Indigenous Canadian Women and Poverty (2008)


Since 2003, the Canadian Council on Social Development has highlighted the socio-economic gap between indigenous women and their families and other Canadians.

In a 2007 paper, the National Women’s Association of Canada reiterated “the rights to equality and nondiscrimination… between non-indigenous and indigenous individuals.”

Most recently, in July 2008, the Native Women’s Association of Canada once more indicated that despite Canada’s signature on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) that addresses “the right to an adequate standard of living, “Aboriginal (indigenous) peoples of Canada, particularly women and children, face crushing social and economic conditions as compared to Canadians generally.” As more and more indigenous poor move to Canada’s urban centers, all of the problems of poverty: poor education, single-parent family units, and inadequate health-care are compounded as the birth rate among indigenous peoples continues to rise.


WHEREAS, Canadian members of Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, in the spirit of g’mlut hasadim, have spoken to the issues of poverty and disparate economic opportunities in the past, and

WHEREAS members of Women’s League for Conservative Judaism in Canada recognize the gross inequity in the treatment of indigenous persons, especially women and children,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, an international organization of Jewish women

  1. encourages its Canadian members to enter into dialogue and cooperation with the Native Women’s Association of Canada and similar organizations on issues directed to the federal, provincial and territorial governments to implement stated policies already in existence and to develop meaningful responses to the needs of indigenous persons;
  2. urges Canadian Sisterhood leaders to program orientation and education programs for Sisterhood members to know and understand the plight of indigenous women and children; and
  3. supports Women’s League for Conservative Judaism Canadian members in urging federal, provincial and territorial authorities to address forthrightly and with dispatch, by a variety of means, sorely needed initiatives of adequate child care, fair, affordable and safe housing, and meaningful measures for employment guaranteeing a living wage.