Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

March 04, 2008 17:48 ET

Government of Canada Announces Five New Women's Shelters for First Nations Communities

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 4, 2008) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and non-Status Indians, today announced that five new shelters will be built to help address violence against First Nations women and their families.

"Our government recognizes the urgent need to provide First Nations women and their children on reserves with a safe place during violent crisis situations. We are following through on our commitments to First Nations women by investing in family violence prevention," said Minister Strahl.

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada made a one-time investment of $6 million to meet the urgent operational needs of the existing 35 shelters in the Fall of 2006. In June 2007, a further investment of almost $56 million for the First Nations Family Violence Prevention Program was announced including funding for construction of up to five new shelters. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) will help support the construction of the five new shelters under its Shelter Enhancement Program (SEP).

"This initiative will provide significant additional support to First Nations women to access the services they need when they are faced with violence and abuse," said the Honourable Josee Verner, Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages.

Selection of the new shelter locations was recently finalized. Locations were recommended by a Review Committee that included representatives from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada, the Assembly of First Nations and the Native Women's Association of Canada.

The new shelters will be constructed in First Nations communities in each of the five provinces: Quebec, Northern Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia. Construction of the new shelters will begin in the host communities in the summer of 2008.

With these investments and the introduction of the Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests of Rights Act, legislation addressing the issue of on-reserve Matrimonial real Property, this Government is following up on its commitment to improving the living conditions of women and children in First Nations communities.

This release is also available in electronic format at www.ainc-inac.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
    Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
    Josee Bellemare
    819-997-0002
    or
    Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
    Media Relations
    819-953-1160