Government of Canada supports project to empower Aboriginal women in Nova Scotia

    HALIFAX, Aug. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Helena Guergis, Minister
of State (Status of Women), today announced support to the Mi'kmaq Native
Friendship Society for a project that will provide programming for urban
Aboriginal women and a focal point for the urban Aboriginal community to
gather for community functions and events.
    The project, Women Are the Medicine - WAM, will provide 24 Learning
Circles, or workshops, to inform and empower urban and off-reserve Aboriginal
women on issues such as family violence, relationship violence,
pre-employability support, entrepreneurship, addictions, family health and
self-reliance. The workshop materials and related resources will be developed
with participants and then shared with four other Native Friendship Centres in
the Atlantic region.
    "Aboriginal women who leave their communities can experience difficulties
when entering a new community. The Mi'kmaq Native Friendship Society is
addressing those needs through community-based initiatives that support
Aboriginal women living off-reserve and in urban settings," said the
Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the
Atlantic Gateway and MP for Central Nova. "This project provides programming,
activities and events that will help strengthen these women's sense of
identity and provide a sense of community."
    "Women Are the Medicine - WAM is creating vital connections with other
key service organizations that support Aboriginal women and equip them to
build their economic security," said Minister of State Guergis. "The
Government of Canada supports projects like this because they yield concrete
results for women and girls. This is particularly important in addressing the
unique realities of Aboriginal women and girls. This project will ensure that
culturally sensitive tools are used to help empower these women."
    "There are few structured services to address the despair, abuse,
addiction, poverty and hopelessness that Aboriginal women living off-reserve
experience. There is a need to educate, empower and connect Aboriginal women
to community," said Mr. Gordon King, Executive Director of the Mi'kmaq Native
Friendship Society. "Our centre has the knowledge and capacity to achieve
positive and lasting change for First Nations women. Thanks to the support of
the Government of Canada, we are able to reach out to and empower them."
    The Mi'kmaq Native Friendship Society will receive $208,000 over 24
months through the Women's Community Fund of Status of Women Canada. The
objective of this Fund is to address the economic and social situation of
women and their participation in democratic life through projects that
directly support women in their communities.

    Status of Women Canada is a federal government agency working to promote
equality for women, and their full participation in the economic, social and
democratic life of Canada.

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    For news releases and information on Status of Women Canada, go to

For further information:

For further information: Sherine Mansour, Director of Communications,
Office of the Minister of State (Status of Women), (819) 956-4000; Nanci-Jean
Waugh, Director General, Communications and Strategic Planning, Status of
Women Canada, (613) 995-7839

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