Alberta to help aboriginal women overcome barriers

The Alberta government is setting up two councils to look at social and economic issues faced by First Nations and Metis women in the province.

First Nations, Metis women councils to identify social, economic barriers

First Nations and Metis women listen as the Alberta government announces the creation of two councils, in the hope of helping aboriginal women overcome barriers.

The Alberta government is setting up two councils to look at the issues faced by First Nations and Metis women in the province.

The groups will set priorities on how to help aboriginal women become more involved in the economic growth of Alberta, said Robin Campbell, minister of aboriginal relations.

The groups will be tasked with identifying challenges aboriginal women face in Alberta and to provide advice on how to overcome those barriers.

Rachelle Venne, with the Metis council, said the main issue is discrimination, but others include poverty , violence, education, child care and shelter.

"We know the darker your skin is, the less services that you get so that is systemic sometimes and also just first impressions that limit housing for example," she said.

Venne also said aboriginal women make up between 70 and 99 percent of the women in prison, and many of them have children.

Campbell said his department is hoping the groups will have developed a set of priorities by spring.

With files from CBC's Lydia Neufeld

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