Algonquin Nation - HRSD
6 Kateri Street, Timiskaming First Nation
Notre Dame du Nord, QC. J0Z 3B0

First Nations and Inuit
Labour Market Advisory Committee
Femmes Autochtones du Québec          

Nathalie Bussière

Employment and Training Coordinator

The Quebec Native Women’s association has been defending native women’s rights since 1974. The association has developed a recognized expertise when it comes to women’s issues because knowledge and tolerance are intertwined and because a better understanding of the native situation enables a better control of the needs of women and their families which in turn sheds a new light on our communities.

We need everyone’s cooperation in the communities and from within Quebec society to arrive at an equitable world for the native women of Quebec.

Promoting non-violence

Quebec Native Women was the first organization to denounce violence in the native communities in Quebec. Since then, all of its hard work has allowed for the creation of a network of women shelters; they have offered hundreds of conferences covering a variety of topics including a presentation at the police academy in Nicolet. It has also participated in several research projects. A training tool on family violence was developed by the association and is presently making the rounds receiving much praise for its relevance.

On the international scene

Since 2005, the QNWA has developed numerous partnerships with other native organizations at the international level. They have enhanced their skills during the sharing of knowledge with these agencies. It has also participated in the Continental Network of Indigenous Women.

QNWA supports the right to native self-government and since 2006 has been actively involved with provincial and national coalitions so that Canada adopts unconditionally the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Since 2009, QNW has received consultative status within the United Nations ECOSOC, allowing it to participate in International negotiations affecting aboriginal people and women at the international level.


By making justice one of its historical pet projects, QNW has developed an undeniable expertise in defending the rights of native women since 1974. They promoted equal rights between native women and men by denouncing the Indian Act, by analyzing proposed laws affecting native women and by supporting families of women who were either murdered or disappeared or native residential school survivors.


Native women’s health is directly related to the respect of their rights: the right to a healthy environment, to a life without violence, the right to hold a job, to have their culture respected.

The QNW’s health program provides training on sexual health and reproduction. This program has allowed for the creation of a campaign against sexual abuse and has fought for the approval of tradition based knowledge.


The future of our communities is dependent on the involvement of our youth. QNW promotes the involvement of young native women in the struggles for their rights by implicating them in the association. It provides them with workshops on the realities faced by our youth in the communities. It also offers them the opportunity to participate in work placement abroad.

Employment and training

An often turbulent life journey or a precarious family life, Quebec native women do not necessarily follow the norms, but QNW affords them the opportunity to return to school and to find a job at any age. The training and employment initiative program has enabled dozens of native women every year to find adequate training to access the labour market.

The association represents over 2000 members in 56 communities from 10 Nations in Quebec and residing in urban centers. QNW benefits from a network which provides strength regarding its stand that allows it to defend the rights of native women and native communities in Quebec with native, provincial and federal political governments as well as with the general population.