New program gives free smartphones to Indigenous women at risk

Oct 19 2021, 1:00 pm

The Friendly News is a collaboration between TELUS and Daily Hive. Together, we’re creating a space for important, feel-good community stories to be told, where Canadians can immerse themselves in uplifting news and articles featuring community leaders giving back during a time when we all need it most.

TELUS Mobility has launched a new program to help Indigenous women across Canada who are at risk or are surviving violence.

The “Mobility for Good for Indigenous Women at Risk” provides free smartphones and data plans to Indigenous women across Canada.

The program gives women a critical lifeline to timely emergency services, reliable access to virtual healthcare and wellness resources, and the ability to stay connected to their friends, family, and support networks.

As established by Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report on Missing Murdered and Indigenous Women, while Indigenous women and girls comprise only 4% of the total female population in Canada, they represent 24% of female homicide victims, and are 12 times more likely to be murdered or go missing than any other women.

For this initiative, TELUS has partnered with the Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association, BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, Prince George Native Friendship Centre, and Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of British Columbia.

“ANFCA is thankful for the developing partnership between TELUS and the six Alberta Friendship Centres taking part in piloting the Mobility for Good for Indigenous Women at Risk program,” said Joanne Mason, Executive Director of Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association.

“Finding ways to support Indigenous women with timely access to emergency response services and community programming is an important aspect to addressing the needs of Indigenous women experiencing violence.”

With the support of their partners, TELUS has already started distributing smartphones to Indigenous women in BC and Alberta who are at risk of surviving violence.

They have also committed to supporting 1,200 Indigenous women in BC and Alberta and plans to partner with additional Indigenous-led organizations across Canada to expand the reach and impact of this program through 2022.

“The Association is truly grateful to TELUS for including us in the work to support our clients, many of them who are marginalized, vulnerable and have limited access to justice, primarily due to poverty, multiple barriers, and complex trauma,” said Darryl Shackelly, Executive Director of Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of British Columbia.

“Our clients have expressed sincere appreciation when they receive a smartphone. Never expecting such assistance, for them this service is an immediate solution to the extreme situation they are facing.”

Check out their website to find more about the launch, and what the program offers.

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