Statement - Minister Bennett Thanks Outgoing NWAC President Dawn Lavell-Harvard for her dedication in empowering Indigenous Women

OTTAWA, Sept. 27, 2016 /CNW/ - The Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett, issued the following statement today:

"When Indigenous women and girls thrive, our nation is stronger and benefits from the talent and the knowledge they contribute. For forty-two years, the Native Women's Association of Canada has played a vital role in empowering Indigenous women and girls, with the goal of enhancing, promoting and fostering greater social, cultural and economic well-being of First Nations and Métis from coast to coast to coast.

This work cannot be accomplished without a strong and dedicated leader. I'm honoured to have had the opportunity to witness the inspiring leadership of Dawn Lavell-Harvard. Under her guidance, NWAC has made real progress towards the goal of advancing the well-being of Indigenous women, including tremendous work towards launching the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

NWAC has for many years raised awareness about the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. We are so grateful for the sentinel Stolen Sisters report, Sisters in Spirit, the poignant Faceless Dolls display to the invaluable role that NWAC played during the MMIWG pre-Inquiry design process. 

As Dawn leaves her role as president, our country thanks her for the great contribution she has made. Her leadership has greatly benefited Indigenous women, and all Canadians.

Today, we congratulate new interim President Francyne Joe. On behalf of all Canadians, I extend my best wishes to President Joe and to NWAC as they continue their truly important work.

This statement is also available on the Internet at

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SOURCE Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

For further information: media may contact: Sabrina Williams, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-953-1160

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