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Bringing Indigenous Women’s Expertise to the UN

Updated: Jul 8

Geneva, Switzerland – The Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) is participating in the 17th Session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP). The session will take place July 8-12, 2024, in Palais des Nations, Geneva.

ONWA is the oldest and largest Indigenous women’s organization in Canada, representing over 30 Indigenous women’s organizations, councils, and groups. Ending violence against Indigenous women and their families and ensuring access to justice, education, health services, environmental stewardship and economic development, sit at the cornerstone of the organization.

EMRIP was established in 2007 to provide the UN Human Rights Council with expertise on the rights of Indigenous Peoples and help Member States in reaching the goals outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). During the session, ONWA will engage in discussions covering a range of topics such as upholding Indigenous women’s inherent leadership rights, ensuring the safety of Indigenous women and girls, and implementing UNDRIP and CEDAW General Recommendation No. 39 on the rights of Indigenous women and girls. By actively participating in the 17th EMRIP session, ONWA aims to contribute to the development of recommendations that promote and uphold the rights of Indigenous women worldwide.

“Indigenous women are the experts in determining what is best for themselves and their community. Attending EMRIP provides a vital platform for sharing experiences, fostering collaboration, and advocating for meaningful, systemic change. ONWA is honored to stand in solidarity with Indigenous women around the world and to amplify our solutions and our voices, which have all too often been silenced” – Cora McGuire-Cyrette, CEO, ONWA

Members of ONWA’s Board of Directors and Youth Council are attending the session and continuing to take up their leadership roles to ensure their voices are heard. ONWA will also hold a side event inside the UN headquarters in Geneva on Monday, July 8th focused on CEDAW General Recommendation No. 39 and how it can be used to restore Indigenous women’s leadership and hold governments accountable to their obligations.

ONWA invites all members of society to join in the collective effort to advance the rights and leadership of Indigenous women, youth and girls here at home and worldwide. 

Follow ONWA’s EMRIP journey at: 


For more information and media inquiries, contact: 

Andre Morriseau, Communications Manager

Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA)



About the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP)

The Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) was established by the Human Rights Council, the UN’s main human rights body, in 2007. The Expert Mechanism conducts studies to advance the promotion and protection of Indigenous Peoples’ rights by: 

  • clarifying the implications of key principles, such as self-determination and free, prior and informed consent;

  • examining good practices and challenges in a broad array of areas pertaining to Indigenous Peoples’ rights; and

  • suggesting measures that States and others can adopt at the level of laws, policies and programs.

Each year, the Expert Mechanism holds a five-day session in which representatives from states, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Peoples’ organizations, civil society, inter-governmental organizations and academia take part. You can learn more about the Expert Mechanism here:

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