Quebec Native Women

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What Happened

For over 40 years, Quebec Native Women (QNW) has provided services and support for Indigenous women in Quebec, through the "promotion of non-violence, justice, health and equality." Following an important funding cut from the federal government, though, the organization may be forced to close.

For the past 20 years, QNW received $175,000 in funding per year from Heritage Canada. In 2014, the federal government transfered the administration of the funds to the department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC). AANDC then informed the QNW that they do not recognize them as an Aboriginal Representative Organization, and withdrew the funding. The budget cut is threatening the existence of the QNW, with it's president Viviane Michel saying that they are facing possible closure.

While AANDC has said QNW can apply for Aboriginal Representative Organization status, the department could not provide any guidelines of information to QNW on how to qualify. AANDC also suggested QNW apply for funds under the name of another, recognized organization. Michel told APTN that they have done so, but are concerned by the fact it takes away their independence.

The cuts come at a time when Native women are being vocal about the fight for justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. As Mary Hannaburg, the organization's Mohawk Nation director, told the CBC:

"There is a problem. There are women that are disappearing, being murdered, violence has increased. We need to understand what is going on. We need to work in solidarity. We need our brothers and sisters and first nations organization to pay attention to this."

This is a summary. A full case study on the QNW is coming soon.

Published: 22 May 2015