CJFE to honour Native Women's Association of Canada with Vox Libera Award

Thursday, November 13, 2014
TORONTO – Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) will honour the Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC) with its Vox Libera Award at the 2014 CJFE Gala on December 3 in Toronto. NWAC works to achieve equality and end discrimination against Aboriginal women in Canada. In 2005, the group launched Sisters in Spirit (SIS), an initiative aimed at raising awareness about and finding solutions to the crisis of violence against indigenous women in Canada. As part of the campaign, NWAC created a comprehensive database of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls. Over five years of research, the Sisters in Spirit database recorded 582 Aboriginal women and girls who went missing or were murdered in Canada between 1960 and 2010. This database helped build much-needed public outrage and led to calls for a national inquiry into the systemic violence suffered by Aboriginal women. It also played a key role in spurring the RCMP's investigation into missing and murdered indigenous women. "Through its tireless work NWAC has brought the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada to the fore," said Carol Off, Chair of the CJFE Gala. "Their work to bring this systemic problem to light is exactly what the Vox Libera represents. We are very honoured to be presenting NWAC with this award." NWAC continues to push for investigations into the missing and murdered Aboriginal women and leads the fight for policy change around this crisis. On top of this, it works to raise awareness about and create social change around a variety of indigenous women's issues in Canada. It is also working with the RCMP to develop a community education toolkit for reducing incidents of missing and murdered Aboriginal women, and has established several other initiatives to continue the mission of Sisters in Spirit. NWAC Vice President Dr. Dawn Harvard will accept the award on the organization's behalf. About the Award The Vox Libera Award is granted to a Canadian individual/organization who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the principles of free expression and who has had made an important and sustained contribution - at home or abroad - to those same principles. About CJFE CJFE monitors, defends and reports on free expression and access to information in Canada and abroad. Rooted in the field of journalism, CJFE promotes a free media as essential to a fair and open society. CJFE boldly champions the free expression rights of all people, and encourages and supports individuals and groups in the protection of their own and others' free expression rights. For more information, visit cjfe.org For more information or to request interviews: Ginger Shewell, (416) 342-1802, ginger.shewell@mediaprofile.com Follow NWAC on Twitter @NWAC_CA

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