For Immediate Release

"Canada is committed to promoting and protecting the rights of Indigenous peoples," said the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs. "Canada's active involvement abroad, coupled with its productive partnership with Aboriginal Canadians, is having a real impact in advancing indigenous rights at home and abroad."
- November 12, 2010

Ottawa (April 20, 2012)- In 2010 the Government of Canada made the long awaited and much heralded step of endorsing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Less than two years later, the Harper Government is taking steps backwards rather than forward in meeting its international obligations.

Specifically, as a consequence of Budget 2012, the Harper Governments has chosen to immediately cut all funds to the Health Department of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) who for 30 years has provided targeted health programs for Aboriginal women.

As well, funding for the National Centre for First Nations Governance (NCFNG) has been eliminated. Consequently, as of March 31, 2013, the NCFNG will no longer offer its popular nation rebuilding services and will be forced to close its doors. NCFNG provides First Nations leaders and administrators with hands-on tools for fully engaging their citizens and taking responsibility for their future.

“Eliminating the ability of NWAC to provide health programming and outright eliminating NCFNG that has been dedicated to improving the lives of Canada’s most vulnerable populations is not going to reduce but rather compound existing problems” states Canada Association of Social Workers (CASW) President Morel Caissie.

CASW is respectively asking the Harper Government to keep the momentum moving forward in living up it’s the international obligations by restoring funding to both NWAC and NCFNG.


For more information:
Fred Phelps MSW, RSW
CASW Executive Director
613-729-6668 or