New federal investment to strengthen the economic security and prosperity of Indigenous women in Haute-Mauricie

News release

Project will support the participation of women in agricultural planning and marketing

February 21, 2019 – Wemotaci, Québec – Department for Women and Gender Equality

Indigenous women hold important places as leaders in their families and communities, as givers and caretakers of life, as peacemakers, peacekeepers, and protectors. By creating the conditions for Indigenous women to succeed, we are supporting their families and communities, which will help improve their economic well-being and strengthen Canada's economy.

Today the Honourable Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and Member of Parliament for Saint-Maurice—Champlain, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality, announced funding for a project that will help advance the economic security and prosperity of Indigenous women.

The Association Nikawi Inc. is receiving $290,000 for a three-year project entitled Revalorisation et reconnaissance économique des activités traditionnelles des Femmes Premières Nations that will empower the Indigenous women of Wemotaci to overcome the institutional, economic and social barriers to managing non-timber forest resources on their land. The project aims to enable knowledge transfer between women elders and youth in traditional harvesting and gathering practices; standardize and grow the collection and distribution of plant and fruit products; and highlight the important contribution of women in land management and economic development.

The project is bringing together women of different communities – Wemotaci, Ekuanitshit, and Unamen Shipu – to diversify resources and develop the tools they need for a self-sustainable economy.

This is one of 15 projects receiving funding through the call for proposals Addressing the Economic Security and Prosperity of Indigenous Women which was launched in 2017.


“When we invest in women, we strengthen the economy and our communities for everyone. By funding organizations, like the Association Nikawi Inc., that address the very real barriers that Indigenous women face, we are ensuring that all women have an equal and fair chance at success. It’s not just the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do. Indigenous women have the talent, leadership and ingenuity to inspire positive change and that is why the Government of Canada is proud to support projects like this.”

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister for Women and Gender Equality

“I am proud that our government is providing funding to the Association Nikawi Inc. This organization stands out for its dynamism, and its unifying message aimed at improving the lives and skills development of Indigenous women. These funds will help the Association implement its project and will provide it with the additional means needed to continue its mission dedicated to helping Indigenous women.”

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
Member of Parliament for Saint-Maurice—Champlain

“Our traditional know-how and livelihoods depend on the nurturing and caring of Mother Earth. In collaboration with three communities and the FNQLEDC, our project will help us find ways to share with many others the plants and fruits we use as traditional nourishment, and help improve the economic security and prosperity of Indigenous women in Wemotaci and elsewhere.”

Vivianne Chilton, présidente
Association Nikawi Inc.

Quick facts

  • McKinsey Global Institute estimates that by taking steps to advance equality for all women—such as employing more women in technology and boosting women’s participation in the workforce—Canada could add $150 billion to its economy by 2026.

  • The Indigenous population is growing at four times the rate of non-Indigenous Canadians and represents an enormous pool of talent. As part of this cohort, Indigenous women play a vital role in our economy and have outstanding potential for growth.

  • The 2016 Census indicated that there were 860,265 Indigenous women and girls in Canada. These women were more likely than Indigenous men to have a university degree. They were also the majority owners of more than one quarter of all Indigenous small and medium-sized enterprises in Canada according to the 2014 Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises.

  • Economic security and prosperity are composed of basic social security, defined by access to basic needs such as health, education and housing on a long-term basis. 

  • The Women’s Program at the Department for Women and Gender Equality supports eligible organizations to carry out projects to advance equality by addressing systemic barriers. 

  • The Government of Canada is committed to advancing reconciliation with Inuit, First Nations, and the Métis Nation. The focus is on building a renewed relationship with Indigenous Peoples, one based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership.

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Braeson Holland
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality

Valérie Haché
Communications Officer
Department for Women and Gender Equality

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