TITLE: Inequitable Funding of On Reserve Women’s Shelters
SUBJECT: Violence against Women and Children
MOVED BY: Chief Randy Ermineskin, Ermineskin Cree Nation, AB
SECONDED BY: Chief Irvin Bull, Louis Bull First Nation, AB
DECISION Carried by Consensus
A. The Government of Canada has endorsed the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration). The UN Declaration states:
- Article 22 (2): States shall take measures, in conjunction with Indigenous Peoples, to ensure that Indigenous Women and Children enjoy the full protection and guarantees against all forms of violence and discrimination.
B. The four First Nations women’s shelters of Neepinise Family Healing Centre, Ermineskin Women’s Shelter Society, Eagle’s Nest Stoney and Sucker Creek Emergency Women’s Shelter in Treaty 6, 7 and 8 in Alberta are funded by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.
C. The First Nations Women’s Shelters provide a vital component in the prevention of domestic violence and the protection of women and children in crisis within their respective communities.
D. The lack of adequate funding causes on-reserve First Nations women’s shelters to operate contrary to provincial legislation requiring two Crisis Intervention Workers (CIW) between the hours of 4:00 p.m. to midnight, as shelters can only afford one CIW at times to remain open.
E. In 2006, the federal government funded the Johnston Research Inc. Report that included recommendations from the First Nation’s shelter directors, including a formula for increased funding.
F. In 2011, the Moving Forward! Planning for Self Determination Johnston Research Inc. Report found that on-reserve First Nations shelters were underfunded by 50 percent, compared to off-reserve shelters.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Chiefs-in-Assembly:
1. Direct the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) to respectfully call upon the Government of Canada to:
- Address the funding shortfall of on-reserve First Nations somen’s shelters as compared to off-reserve women’s shelters.
- To ensure Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada staff work with the on-reserve First Nations women’s shelter directors to develop a new funding formula that reflects the actual costs to run viable, safe and legislatively compliant shelters, and to ensure annual increases in cost-of-living are factored in the formula.
- Implement the recommendations in the 2006 and 2011 Johnson Research Inc. Reports to ensure the funding formula for on-reserve First Nations women’s shelters is predicable, sufficient and sustainable.
2. Direct the AFN to report back to Chiefs-in-Assembly on the progress of this work at the 2017 Annual General Assembly.