Funding helps groups improve lives of Aboriginal women, families: Hart

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Speaking on behalf of the Newfoundland Aboriginal Women’s Network, Anne Hart told Finance Minister Charlene Johnson Wednesday that government support of NAWN and other like-minded organizations help improve the lives of Aboriginal women and their families.

Anne Hart speaks on behalf of the Newfoundland Aboriginal Women’s Network at the pre-budget consultations in Stephenville on Feb. 12.

“The past year has been exciting and challenging and our organization and the women we represent continue to grow,” said Ms. Hart, during provincial pre-budget consultations in Stephenville.

“There has been a call to reclaim our traditions and ceremonies – and is often the case, women are the nurturers and driving force that move ideas and people forward.”

She said funding from the provincial and federal governments helps them to provide local residents with the opportunity to learn more about heritage and make a positive difference in people’s lives.

“Our province continues to experience growth and a greater measure of financial success – and with that success, there are social issues that often follow,” said Ms. Hart.

“In the next year, we will be working within the communities we represent in a effort to deal with the aftermath of violence, whether it is murder-suicide, domestic violence, bullying or elder abuse.”

She noted NAWN has written proposals seeking funding to assist local women in obtaining skills to host healing circles to give victims and their families a safe an nurturing place to deal with outcomes of violence.

“While many people must seek medical assistance for the most serious effects of violence, many more just need support from friends and family in the community, who are often uncertain of what role they can play.”

Ms. Hart praised the government for providing new drug treatment centres, noting these facilities make a real difference in showing young people that society cares about their well-being.

“We would like to ask that whole-body health that includes wellness in the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual aspects, be considered for any Aboriginal clients and that cultural differences play a role in their healing,” she added.

Geographic location: Stephenville

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