YAWC continuously undertakes research and advocacy with the UNDRIP, TRC, MMIWG, and LGBTQ2S+ lens to change policies and practices, inform and reform processes, alter power dynamics, change attitudes and behaviours and create a lasting positive impact on Indigenous women, girls, and gender diverse peoples.
Advocacy Focus Areas
YAWC focuses on current issues that affect Indigenous women, girls, and gender diverse peoples in Yukon and northern BC. In collaboration with government and community partners, YAWC strives to collect and share objective information on and communicate these issues to its members and the public and facilitate a response for actions from community leaders.
Inequality, Violence & Trauma Illness
- Poverty and homelessness, including the lack of affordable and safe housing and shelter and provision of emergency and long-term food sources.
- Poor health outcomes for Indigenous peoples.
- Inhibition of healthy development and sense of identity of Indigenous youth living in Yukon group homes.
- Poor education outcomes for Indigenous youth.
- Sexual exploitation and trafficking of Indigenous women and youth.
- Alcohol and drug addictions.
- Effects from Indian Residential Schools (IRS) and 60's Scoop and support for survivors and their families.
- Continuance of violence towards Indigenous women, girls, and marginalized peoples.
- Continuance of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) and support for their families.
- Ageism and elder abuse.
Issues of Colonization
The complex issues affecting Indigenous peoples stem from circumstances surrounding European colonization and its imposed patriarchal system on Indigenous cultures:
- Continued stereotyping of Indigenous women has made them vulnerable to violence and mistreatment.
- Eroded traditional family roles have created conflict and often outlets of anger and violence towards women.
- Perpetuated poverty and limited education have increased women’s likelihood of law infractions, addictions, and health problems.
- Challenged women's ability to take care of their children.
- Limited women's opportunities for advancement, leadership, and resiliency.
“You’re led to believe women are of no value and Aboriginal women, in particular, are not even people ... Then you begin to see how easy it is to strike them, to beat them, to verbally abuse them… It’s ugly, and it needs to be held up so that we can see the ugliness of our souls for either targeting people like that and being an aggressor or standing by and doing and saying nothing.” - Elder, Shirley Adamson, 2020
Solutions with a Holistic Approach
The complex issues affecting Indigenous women, girls, and gender diverse peoples in Yukon and northern BC require complex solutions.
YAWC supports a holistic, systems-thinking approach that builds collaboration across governments, departments, agencies, and community groups. It allows for innovation, learning, and growth that results in responsive programs that support lasting wellbeing for Indigenous women, their families, and their communities.