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UN Human Rights Day highlights need for Canadians to respect the UNDRIP

Updated: Dec 13, 2022

Thunder Bay, ON – Today on UN Human Rights Day the Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) calls on all Canadians to educate themselves on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Article 22 1. Particular attention shall be paid to the rights and special needs of Indigenous elders, women, youth, children, and persons with disabilities in the implementation of this Declaration.

Article 22 2. States shall take measures, in conjunction with Indigenous peoples, to ensure that Indigenous women and children enjoy the full protection and guarantees against all forms of violence and discrimination.

ONWA continues to reaffirm that Indigenous women have the right to life and the right to be safe, which Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) affirms: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” However, through supporting and working alongside Indigenous women, ONWA knows that many of our sisters are not safe in their every day lives. A clear example of this is the serial murders that occurred in Winnipeg, Manitoba which are a national tragedy and yet another example of racism and hate that is part of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls crisis, a direct result of this lack of safety.

“Indigenous Women in Canada have the clear (judicial) right to be safe when accessing services, they have the right to their own agency and voice. They have the right to demand that their solutions for the systemic issues they face each day be heard and respected. All levels of government need to support a strategy of safety planning for Indigenous women to end ongoing systemic racism and injustice.” – Cora McGuire-Cyrette, Executive Director, ONWA

Indigenous women have the right to safety in all aspects of their lives, however, there is a lot of work that remains to be done at an individual, community and societal level, as well as at all levels of government to support and ensure Indigenous women’s safety and a life free from violence in all its forms.

ONWA’s report, Reconciliation with Indigenous Women (2020), was written with 13 recommendations, that align with UNDRIP, focusing on improving Indigenous women’s safety to end the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls crisis.

Resources to learn more about ONWA’s work with Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls:

For more information and media inquiries, contact:

Andre Morriseau, Communications Manager

Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA)


Join the conversation at #IKWEWI_women

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