NWAC's Sisters In Spirit initiative is optimistic about the future

OTTAWA, April 1 /CNW Telbec/ - The Native Women's Association of Canada's Sisters In Spirit (SIS) initiative is eager to begin the second phase of research, policy and education to address violence against Aboriginal women, and the devastating number of Aboriginal women and girls who have gone missing or are found murdered.

Presently, the Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC) is focused on building on the knowledge gained in the first phase of the Sisters In Spirit initiative by using evidence to inform practice and influence policy.

To date, the support of Minister Helena Guergis at Status of Women Canada has been an important part of the success of the Sisters In Spirit initiative. NWAC has had a positive partnership with Minister Guergis and although there has not yet been a public announcement regarding renewal of funding NWAC has been working with Status of Women Canada to determine how to move forward on initiating the second phase of Sisters In Spirit.

"We are now ready to move from evidence to action and are confident of the continuation of the work of the Sisters In Spirit initiative," said Madame Jeannette Corbiere Lavell President of the Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC). "This month we will release the report "What Their Stories Tell Us" a culmination of research to address the violence against Aboriginal women and girls that has led to disappearance and death. The report provides new information and identifies gaps in knowledge that impede the development of effective policy and programming to address the devastating number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada."

For the past five years, SIS has worked to identify root causes, trends and circumstances of violence that have led to disappearance and death of Aboriginal women and girls. NWAC has worked to provide evidence of more than 520 missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada, as well as find opportunities to support families, engage communities, work with service providers, the police and justice systems and in collaboration with Aboriginal organizations, human rights organizations, and the federal government to raise awareness and address violence, which leads to disappearance and death.

Moving forward the Native Women's Association of Canada will continue to work towards advancing knowledge and awareness of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls by now moving from evident to action. NWAC is committed to working with the Status of Women Canada and other government departments to develop concrete actions and activities that will end the cycle of violence, particularly that which may lead to disappearance and death of Aboriginal women and girls.

SOURCE Native Women's Association of Canada

For further information: For further information: Andrea Ruttan, M.A., Phone: (613) 656-3012, Communications Advisor, Email: aruttan@nwac.ca

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