Coalition Calls on the Federal Government to Fully Restore Recent Funding Cuts to the Quebec Native Women’s Association and Honouring the Circle Transitional Shelter
PRESS STATEMENT- May 26, 2015
Vancouver, B.C., Coast Salish Territory
A Coalition on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls is denouncing federal funding cuts to the Quebec Native Women’s Association (QNWA) and to Honouring the Circle (HTC), a transitional shelter for single women and women with children.
As of April 1, 2015, the federal government will not be providing funding to QNWA for the first time in 35 years. Annual funding of $150,000 to $175,000 from the federal government covered essential administrative costs for QNWA. The federal government has told QNWA that funding is being cancelled because the federal government no longer considers the QNWA an Aboriginal-representative organization; however, the QNWA actively assists Aboriginal women and their children living with gendered violence, family violence, substance abuse, education, and equality issues. The Coalition questions whether the cancellation of funding is related to the QNWA’s political advocacy for the wellbeing of Indigenous women and girls.
Further, the Coalition is troubled by the additional cut of$200,000 in federal funding previously provided to the HTC, which is operated by the Native Women’s Centre and assists women who are recovering from the trauma of violence from husbands or intimate partners, family abuse, addictions and mental health issues. The Coalition is extremely concerned that the cancellation of federal funding to the QNVA and HTC will directly result in decreased essential support services for Indigenous women and girls who are have experienced violence against them.
The Coalition acknowledges the immense amount of work the QNVA and HTC have carried out in supporting Indigenous women and girls, and calls on the federal government to fully reinstate funding to both the QNVA and HTC. Women’s groups like QNVA and HTC are essential in providing Indigenous women and girls experiencing violence a safe environment and support systems, and to preventing a further increase in the tragically high number of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls. The Coalition on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls initially came together in response to the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry in British Columbia overseen by Commissioner Wally Oppal. Unfortunately the groups who formed the Coalition were shut out of the inquiry; however, the Coalition continues to meet regularly to pursue justice for murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls and has grown in number and strength.
For further information please contact:
Amnesty International Canada, Craig Benjamin, (613) 744-7667, ext. 235
Atira Women’s Resource Society, Janice Abbott, (604) 331-1420
Battered Women’s Support Services, Angela Marie MacDougall, (604) 808-0507
Butterflies in Spirit, Lorelei Williams, (778) 709-6498
February 14th Women’s Memorial March Committee, Marlene George, (604) 681-8480, ext. 241
Holly Jarrett, Creator of #AmINext campaign, (613) 304-9566
Jenny Kwan, MLA, Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, (604) 775-0790
National Congress of Black Women Foundation- BC, Juliane Okot Bitek, (604) 612-0995
Native Women’s Association of Canada, Claudette Dumont-Smith, (613) 722-3033, ext. 223
PACE: Providing Alternatives Counselling & Education Society, Laura Dilley, (604) 872-7651
PHS Community Services Society, Patrick Smith, (604) 779-6837
Pivot Legal Society, Kevin Hollett, (778) 848-3240
Poverty and Human Rights Centre, Shelagh Day, (604) 872-0750
Provincial Council of Women of BC, Rosemary Mallory, (604) 985-0878
Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, (250) 490-5314
Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre Society, Lillian Howard, (604) 253-9575
Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter, Keira Smith-Tague, (604) 872-8212
West Coast LEAF, Kendra Milne, ((email@example.com)
WISH Drop-In Centre Society, Kate Gibson, (604) 720-5517
Women Against Violence Against Women, Irene Tsepnopoulos-Elhaimer, (604) 771-1715
You could do something to End Violence Against Women