Building Understanding; Strengthening Lives


The Newfoundland Aboriginal Women’s Network is starting a new project.

Building Understanding; Strengthening Lives is a three (3) year project funded by Status of Women Canada.   Our goal is to give the mainstream justice system, front line workers and support systems on the island the ability to enhance their knowledge of cultural differences and how to help Indigenous women and youth feel supported and protected when they need to report family violence or assistance in family violence situations.

The project will recruit a 10-member working committee through information sessions, distribution of pamphlets, letters and advertisements.  Our 10-member working committee will consist of members from NAWN, Elders and the Indigenous community of Bay St. George to ensure their voices are heard.  The mainstream justice supports, front line service agencies and, community service program workers will also be members of the working committee, this will give all involved the opportunity to share what their agencies do and how to access them.

The working committee will prioritize the real issues indigenous women and youth experience within the mainstream justice system that will be gathered from the 6 focus groups, the on-line and paper surveys anonymously completed from across the province.  We will be mindful of previous trauma and experiences and will seek support from our local Elders through traditional ways and local agencies to ensure those involved feel safe and secure.

The working committee will develop and implement the project that will provide the mainstream justice system workers, first line workers and community service providers with relevant, inclusive and culturally relevant information and protocols that will improve communication with Indigenous women and youth that report family violence and that are going through the justice system due to family violence.

For more information, please contact Nona Matthews at the Newfoundland Aboriginal Women’s Network at (709) 643-1290 or email