.2 million will go to support the
construction of up to five new shelters through the Canada Mortgage and
Housing Corporation's Shelter Enhancement Program which currently provides
$1 million annually for construction, acquisition, repair, rehabilitation and
improvement of on-reserve shelters.
    "Support for new and existing shelters delivers on a key government
commitment and is a tangible example of action by Canada's New Government to
support First Nations women and children," said Minister Oda.
    INAC will continue to work with First Nations partners such as the
National Aboriginal Circle Against Family Violence, and provincial and federal
governments to enhance culturally relevant prevention programming, implement
the funding formula for shelter operations, and work toward improved service
delivery standards, human resource strategies and training plans for shelters.
    "The National Aboriginal Circle Against Family Violence (NACAFV) is proud
to be part of this announcement today. We worked with INAC and others to
create an awareness of the need for investments that will improve the Family
Violence Prevention Program," said Brenda Combs, Chair of NACAFV. "As an
executive director of a shelter myself, I know the investment is one that is
long over due and so essential to enabling us to assist women and their
children during crises situations - when they have no where else to turn."
    Along with the enhancements to INAC's Family Violence Prevention
Programs, Minister Oda said, "INAC is also taking action to address the
important issue of Matrimonial Real Property on reserve and repeal of
Section 67 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which will ensure that First
Nations women have the same rights as other women in Canada."

    This release is also available in electronic format at
    www.ainc-inac.gc.ca




For further information:

For further information: Deirdra McCracken, Press Secretary, Office of
the Honourable Jim Prentice, (819) 997-0002; Indian and Northern Affairs
Canada, Media Relations, (819) 953-1160; Kirsten Scheel, Media Relations,
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp, (613) 748-4632; Brenda Combs, Chair,
National Aboriginal Circle Against, Family Violence, (705) 941-9054


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