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Francyne Joe/Facebook Toronto, Mar 21 (IBNS): Francyne Joe, Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) president has denounced Federal government’s 2019 budget as it did not include any dedicated funding for NWAC, media reports said.

NWAC had signed an accord with Canada earlier this year which recognized NWAC as a full participant in decision making at the national and international levels to address policy priorities around health, economic empowerment, environmental protection, housing, education, and other areas that affect the lives and rights of indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people.

The accord was signed by Crown-Indigenous Relations minister Carolyn Bennett, according to which parties agreed to negotiate a working plan and a contribution agreement for enhanced core-like funding to enable recognition of indigenous women’s priorities to empower them.

But the budget had ignored any culturally relevant, gender-based line item.

"It takes a significant amount of time for proposals to be written, then you’re waiting to find out if they’ve been approved," Joe said.

Joe pointed out that the budget included a chapter on advancing reconciliation, but the indigenous women had been excluded from decision making.

"This budget ignores the issues that we brought to the table," said Joe.

Viviane Michel, president of Quebec Native Women, one of the 10 provincial chapters of the organization, said the need for healing programs following the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls had been overlooked in this federal budget.

"Families, survivors, communities, children — they need to start healing no matter what… Healing and reconciliation programs need to be developed by the people, by the communities…so they need a guarantee that funding is coming. At NWAC, we’re trying to advance healing centres and allow for training of counsellors and elders so that we’re prepared," said Joe.

(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)

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