The Native Women’s Association of the Northwest Territories is one of 12 women’s shelters and organizations across Canada receiving funding to support women and children experiencing domestic violence.

Some of the Native Women’s Association of the Northwest Territories board of directors join NWT Premier Caroline Cochrane. From left, Therese Villeneuve, Annie Goose, Mabel Brown, Sheryl Yakelaya, Premier Caroline Cochrane, Karen Caesar, Cheryl Voytilla, Jane Weyallon and Jaylene Delorme.  
photo courtesy of the Native Women’s Association of the NWT

The multinational mining corporation and operator of Diavik Diamond Mines Inc. announced Tuesday that the NWT association will get $25,000 as part of the mining corporation’s national effort.

“The Native Women’s Association of the NWT thanks Rio Tinto for their generous gift,” association president Jane Weyallon said in a statement. “Over the past 40 years, the Native Women’s Association of the NWT has heard the cries from men, women and children as a result of physical abuse, assault, rape, crimes and/or other types of aggression.”

Weyallon said the donation will specifically allow front-line workers to provide “personal care packages” to the most vulnerable people the organization serves. These packages will include immediate necessities during times of trauma.

“It will support the front-line workers in remaining strong while addressing issues of abuse,” she added. “In addition, it will support our Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls (MMIWG) commemoration project in remembrance of all affected families and friends.”

The association has made a commitment to being the voice of Indigenous women in the Northwest Territories and to building relationships with all levels of government and other organizations to ensure all Indigenous women and their families will live free from social and economic distress; to promote their sacred roles as valued and respected members in the community; and to preserve their culture, language and heritage.

The group’s mandate also includes providing compassionate support, assistance, information and referrals and offering other assistance to victims, whether they’re men, women or children in various NWT communities.

16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

Tuesday’s announcement comes during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which is a United Nations’ initiative to combat violence against women and girls.

“As part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, we are showing our support for women experiencing domestic and family abuse and for the dedicated professionals who help protect and empower them,” stated Rio Tinto’s Alf Barrios. “Now, more than ever, we must come together to end gender-based violence and make our communities safer for all.”

The mining company is donating $360,000 in total to a dozen women’s shelters and organizations across the country.

Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin College and the University of Ottawa. Simon can be reached at...

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