AFN Women’s Council

AFN Special Chiefs Assembly Update - December 2014

The Women’s Council works with the AFN Secretariat to ensure that the concerns and perspectives of First Nations women inform the work of the AFN. Council members hold portfolio responsibilities, including participation in a wide range of panels, presentations and forums that are relevant to First Nations women.

Key Issues and Activities

The Council has been engaged in various meetings and activities that address matters of concern to First Nations women and their families. The Council Chair and co-Chair have actively participated on the Executive Committee and, as such, have kept the Council apprised of Executive activities and discussions. Also, the Chair has been participating in monthly calls with the chairs of the Youth and Elders Councils, and the Chief Executive Officer, as a way to establish improved communication between the AFN Secretariat and the Tri-Council.

The Council has been involved in a number of activities including the Truth and Reconciliation Commission national event in British Columbia, the Chiefs Committee on Economic Development, National Fisheries meeting, Sisters in Spirit Vigils across the country, and most recently the Engaging Older Adults conference held in Whitehorse, Yukon.

The Council actively engaged in the 4th National Aboriginal Women’s Summit (NAWS IV) that took place in Membertou, Nova Scotia on October 20-22, 2014. The Council made a submission with recommended actions corresponding to the NAWS themes: Empowerment, Equity and Leadership. In addition, Council members participated in discussions that highlighted the importance of immediate action to address the challenges that have been raised at previous NAWS. The co-Chair also engaged in interviews pertaining to the Summit and the urgent action needed to address violence against Indigenous women and girls.

The Council welcomes the support received from the Premiers across Canada to hold a roundtable on the way forward to address violence against Indigenous women and girls. The roundtable is expected to take place in February, 2015.

Unfortunately, the Council’s capacity to operate is limited as funding has been significantly reduced. Thus, the Council is currently focusing on outreach and canvassing for funding opportunities that can support its important advocacy and advisory work.

Next Steps - Moving Forward

  • The Council is highly committed to support and engage in the implementation of the Action Plan to Ensure Safety and Security for Indigenous Women and Girls.
  • The Council will be discussing fundraising ideas to support its activities.
  • The Council will discuss the outcomes from the NAWS IV report.
  • Council members will continue to be active in their regions.
  • The Council will discuss next steps in response to the recent reports by the RCMP on murdered and missing Aboriginal women as well as the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  • The Council will also continue to work with the Youth and Elders Councils to continue to implement Resolution 02/2012 as well as the Tri-Council Strategic Plan.

Assembly of First Nations