Minister's Advisory Council on Indigenous Women


VISION: A world where all Indigenous peoples live free of violence and are healthy, sustainable and self-determining.

MISSION: To improve the quality of life for Indigenous women.

PHILOSOPHY: MACIW honours Indigenous worldviews and works from a holistic perspective of women. Thus, when we speak of women, we consider this to be inclusive of, but not limited to, children, family, community, nation, wellness, justice, land and water.


MACIW draws inspiration from Article 22 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP):

  1. Particular attention shall be paid to the rights and special needs of Indigenous Elders, women, youth, children and persons with disabilities in the implementation of this Declaration.
  2. States shall take measures, in conjunction with Indigenous peoples, to ensure that Indigenous women and children enjoy the full protection and guarantees against all forms of violence and discrimination.


In Canada, one in two Indigenous women is a victim of violence. However, despite representing a small percentage of the overall population, Indigenous women are three times more likely to be victims of violence, and those violent situations are eight times more likely to end in homicide.

Violence against Indigenous women exists for a variety of reasons, including patriarchal and discriminatory legislation implemented by past governments – leading to historical and ongoing oppression – residential schools, and systemic racism and sexism.

The Minister’s Advisory Council on Indigenous Women (MACIW):

The Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation created the MACIW in June 2011 to provide advice to the Government of British Columbia on how to improve the quality of life of Indigenous women across BC. Additional information, including the terms of Reference is available at About MACIW.

MACIW’s Guiding Principles: 

  • Community driven and community-based: the voices of Indigenous women, men and children must be heard and this will ensure that strategies and initiatives are truly responsive; services are accessible and where appropriate community-based.
  • Integrity: drawing on Indigenous cultures and traditions is essential to creating culturally appropriate policies and programs.
  • Partnership: collaboration, partnership and coordination at the community, regional, provincial and federal levels are needed to end violence.
  • Awareness: sharing our knowledge, history, skills and understanding will build support and momentum for ending violence.
  • Safety: special attention must be made to ensure that all services and supports for Indigenous women and girls are provided in ways that support their physical and emotional safety.

MACIW Strategic Plan - 2017-20


Terms of Reference

Standards of Ethical Conduct

Position Descriptions

Core Competencies


MACIW is comprised of up to 10 respected indigenous women from across British Columbia. It has a Chair, a Vice-Chair and eight members. One position is designated for an Elder Representative and another for a Youth Representative. Members are appointed by the Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation based on criteria of diversity, experience and regional representation. To meet the council member see biographies





Barb Ward-Burkitt

Fort McKay First Nation


2012- Present

Coreen Child

Kwakiutl First Nation


2014 - Present

Lauren Brown

Haida Nation


2019- Present

Dr. Lorna Williams


Member, Elder Representative

2014 - Present

Sarah Robinson Fort Nelson First Nation & Saulteau First Nation  Member 2017 - Present
Raven Lacerte Carrier First Nation Member, Youth Representative 2017 - Present
Patricia Barkaskas Metis Member 2018 - Present
Monique Gray-Smith Cree/ Lakota Member 2018 - Present


The Minister's Advisory Council on Indigenous Women (MACIW) is pleased to announce a Call for Proposals for the Giving Voice 2019-2020 - 2020-2021 project.

Funding is available for community groups and organizations who want to host or participate in community-based events that would “Give Voice” to stopping violence against Indigenous women and girls, as well as assist with community mobilization and implementation.

There are many strong, courageous individuals and organizations that work diligently to stop violence against women and girls. To add to these efforts, the MACIW launched Giving Voice in 2013 a project that “gives voice” to issues of violence within their lives,  families and communities. Giving Voice community-led projects provide opportunities for healing that aim to stop violence by changing behaviours and attitudes and mobilizing communities.

For more information about the project and how to apply for funding go to the Giving Voice webpage.


Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Stopping Violence Against Aboriginal Women and Girls 

Declaration on Stopping Violence Against Aboriginal Women and Girls

Direction to Government on Taking Action to End Violence and Improve the Lives of Aboriginal Women in B.C.

Annual Reports

Final Report