Indigenous Peoples

CFUW recognizes the many past and ongoing manifestations of colonialism faced by First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples in Canada. We aim, through research, learning projects, calls to action, events and partnerships, to support Indigenous Peoples’ rights.

At the 2017 AGM in Richmond BC, the National Board approved a National Initiative on Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Metis and Inuit) to intensify our efforts in learning more about the issues facing Indigenous Peoples and about how we can offer support.

  1. Reconciliation
    What is reconciliation?
    For CFUW, reconciliation means learning about the historical discrimination and dispossession faced by Indigenous Peoples, but also learning about the diverse and rich culture of First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples. It means generating concrete actions to show support, appreciation and solidarity, and engaging in restoring friendly relationships and respect between non-Indigenous and Indigenous peoples.
    Find out about the many ways to engage in reconciliation with : 150 Acts of Reconciliation for the Last 150 Days of Canada’s 150
    Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action
  2. Indigenous Films Festival 2017
    Through the Indigenous Study Group, CFUW is inviting Clubs, CFUW interest groups and individuals to learn more about First Nations, Métis and Inuit heritage.
    CFUW invites clubs to host screening events featuring one or several Indigenous movies (we also encourage members to watch them on their own).
    In selecting the films, we tried to represent First Nations, Métis, and Inuit. The films have also been chosen to reflect the experience in different areas of the country.Contact your local club to find out about screening events.
    Click here for more details on the Film Festival
    Access CFUW Indigenous Peoples Committee’s recommended films list here
    Click here to access the “Indigenous Peoples and Resources” document with an additional list of films and books.
  3. National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIWG)
    CFUW is deeply concerned by the high prevalence of violence against Indigenous women across Canada. In 2015, CFUW passed a resolution supporting the call from Indigenous women’s groups and Indigenous communities for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.For more details go to the National Initiative on Violence against Women.
  4. Access to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation
    Water is a human right. The lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation in Indigenous Communities across Canada are ongoing human rights violations.
    Indigenous communities across Canada continue to experience disease and health problems attributable to poor water and sanitation and face the daily, time-consuming and stressful burden of having to boil, treat, and/or obtain bottled water in sufficient quantity for everyday use and consumption. On many First Nation reserves and communities, Drinking Water Advisories (DWA) have been in place for years, sometimes decades. Progress is slow and of concern.
    The unpredictable and insufficient funding for capital, operational and maintenance costs, the absence of legal protections and standards of drinking water, the complicated administrative process for funding, as well as the lack of support to Indigenous leadership and Indigenous led-initiatives are key issues that have kept Indigenous Communities from securing sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation. In 2015, the Federal Government committed to ending all long-term drinking water advisories on Reserves by March 2021.
    In light of the ongoing chronic safe drinking water and sanitation crisis faced by First Nations, at the 2017 AGM, CFUW members passed a resolution on the Right to Safe, Clean, Accessible and Affordable Drinking Water and Sanitation on First Nations Reserves in Canada.
    CFUW President Grace Hollett, wrote to Minister Philpott in the context of the December 2017 Parliamentary Budget Officer Report on funding for water and waste water management infrastructure as well as in support of Indigenous-led initiatives. Click here to read the letter.Advocate for the right to water and sanitation:
    Write to your local elected representatives! Safe Water Letter to M.P. / Lettre Accès à l’eau potable (Élu Fédéral)
    Safe Water Letter to M.L.A. and al. / Lettre Accès à l’eau potable (Élu Provincial)For other advocacy ideas, consult our list of suggested actions
    Safe Water Suggested Actions / Actions suggéréesTo follow the updates on Drinking Water Advisories:
    INAC: https://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1506514143353/1506514230742
    Health Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/topics/health-environment/water-quality-health/drinking-water/advisories-first-nations-south-60.html
  5. CFUW Aboriginal Women’s Award
    The CFUW Aboriginal Women’s Award aims to support Indigenous women undertaking graduate studies.
    To find out more about the award click here.

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