Statements of Principles and Values (Draft 8)


Building and Strengthening Relationship between
First Nations Shelters and the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters

 

Statement of Principles, Values, and Commitments
to Actions for Indigenous Women, Girls, and Their Families

 

- Draft 8 - 

 

The following statement of Principles, Values, and Commitment to Actions will rest as the Foundation of Relationship between the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters, First Nations Women’s Shelters, and for the Indigenous women, girls, and their families, that are served by all women’s shelters in this province.  Together we bring forward and declare this statement and these actions to be true in the spirit of peace and long lasting friendship upon this path we share in the service and care of others.
 

 

A. Principles and Values

  1. Speak with and treat each other with honesty, respect, and kindness.
  2. Listen and share equitably, for we all have knowledge.
  3. Seek, honour, and respect the wisdom and knowledge of Indigenous Elders to guide us in our services and our relationship.
  4. Honour the traditional place Indigenous women and children have at the centre of our community.
  5. Hear, acknowledge, and respect the voices of Indigenous women.
  6. Always seek better ways to improve or enhance services.
  7. Create sharing opportunities for shelter partnerships and exchanges to learn from each other.
  8. Create opportunities for family members to share their support, knowledge, and wisdom for the safety and wellbeing of Indigenous women.
  9. Celebrate our successes together.
  10. We must act to end Racism and Discrimination against Indigenous women.
  11. Take the time to review and renew these relationship Principles, Values, and Commitment to Actions on a regular basis.

 

B. ACWS Commitment to Actions

We will: 

1.  Respect and acknowledge the traditional Indigenous territories and treaties that are at the foundation of the Province of Alberta.

2.  Respect and honour the unique nation-to nation relationship that Indigenous peoples have with the Crown’s federal government.

3.  Implement the most immediate and pertinent Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Articles from the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples incorporating

a.  An acknowledgement of the results of colonization on the Indigenous communities

b.  Increased awareness of the systemic discrimination and marginalization of Indigenous women and girls in Canada.  

c.   Advocating for funding needs for Indigenous women in remote and isolated communities to meet the needs of safety, transportation, employment, housing, childcare, and basic needs  

d.  The development of strategic alliances with Indigenous Nations, community leadership, and community organizations to support the work of the First Nations shelters, the ACWS, and ACWS membership.    

4.   Work together when differences arise to identify them and find common ground.

5.   Directly address funding disparity and increase political support of Indigenous women’s shelters on First Nations.  

6.   Support the creation of Welcoming and Safe spaces for Indigenous women and children transitioning from First Nations to Urban centres.

7.   Work to ensure access to services and supports.

8.  Ensure that Indigenous awareness training is available to all ACWS staff, ACWS board of directors, ACWS member boards, and for staff of all Alberta women’s shelters.

9.  Commit to having a minimum of 3 voting Indigenous members on the ACWS Board of Directors.

10.   ACWS will develop strategies and actions, with shelters, to address the    disproportionate number of Indigenous women and children who are victims of violence.

11.    Provide an update on the “Statement of Principles, Values, and Commitment to  Actions” in the ACWS annual report.

 

C. Draft Action Plan

B-1  Respect and acknowledge the traditional Indigenous territories and treaties that are at the foundation of the Province of Alberta.

AP: ACWS Administration will develop a general “Statement of Respect & Acknowledgement”, to be reviewed, for the purposes of being read at all ACWS gatherings, meetings, AGM, and included in website and printed materials.

Timeline: July 1, 2016

 

B-2  Respect and honour the unique nation-to-nation relationship that Indigenous Peoples have with the Crown’s federal government.

AP: Together develop a strategic initiative to educate ACWS about the Treaties and legal relationships between Indigenous peoples and the Crown.

Timeline:  June - December 2016

 

B-3  Implement the most immediate and pertinent Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Articles from the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples incorporating

·      An acknowledgement of the results of colonization on the Indigenous communities

·      Increased awareness of the systemic discrimination and marginalization of Indigenous women and girls in Canada.  

·      Advocating for funding needs for Indigenous women in remote and isolated communities to meet the needs of safety, transportation, employment, housing, childcare, and basic needs  

·      The development of strategic alliances with Indigenous Nations, community leadership, and community organizations to support the work of the First Nations shelters, the ACWS, and ACWS membership.    

 

AP:  Together, develop an “Education and Communications Strategic Plan” that includes:
            - a media strategy,
            - education and publication tools for online and print media,
            - guidance on communication opportunities, including the processes for the 
              development and distribution of press releases, communiqués,
              and statements, and 
            - an annual reporting of outcomes and review of the Education and
            Communications Strategic Plan.

As well, ACWS Administration, based upon its advice from its Indigenous members, will assess and align its policies and ascertain the necessary policies to reflect the TRC Calls to Actions and the Articles of UNDRIP that directly relate to the operations of the ACWS organization and recommend relevant changes to the ACWS member Shelters.   

Timeline: On-going

 

B-4  Work together when differences arise we will work together to identify them and find common ground.

AP: ACWS will create as Policy & Procedure, with First Nation Shelters’ input, a resolution-focused strategy that includes culturally respectful Indigenous processes to address differences and seek resolution.     

 

B-5  Directly address funding disparity and increase political support of Indigenous women’s shelters on First Nations.

AP: ACWS will support efforts for a durable and equitable federal funding policy for on-reserve shelters supports and services.

AP: A comprehensive strategy will be developed in consultation between the First Nations Shelters and ACWS to press the Federal and Provincial governments for immediate funding increases for shelters and shelter spaces.

Timeline:  June 1, 2016 – On-going

 

B-6  Support the creation of Welcoming and Safe spaces for Indigenous women and children.

AP: Identify and provide supports to member shelters of Indigenous resources available.

Timeline:  On-going

 

B-7  Work to ensure equal access to services and supports.

AP: ACWS Administration and First Nations Shelters will develop a Policy Statement that reflects a “Jordan’s Principle”-like policy on service delivery to women in need, so that women on reserve receive equal treatment and access to services.

Timeline:  October – June 2017

 

B-8  Ensure that Indigenous awareness training is available to all ACWS staff, ACWS board of directors, ACWS member boards, and for staff of all Alberta women’s shelters.

AP:  ACWS will work with the First Nations Shelters and Indigenous Elders and Educators to develop a unique Indigenous Awareness training program for all ACWS staff, ACWS board of directors, and ACWS member boards as regular part of professional development.

Timeline:  January – June 2018

 

B-9  Commit to having a minimum of 3 voting Indigenous members on the ACWS Board of Directors.

AP:  ACWS will maintain its current bylaw requirements of two voting delegates from the On-reserve Shelters and a minimum of one Public Member, who must be an Indigenous person.

Timeline: On-going

 

B-10  Develop strategic alliances with Indigenous Nations, community leadership, and community organizations to support the work of the First Nations shelters, the ACWS, and ACWS membership.

AP: Develop a relationship building strategy to connect with Indigenous governance bodies,  local non-governmental organizations, and community - regional - provincial leadership to create connection and common cause initiatives.

Timeline:  October 2016 – April 2017

 

B-11 Provide an update on the “Statement of Principles, Values, and Commitment to Actions” in the ACWS annual report.

AP:  ACWS will work with the on reserve shelters directors to develop a reporting mechanism that identifies achievements and monitors progress on the Action Plan.

Timeline: June 2017

Timeline:  June – November 2016