Saturday, June 23

Aboriginal women's summit calls for funding

Ottawa and the provinces need to stop their jurisdictional bickering and take a more proactive stance on resolving the litany of social and economic problems facing native women, aboriginal leaders said as the first national aboriginal women's summit concluded Friday.

About 300 delegates who attended the conference issued dozens of recommendations that called for an increase in funding for a wide range of initiatives aimed at preventing physical, sexual and drug abuse on and off reserves.

Bev Oda, federal minister for the status of women, announced that Ottawa would invest $56 million over five years for family violence prevention programs. The funding will go to 35 existing shelters and to the construction of up to five new ones, Oda said.

The Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, a national Inuit organization, criticized the $56-million program, saying it excludes Inuit.

Mary Simon, president of the group, said it is inconceivable that equivalent funding on the issue of violence against Inuit woman wasn't provided.

"Inuit women suffer comparable incidences of violence and require the same support services, such as safe women's shelters,'' Simon said in a release.


No comments: