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The announcement of the North West Indigenous Council (NWIC) is welcome news for off-reserve Aboriginal communities in BC, including the 40,000 urban Aboriginal people living in Vancouver.
While there are several provincial Aboriginal groups including the First Nations Summit, Union of BC Indian Chiefs and Assembly of First Nations BC regional chief these organizations are dealing primarily with on-reserve issues.
Photo by: Wawmeesh G. Hamilton/Metro
According to NWIC president Ernie Crey (also the president of ALIVE): “what is really missing and is sorely needed is political advocacy for off reserve people"
The new society will serve as the political voice of BC's off-reserve Aboriginal population at the municipal, provincial and federal levels of government
Directors will represent the five (5) Regions in the province based on the current First Nations Health Regions
The constitution and bylaws and other documents were mailed to B.C. Registry Services on Tuesday
Read Wawmeesh G. Hamilton's coverage of NWIC in the Metro News: HERE
"Only through persistent organizing, and through the building of an anti-displacement movement that includes women, migrants, non-capitalist producers, and unwaged workers, can we challenge models of social housing that presupposes an underlying economy of colonial land ownership, predicated on expropriation and displacement. And only through that movement can we begin the fight for a model of social housing based on social justice, resident control, and the needs of everyone."
Michèle Audette, president of the Native Women's Association of Canada, was recently in Vancouver addressing the Unifor Canadian Council. ALIVE President, Ernie Crey, and Executive Director, Scott Clark, had the opportunity to meet with Audette to discuss key issues affecting Aboriginal women and urban Aboriginal residents in Vancouver as well as the work of ALIVE and our partners.
Audette has announced that she will be stepping down from the NWAC by the end of the year, as she will be seeking nomination in the Quebec riding of Manicouagan with the Liberal Party. Audette has been outspoken about the need for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women. Her presentation at the Unifor conference can be found here
Michèle Audette and Scott Clark
Michèle Audette and Ernie Crey