Reduce Violence Against Aboriginal Women(Left to right) Betty Kennedy (Ontario Native Women’s Association), Dr. Dawn Harvard
(Ontario Native Women’s Association), Sheila McMahon (Ontario Federation of Indian
Friendship Centres), Sylvia Maracle (Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres),
the Honourable Laurel Broten, Minster Responsible for Women’s Issues, the
Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, MNO President Gary Lipinski,
MNO Chair France Picotte, Grand Chief Harvey Yesno (Chiefs of Ontario) and
MNO Chief Operating Officer Doug Wilson.

On September 24, Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) President Gary Lipinski and MNO Chair France Picotte participated with other members of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on Violence Against Aboriginal Women (VAAW) in a meeting in Toronto with the Honourable Laurel Broten, Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues and the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs.

The MNO has been a key player in advancing the agenda to end VAAW. It has participated in five summits on ending VAAW, is a full signatory to the Framework to End Violence Against Aboriginal Women and an active member of the JWG on VAAW since its inception in 2010. The MNO has also been integrating awareness about VAAW within the MNO and in particular the Women’s Secretariat of the MNO has been heavily involved in this critical issue.

The meeting was the first opportunity for the JWG, which consists of ten provincial ministries, the MNO, the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres, the Ontario Native Women’s Association, the Chiefs of Ontario and Independent First Nations to report on its progress. The MNO commended the Government of Ontario for supporting efforts to reduce the very high rates of violence affecting Metis, First Nations and Inuit women in Ontario and called upon the two lead Ministers to report back to their cabinet colleagues on progress and ongoing challenges articulated in the meeting. It is expected that the JWG will reconvene on an annual basis.