The Province is supporting Indigenous communities and organizations to end gender-based violence through 48 unique community-driven projects that support, teach and celebrate Indigenous women throughout B.C.
The projects are funded through the Minister’s Advisory Council on Indigenous Women’s (MACIW) Giving Voice program. Through Giving Voice, small grants, from $2,500 to $16,000, are provided to community groups to help create diverse and relevant programs that address the issue of gender-based violence and explore community solutions.
“Indigenous women are more than two and a half times more likely to report being victims of violence,” said Chastity Davis, chair of the MACIW. “Giving Voice is supporting Indigenous women and girls to tap into their innate wisdom and traditional knowledge to create solutions that are meaningful for them and their community.”
This year’s projects include traditional activities like knowledge workshops and healing circles. It also includes more community-focused projects, such as monthly dinners, guided community dialogues, cultural retreats and workshops on healthy masculinity.
“Eradicating gender-based violence requires courage and leadership. For too long, women have been left on the sidelines during the discussion of the best way forward for healing and prevention,” said Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. “The projects MACIW has selected show that communities know best how to support their own healing. I want to congratulate all the courageous women who are leading and participating in Giving Voice.”
The successful proposals were selected to reach a mix of urban, rural and remote communities, both on- and off-reserve. The selection committee also looked to balance projects highlighting different stages of the movement to end gender violence – from awareness building, to training and skills development and community mobilization.
Total funding for Giving Voice will be $689,000 over two years and will be provided through the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation ($550,000) and the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General ($139,000). Between 2013 and 2016, Giving Voice supported 50 projects that made a difference in the lives of over 2,000 participants throughout British Columbia.
Mitzi Dean, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity —
"Ending gender-based violence is a priority for our government. We know Indigenous women and girls are disproportionately affected by gendered violence. Giving Voice is finding community-based solutions and paving the way for change. This initiative is critical on the path to reconciliation. I'm proud to support the work of the Minister's Advisory Council on Indigenous Women and Giving Voice in finding grassroots solutions to reduce violence and further gender equality.”
Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General —
“Ensuring the safety and healing of Indigenous women and girls who have experienced gender-based violence is critical. It is important we recognize the communities and organizations that support and lead in this healing and recovery process.”
- Some of the successful applicants include:
- Tahltan Giving Voice Initiative – a five-day women and girls' cultural retreat designed to support women and girls in networking, building resilience and confidence (Tahltan Band Council).
- Wearing the Spirits of Our Ancestors – a gathering circle where participants can share Métis knowledge and traditions and learn about healthy women's roles in the past and future (North Island Métis Association).
- Haahuupchumis (Giving and Receiving Teachings) – Friday night recovery sessions and monthly workshops on empowerment, self-esteem and confidence building, including a workshop on healthy masculinity (Ahousaht First Nation).
- Funding priority was given to projects that:
- focus on ending violence;
- support wellness both broadly and holistically; and
- serve communities with limited access to services.