NWAC Elder Attending Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference to Advocate for the Rights and Interests of Indigenous Women
July 15, 2019
(Cranbrook, BC)– Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) Elder Rosanne Martin is attending today the Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference (EMMC) in Cranbrook to advocate for the rights and interests of Indigenous women.
Elder Martin will be participating in conference sessions to raise concerns about the disproportionate impacts of industrial projects on Indigenous women, urging provincial and territorial representatives to take more ambitious action to reduce and eliminate the negative environmental, socio-cultural and economic impacts of energy and mining activities on Indigenous women and their families and communities.
Many Indigenous communities across Canada have experienced industrial activities on their traditional territories. Some of these experiences have been positive, while many have been deeply harmful with impacts on the environment, traditions and customs, public and private services and criminality including sexual violence and human trafficking.
“Where industrial projects impact our access to traditional territories, the quality of our environment and the availability and quality of country foods, we are harmed first and most. But perhaps the most reprehensible impact of industrial projects is the increased risk of sexual violence against Indigenous women and girls that come along with the presence of industrial work camps”, said Elder Rosanne Martin.
NWAC continuously works to address issues related to industrial projects where they exist and advocates for respect for Indigenous rights and the best interests of Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people.
NWAC is calling on all federal, provincial and territorial governments to undertake more ambitious efforts to work with industry and Indigenous peoples to ensure that meaningful legislative, policy and program measures are in place to minimize negative and maximize positive effects of industrial projects on Indigenous women where these activities take place.
“Where projects are proposed or undertaken, we must ensure that the voices of Indigenous women are heard, and our rights respected. This will minimize the disproportionate externalization of environmental, social and economic harms and maximize positive outcomes for Indigenous women, their families and communities” said Martin.
The EMMC is an annual gathering of federal, provincial and territorial minsters responsible for energy and mining portfolios in their jurisdictions. This year’s conference will include sessions on the participation of Indigenous peoples in mining operations and women in natural resources.
Senior Director of Legal and Policy