Proclamation Made to Recognize Native Women
Wednesday, December 01, 2004 at 15:38
The provincial government has declared that 2005 will be the Year of First Nations and Metis Women in Saskatchewan.
The proclamation was made yesterday as one of the last items of business before the fall legislative session was adjourned.
Premier Lorne Calvert says the declaration is the first of its kind for Saskatchewan.
The idea was first brought up by the Prince Albert Grand Council Women’s Commission, which wanted some formal acknowledgement of the contributions made by First Nations women.
The commission also wanted something to promote and protect the rights of Native women following the Amnesty International report that highlighted the violence and discrimination experienced by Aboriginal women.
Prior to the province’s proclamation yesterday, the measure was also adopted by the PAGC and the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations.
First Nations cabinet minister Joan Beatty says the province’s move yesterday is one of the small things a government can do to draw attention to the strengths and struggles of Aboriginal women.
Deputy Premier Clay Serby says the proclamation won’t just be a symbolic gesture. He says legislation will likely be passed in the spring that deals with some of the specific hardships Aboriginal women encounter.