OTTAWA, June 22, 2017 /CNW/ - Monday morning, residents of Tewegan Housing for Aboriginal Youth hosted a bannock and tea conversation with the United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Kate Gilmore. Sharing the unique life experiences faced daily by young Aboriginal women living in Ottawa, residents discussed the difficult issues of racism, discrimination, and human trafficking, and spoke of the supports and solutions needs to address them.
"Meeting with the Deputy High Commissioner was empowering and inspirational," said one of the residents after the visit. "She made us feel comfortable and safe to share our experiences and we are very honored that she started her day with us." Another resident spoke about recent issues related to identity, child welfare and provincial jurisdictional challenges, and added that "today, Kate reminded me that my voice as a mother and Indigenous woman matters, she made me realize that I am a human rights activist." Residents felt encouraged that their experiences would help inform human rights work at the international level.
"Conversations such as the one we had this morning are very encouraging and serve to highlight the realities our young women face in this community." stated Irene Goodwin, Executive Director of Tewegan. After a tour of Tewegan, Ms. Gilmore was presented with a gift of sage and shell on behalf of residents, staff, and Board of Directors of Tewegan to honour her visit.
"The opportunity for young Aboriginal women to meet, to share, to have their voices heard, and to know that their individual rights are important resonated deeply today," said Kristine Neglia, President of Tewegan. "While there is still work to be done to address human rights for Aboriginal people in Canada, it's important to acknowledge the good work and support available within the Ottawa Aboriginal community." Residents of Tewegan spoke highly of several community service organizations including the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health and Minwaashin Lodge.
Tewegan Housing for Aboriginal Youth operates the only transition house in the Nation's Capital region for young First Nation, Inuit, and Métis women, ages 16 to 29 that are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
SOURCE Tewegan Housing for Aboriginal Women
For further information: Irene Goodwin, Executive Director, Tewegan Housing for Aboriginal Youth, 65 Harvey Street, Ottawa, ON., K1S 0A8, Tel: 613-233-0672, Email: [email protected]