Oct 1, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Women leaders of the province's First Nations communities and Aboriginal organizations participated in the Dialogue Forum on Violence against Aboriginal Women, held last Thursday in Fredericton.
The forum was attended by Health Minister Mary Schryer, who is also minister responsible for the status of women.
"Addressing violence against Aboriginal women is a priority for this government, and we have much work to do to ensure that all forms of violence and abuse are eliminated from First Nations and from all communities in New Brunswick," said Schryer. "Our government is committed to continuing to work with our partners in First Nations communities and Aboriginal organizations so that all Aboriginal women in our province are able to enjoy a healthy, safe and productive life, free of violence."
The forum introduced the Strategic framework to end violence against Wabanaki women in New Brunswick, and encouraged discussions through a facilitated process that focused on the issue of violence and its affects on Aboriginal women.
"When we speak of violence against Aboriginal women, we often conjure images of black eyes and bruises," said M.J. Peters, representing the New Brunswick Aboriginal Women's Council, Inc. "As well as physical abuse, violence against Aboriginal women is incarceration, marginalization, discrimination and racism. We must educate our young Aboriginal women about these issues and practise what we preach if we hope to eliminate violence against them."
The Advisory Committee on Violence against Aboriginal Women developed the framework to help address this central concern. The framework provides contextual information on the extent of the problem among Aboriginal communities in New Brunswick and Canada, and it outlines several potential actions in the areas of capacity-building, prevention and education and service delivery.
"The day was productive as we shared our ideas and learned different approaches about the issues we face in our communities," said Candice Paul, chief of St. Mary's First Nation. "I was pleased to see the minister here. It shows her commitment and recognition of the importance of the Strategic framework to end violence against Wabanaki women in New Brunswick."
Copies of the Strategic Framework to End Violence Against Wabanaki Women in New Brunswick are available online.
MEDIA CONTACT: Sonya Gilks, communications, Women's Issues Branch, 506-444-3506.