The Governments of Nova Scotia and Canada have announced Friday that they are teaming up to support Indigenous and African Nova Scotian women and families who have experienced violence.
Both are investing $1 million in Creating Communities of Care, a project to support survivors of gender-based violence in Halifax’s urban Indigenous and African Nova Scotian communities.
“Everyone deserves to feel safe and to have access to the supports they need for a better life,” said Kelly Regan, minister responsible for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women.
“We know Indigenous and African Nova Scotian communities need services that are grounded in their culture,” she added.
Since December, the Mi’kmaw Legal Support Network, the Association of Black Social Workers, the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre and the Elizabeth Fry Society of Mainland Nova Scotia have been asking survivors what matters most to them.
Their aim was to develop a deeper understanding of how to better serve and support these communities.
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“The partners who stepped up to carry this work now have the funding they need to help these communities overcome the unique barriers they face when they experience violence,” said Regan.
The president of the Association of Black Social Workers, Crystal John, said the organization is focusing on discussing how multiple forms of oppression intersects with sexism.
“As an organization working with the African Nova Scotian community, we have often been in spaces where our identities and experiences are erased and further marginalized,” said John.
She said in response the organization is providing a culturally safe space where the voices of African Nova Scotian community members are heard and valued.
Creating Communities of Care is a collaboration through Standing Together – Nova Scotia’s commitment to build a co-ordinated action plan to prevent domestic violence and support victims.
What’s learned from this project and others will help inform the plan.