OTTAWA, March 28, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC) is disheartened that the federal government's Budget 2023 has once again failed to address critical issues facing Indigenous women, girls, and gender-diverse people: particularly addressing MMIWG and economic opportunity. The federal government released its budget earlier today, outlining the fiscal, social, and economic priorities for the upcoming year.
"A budget is about priorities ? and Budget 2023 has failed to make it a top priority to protect and empower Indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse people," says NWAC CEO Lynne Groulx. "We wanted to see investments rooted in the principles of reconciliation and empowerment ? and a commitment to Indigenous people taking our full place in Canadian society through significant investments in Indigenous reconciliation efforts that directly impact the well-being of Indigenous women. What we saw instead is a lack of investment to end economic marginalization of Indigenous women in order to end the violence against them to ensure full participation in the Canadian economy."
"It's time for the Federal government to walk the reconciliation talk," Ms. Groulx adds.
There can't be reconciliation without reducing the rates of violence, over-incarceration, and economic disparity faced by Indigenous women, girls, and gender-diverse people in this country. Canadians are struggling with the cost of living, and it's clear this is the top priority item in the budget. This struggle is something Indigenous people have been facing for many decades now, and the need for direct investment is dire, says Ms. Groulx.
"This year's budget doesn't surprise us at all. Year after year, the budgets have been consistently disappointing. With words but no actions, this government continues to show Canadians that Indigenous women simply are not a priority," says Ms. Groulx. "It's 2023, two years since the National Action Plan was released, four years since the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls issued its final report declaring an ongoing genocide. And the violence continues. When does the government say to Canadians that enough is enough? Certainly not in this budget."