Advancing Women's Equality Issues

National Aboriginal Women's Summit

The National Aboriginal Women’s Summit (NAWS) is a forum that was established by Canada’s Premiers in 2006 as a means for provincial and territorial government representatives to work collaboratively with National Aboriginal Organizations on issues affecting Aboriginal women across Canada.

NAWS gatherings allow for a wide range of issues and concerns to be raised and discussed by Aboriginal women and their representative organizations with government officials, and to allow a space in which to provide recommendations to more forward and advance principles in developing national strategic action plans.

Since its inception, a total of four (4) Summits have been held: Newfoundland and Labrador (2007), Northwest Territories (2008), Manitoba (2012) and Nova Scotia (2014). The Native Women’s Association of Canada and the Government of Nova Scotia hosted NAWS IV in Membertou, Nova Scotia in October 2014. Over 170 delegates from every jurisdiction in Canada attended NAWS IV.

The objectives of NAWS IV were to:

  • Provide a forum for sharing best practices and knowledge exchange;

  • Raise awareness on the range of issues affecting Aboriginal women, in all their diversity;

  • Develop culturally-relevant and accessible responses to issues affecting Aboriginal women, their families and communities;

  • Increase the level of engagement and collaboration amongst Aboriginal communities, governments and Aboriginal organizations; and

  • Assess previous NAWS recommendations and identify solution-based actions.

Forum Participants:

There is no formal list of participants in this forum. In addition to officials at all levels of government, past forums have included Premiers, Leaders of the National Aboriginal Organizations, Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women and Ministers of Aboriginal Affairs.