The Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association is a provincial Indigenous organization incorporated under the Nova Scotia Societies Act that develops and delivers programs promoting equal opportunity for Indigenous women, 2SLGBTQQIA people and their families.
To empower Indigenous women to embrace their traditional and significant role in their communities and territories and to provide support and resources for Indigenous women to develop programs and initiatives to engage in meaningful dialogue with their communities and nations.
To help empower Indigenous women by being involved in developing and changing legislation, which affect them and by involving them in the development and delivery of programs promoting equal opportunity for Mi’kmaq women and their families.
The Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association have been offering programs, services and advocacy supports not only to Indigenous women and 2SLGBTQQIA people, but to Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people across the province both on and off reserve. Primarily working from its main office in Truro we recognize that to truly serve the Indigenous women and 2SLGBTQQIA people, we need a stronger presence across the province and have expanded to offices to Sydney and are currently working on finding office space in the Valley region.
The NSNWA is a collective of 16 local chapters across Nova Scotia: the 13 First Nations communities, plus three off reserve zones of Halifax, Sydney and South Shore. Each local chapter is both antonymous and connected to the NSNWA. The local communities elect their President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. The President or other designate sits on the NSNWA Board of Directors, which is a governing body, responsible for overseeing all activities of the NSNWA. Board members meet annually in October to discuss and vote on the affairs of the organization. As of September 2022, the Board is comprised of the following:
- Acadia – Brandy Jarvis-Nickerson
- Annapolis Valley – Sarah McDonald
- Bear River – Holly Meuse
- Eskasoni – Charlotte Denny
- Glooscap – Sandy Fisher
- Membertou – Jennifer Martin
- Millbrook – Sunshine Paul-Martin
- Paq’tnkek – Karla Stevens
- Piktukewaq – Karen Boyles
- Potlotek – Mary Susan Lafford
- Sipekne’katik – Brooke Willis
- Wagmatcook – Christina Pierro
- We’koqma’q – Cassandra Googoo
- Cape Breton Off Reserve – Candice Sylliboy
- Halifax Off Reserve – Lisa Robinson
- South Shore Off Reserve – Vacant
Every four years the Board of Directors elects the Executive Board, which reviews issues and makes preliminary decisions for discussion and voting at the next full board meeting. The current Executive Board was voted in on October 17, 2021 and is as follows:
- President – Bernadette Marshall
- First Vice – Karen Boyles
- Second Vice – Annie (Gibbet) Stevens
- Third Vice – Janey Michael
- Treasurer – Sarah McDonald
- Secretary – Karina Matthews-Denny