New federal funding to strengthen the economic security and prosperity of Indigenous women in the Northwest Territories

News release

August 1, 2018 – Yellowknife, Northwest Territories – Status of Women Canada

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 also supporting their families and communities, which will help improve their economic well-being and strengthen Canada's economy.

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women, today announced Government of Canada funding for projects that will help advance Indigenous women’s economic security and prosperity in the Northwest Territories.

The Native Women’s Association of Northwest Territories (NWA NWT) is receiving $200,000 for a two-year project to work with the Government of the Northwest Territories and the City of Yellowknife to create systemic change with the housing supports network. This project will increase the capacity, connections, and knowledge of the NWA NWT to better represent the needs and voices of Indigenous women in official and community responses to homelessness and related poverty reduction in the Northwest Territories. The project will add new insights on Indigenous women and homelessness, to contribute to the Yellowknife action plan and shape ongoing planning and implementation of culturally- and gender-appropriate responses to ending homelessness.

The Gwich'in Tribal Council has been awarded $264,982 for a two-year project to enable Indigenous women to succeed in the growing tourism sector and take full advantage of the arts, crafts and confections market in the Beaufort Delta region. Activities include working with partners to map out the services and supports currently available and develop an action plan to better engage women in the art and crafts traditional economy.

These projects are part of 14 that are receiving funding through the call for proposals Addressing the Economic Security and Prosperity of Indigenous Women which was launched last fall. Other projects related to this call for proposals will be announced in the coming months.


“When we invest in women, we strengthen the economy and our communities for everyone. By funding organizations 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 these.”

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Status of Women

“We are pleased that the Government of Canada is supporting this project and our efforts to help more women achieve economic security and prosperity. We believe that in helping women and their families find housing, we are also helping our whole community grow and prosper.”

Liza Charlo-Pieper, President
Native Women’s Association of Northwest

“We welcome the Government of Canada’s support for this project that will engage women as contributors of the Northwest Territories’ economy. Through this partnership, women from our communities will have important new opportunities in the arts and crafts market and in tourism, which will improve their economic well-being and also better support their families.”

 Bobbie Jo Greenland-Morgan, Grand Chief
Gwich’in Tribal Council

Quick facts

  • RBC Economics estimates that adding more women to the workforce could boost the level of Canada’s GDP by as much as 4 per cent.

  • 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 SMEs in Canada according to the 2014 Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises.

  • Projects are being funded through the call for proposals, Addressing the Economic Security and Prosperity of Indigenous Women, which was announced in October 2017.

  • As many Indigenous women are raising families while going to school, better access to child care and subsidized housing would help support them and their families.

  • Economic security and prosperity is 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 Status of Women Canada 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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Célia Canon
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Status of Women

Valérie Haché
Communications Officer
Status of Women Canada

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