Funding Cut Set-back for Native Women’s Goal of Equality

The Green Party of Canada is calling for the restoration of Health Canada funding to the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC).

“This cut in funding is a real blow to a valuable organization that is desperately needed.  Slashing funding to the NWAC flies in the face of Conservative ministers’ statements expressing concern about suicide rates, mental health issues and health on First Nation reserves,” said Elizabeth  May, Green Party Leader and Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands.

“The NWAC does vital work in promoting the well-being of First Nation and Métis women across Canada.  With the crisis state of our First Nation reserves, the federal government should be committing more resources, not less,” said Green Aboriginal Affairs Critic Lorraine Rekmans.

Health Canada announced that all of its funding to the NWAC will be cut. Programs designed to help children and youth will be lost, including suicide prevention.  Also lost will be programs focusing on diabetes and HIV.  The funding cut was sudden and unexpected for this national organization which has been helping Aboriginal women since 1974.

“The NWAC’s goal is to achieve equality for all Aboriginal women in Canada. Health programs, especially mental health and for youth, are so critical to that goal.  This latest fallout of the Harper Conservative’s ill-conceived budget cuts will have a serious negative impact for our First Nations,” said Rekmans.