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Native Women’s Association forced to lay off half its staff amid funding shortfall

March 28, 2024
Native Women’s Association of Canada chief executive Lynne Groulx takes her seat after speaking during an event launching a graphic guide to genocide, in Ottawa on June 19, 2023.ADRIAN WYLD/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Globe and Mail: The Canadian Press – The Native Women’s Association of Canada says it was forced to lay off roughly half its workforce due to a major shortfall in federal funding.

The advocacy organization said it received grants totalling $48 million last year as part of Canada’s national apprenticeship program and other initiatives.

This year, revenue dropped to $10 million, with funding for staff falling from $11 million to $3 million.

As a result, the organization said it was forced to lay off 75 contract and permanent staff members, roughly half its workforce.

“We have a genocide on our hands in Canada. It’s daunting every single day,” chief executive Lynne Groulx said in an interview Wednesday.

“We’re here trying to do what we can. It’s not enough – it’s absolutely not enough.”

The organization also had to make cuts at all levels of management and cut back on phone services as well in order to keep operations going. As a result, said Groulx, those operations won’t have the same capacity as previous years.

“It’s an unfortunate readjustment.”

The organization is calling on the federal government to provide more stable core funding to ensure predictability in its advocacy efforts.

President Carol McBride said in a release Thursday that until that happens, their “financial hands are tied” as they do not have enough money to sustain current operations.

“We need some relief and assistance from this dysfunctional funding model that we live in,” said Groulx.

Indigenous Services Canada was not immediately available for comment.