Member of Parliament Rob Clarke Announces Support for Violence Against Women Survivor (VAWS) Cultural Healing Project

BLACK LAKE, SK, Oct. 28, 2013 /CNW/ - Rob Clarke, Member of Parliament (Desnethé-Missinipi-Churchill River), on behalf of the Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today announced funding for the Athabasca Health Authority (AHA) for its Violence against Women Survivor (VAWS) Cultural Healing Project.

"The Violence Against Women Survivor Cultural Healing project will help Dene women affected by family violence reconnect with their culture and heritage," said Mr. Clarke. "This is an important step in their healing journey, and I am proud that our Government is providing support to help make this happen."

With this funding, the AHA will provide Dene women from three remote Northern Saskatchewan communities affected by family violence with the opportunity to participate in a series of culturally relevant workshops led by a female Elder. Participants will share their experiences, connect with their cultural identities and learn traditional skills. Activities include participating in sharing circles, traditional gatherings and feasts and learning cooking, beading and hunting techniques.

"Our Government is committed to improving the lives of Aboriginal women in Canada," said Minister Glover. "Today we are investing in a project that will empower these women and help them move toward a better future for themselves, their families and their communities."

"Our goal is to help women who have suffered from inter-personal violence to begin their healing journey, through Dene cultural activities and with the safe guidance of an elder, mental health therapist, and family home visiting worker," said Jennifer Conley, Chief Executive Officer of the Athabasca Health Authority. "We also hope that this will be an impetus for future community programming and strategies that will address inter-personal violence in our northern and remote Diesoline communities."

AHA is located in Black Lake, Saskatchewan and comprises five members: the Black Lake Denesuline First Nation, the Fond du Lac Denesuline First Nation, the Northern Hamlet of Stony Rapids, and the Northern Settlements of Uranium City and Camsell Portage. The organization operates under agreements with provincial and federal governments to provide health services in the North.

The Government of Canada has provided $18,320 in funding through the Aboriginal Women's Programming Element (AWPE) of the Aboriginal Peoples' Program. This component enables Aboriginal women to influence policies, programs, legislation, and decision making that affect the social, cultural, economic, and political well-being in their communities and in Canadian society. It includes a component to address issues around family violence and a self-government initiative to support the full participation of Aboriginal women in consultations and decision-making processes.

SOURCE: Canadian Heritage

For further information:

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For more information (media only), please contact:

Marisa Monnin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of 
Canadian Heritage and 
Official Languages

Francine D. Lefebvre
Regional Communications 
Prairies and Northern Region 
Canadian Heritage
Tel.: 204-983-4367
Cell: 204-899-8611

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

(This news release is available on the Internet at under Newsroom.)


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