MEMBERTOU, NS, Oct. 22, 2014 /CNW/ - Forth National Aboriginal Women's Summit (NAWS IV) on Murdered and Missing Aboriginal Women and Girls wraps up with discussions focused on Equity, Empowerment and Leadership.
The Métis Nation delegation headed by Women of the Métis Nation (WMN) President Melanie Omeniho was composed of Clara Del Col from BC, Elder Linda Boudreau from Alberta, Monell Bailey from Saskatchewan, Sharon McBride from Ontario, President Clément Chartier and MNC communications officer, Ke Ning. The MNC, through Women of the Métis Nation, has been an active participant in this process and looks forward to the implementation of the positive dialogue coming out of the Summit.
The objectives of the Summit were to provide a forum for sharing best practices and knowledge exchange; raise awareness on the range of issues affecting Aboriginal women in all their diversity; develop culturally-relevant and accessible responses to issues affecting Aboriginal women, their families and communities; increase the level of engagement and collaboration amongst Aboriginal communities, governments and organizations; and to assess previous NAWS recommendations and identify solution-based actions.
The three-day Summit opened with keynote speaker, Métis lawyer Jean Teillet, followed by Reflection Circles where delegates reviewed and reflected on the wisdom of women who came forward years ago to discuss ideas and form thoughts on how to best address the issues of equity, empowerment and leadership during past summits. The Summit also featured other key note addresses, as well as panel discussions with provincial and territorial representatives and National Aboriginal Leaders.
The outcome of the summit will be shared with the Aboriginal Affairs Working Group of the Council of the Federation towards the development of a national framework of action to support ongoing collaborative work on violence against Aboriginal women and girls by the provinces, territories and Aboriginal Organizations. The National Aboriginal Organizations are continuing to press for a National Inquiry into the Murdered and Missing Aboriginal Women and are, in the interim, prepared to engage in a Round Table process with the federal and provincial/territorial governments.
"Women of the Métis Nation is moving forward addressing the priorities and issues of Métis women at the National Aboriginal Women's Summit in Cape Breton with the hope of being able to have a strong collective socio-economic action plan that addresses the root causes of some of the perplexing issues facing Indigenous women in Canada." said President Melanie Omeniho.
"The first day of the Summit was successful in bringing together a good cross-section of Aboriginal representatives from throughout Canada, with strong statements coming out of the Reflection Circles at the end of each panel session, which I believe will serve as a strong impetus as we move forward with a dedicated determination to fully address and resolve this most terrible of situations confronting our Aboriginal communities" stated President Chartier.
After a side informal planning meeting of Aboriginal leaders and provincial/territorial Ministers which decided that the national roundtable on Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls will take place in February 2015, President of Women of the Métis Nation, Melanie Omeniho, stated, "I am particularly pleased that this monumental step was taken on the final day of the NAWS IV gathering here in Membertou signifying a real and positive agreement by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal leaders to take a pro-active approach, taking into account the decisions of the gathering which I believe will help guide the deliberations which will be undertaken by the proposed round table."
"The Métis Nation is pleased with the progress made today by Aboriginal Leaders, Premier Bob McLeod and provincial and territorial Ministers in moving forward in a formalized process which will lead to a national roundtable convened to address the critical issue of murdered and missing Aboriginal women and girls" added President Clément Chartier.
The MNC represents the Métis Nation in Canada at the national and international levels. The Métis Nation's homeland includes the 3 Prairie Provinces and extends into Ontario, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and the northern United States. There are approximately 350,000 – 400,000 Métis Nation citizens in Canada, roughly a quarter of all Aboriginal peoples in the country.
Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak (Women of the Métis Nation) speaks as the national and international voice for Métis women. WMN aims to consult, promote and represent the personal, spiritual, social, cultural, political and economic interests and aspirations of the Métis Nation in Canada.
SOURCE: Métis National Council
For further information: Ke Ning, Métis National Council, c: (613) 297-5193, e: firstname.lastname@example.org; Melanie Omeniho, Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak (Women of the Métis Nation), c: (780) 919-6980