Jobs Events Advertise

Historic agreement signed between Native Women’s Association of Canada and Central American Nations

Giovanni Torre -

The Native Women's Association of Canada's (NWAC) has signed a "ground-breaking" Memorandum of Understanding with the General Secretariat of the Central American Integration System (SG-SICA).

Native Women's Association of Canada's (NWAC) chief executive Lynne Groulx signed the agreement last week during an eight-day visit to El Salvador.

In a statement released Tuesday, NWAC said Ms Groulx had "advanced international relationships that will benefit Indigenous Peoples by supporting cultural and economic exchange across the Americas".

Ms Groulx said the meetings and agreement "broke important barriers".

"We haven't been talking enough as Indigenous Peoples across the national boundaries established through colonisation. It is extremely powerful when Indigenous Peoples unite," she said.

The MOU focuses on Indigenous priorities championed by NWAC such women's empowerment, economic justice, opportunities for trade and economic sustainability, and conservation and balance with nature. To achieve these goals, the agreement acknowledges the need to promote and strengthen cooperative relations between Canada and the Central American Integration System (SICA).

NWAC said "an agreement of this magnitude opens doors", fast-tracking the organisation's ability to implement the priorities set out in the agreement, which will have "far reaching benefits" for Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit, transgender, and gender-diverse+ (WG2STGD+) peoples across the Americas.

More than 60 different groups, approximately 20 per cent of the total population of Central America, make up the Indigenous Peoples represented within the SICA's eight member states: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and the Dominican Republic.

The SICA is a governance body composed of the presidents of each of the member nations, that aspires to integrate Central America as a region focused on peace, freedom, democracy, and development.

Ms Groulx will begin taking action to implement the terms of the agreement with visits to each of the SICA member countries.

NWAC noted that along with signing the MOU, "the broader objective of Ms Groulx's trip to El Salvador was to build relationships big and small". While there she was invited to meet with El Salvador Vice-President Felix Ulloa to discuss trade between Indigenous Peoples, expanding business opportunities and building cultural exchanges.

The NWAC head developed new relationships with local Indigenous women artists, artisans, and entrepreneurs, returning home with spectacular artwork and textiles for NWAC's Sisters in Spirit America's Collection. She also met with the Women in Coffee Association of El Salvador and the Salvadorian Coffee Council, an opportunity to exchange knowledge and explore trade relationships at a crucial time, as NWAC is near releasing its own coffee line, with all profits going back to supporting NWAC's programs for Indigenous WG2STGD+ people.

Ms Groulx said the engagement marked a renewal of Indigenous relationships that were previously the norm across the Americas.

"There is an Inca prophecy that tells us that 'When the Eagle of the North flies with the Condor of the South, the spirit of the land she will re-awaken'. And Indigenous Peoples have been envisioning – and awaiting - this resurgence for a long time," she said.

The NWAC CEO was accompanied on the Indigenous diplomatic mission to El Salvador by Salvadorian Ambassador Ricardo Cisneros and NWAC's International Director Tania Molina.

NWAC said the outcomes of thre mission "are the result of a year of international relationship building that continues to position NWAC as a leading voice advocating for Indigenous rights and well-being on an international stage".

The Native Women's Association of Canada is a National Indigenous Organisation "representing the political voice of Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people in Canada, inclusive of First Nations on and off reserve, status and non-status, disenfranchised, Métis and Inuit".

An aggregate of Indigenous women's organisations from across the country, NWAC was founded "on the collective goal to enhance, promote and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of Indigenous women within their respective communities and Canada societies".

   Related   

Extraordinary finds at Juukan Gorge to be revealed at international conference
Representatives of the PKKP Aboriginal Corporation will this week use an interna...
Giovanni Torre 16 Apr 2024
Colours nailed to the mast in Solomons street parades
Vuvuzelas, truck horns and chants have rung out across the Solomon Islands as...
Luke Costin 16 Apr 2024
Call for Indigenous justice heard on global stage
This statement by Dr Hannah McGlade was delivered to the UN Permanent Forum for...
Dr Hannah McGlade 16 Apr 2024
University of Auckland partners with schools to boost Māori and Pacific student success
Waipapa Taumata Rau (University of Auckland) is launching a new initiative aimed...
Joseph Guenzler 11 Apr 2024

   Giovanni Torre   

Inspector identifies staff shortages and overcrowding as ongoing problems at Eastern Goldfields prison
Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison still struggles to attract and retain staff,...
Giovanni Torre 16 Apr 2024
Extraordinary finds at Juukan Gorge to be revealed at international conference
Representatives of the PKKP Aboriginal Corporation will this week use an interna...
Giovanni Torre 16 Apr 2024
Compassion, collaboration & commitment needed to end NT homelessness
The Northern Territory holds the dubious distinction of having the highest rate...
Jocelyn Cull 16 Apr 2024
Call for Indigenous justice heard on global stage
This statement by Dr Hannah McGlade was delivered to the UN Permanent Forum for...
Dr Hannah McGlade 16 Apr 2024