Rio Tinto Donates

Media release

Rio Tinto donates $360,000 to domestic and family violence support organisations across Canada 

25  November 2020

To help support women and children experiencing domestic and family violence, Rio Tinto is donating $360,000 to 12 women’s shelters and local organizations across Canada. 

The contribution will allow these organizations to continue providing a variety of support services to women and their families, including safe shelters, education and training, counselling, workshops and activities for kids. 

The organizations are located in communities where Rio Tinto operates across British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Northwest Territories and Quebec, and five of the groups are focussed on working with Indigenous women and their children. 

Rio Tinto country head for Canada Alf Barrios said, “On this International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, we are showing our support for women experiencing domestic and family abuse and for the dedicated professionals who help protect and empower them. This is an important time for us to come together with our local partners and reflect on what we can each do to make our communities safer for all.”

Support for two local BC organizations

In British Columbia, the Burns Lake Elizabeth Fry Society and Tamitik Status of Women in Kitimat will each receive $25,000 from Rio Tinto.

The Elizabeth Fry Society is a feminist, community-based organization that supports women and their children who have experienced violence, abuse, marginalization or criminalization. They provide crisis support, advocacy, education, and counselling to help create community awareness and promote the safety and well being to those at risk of harm.

Manager of Women’s Services for the for the Burns Lake Elizabeth Fry Society, Tamara Bjorgan, said, “We are very excited to be the recipient of this generous donation from Rio Tinto. This financial support gives us the ability to expand our service area and reach folks who are marginalized, living in isolation, and have little to no services available to them. As an organization serving women, we’re grateful to have the support of the community and businesses to help move the dial on prevention of gender based violence as it’s an issue that impacts us all.”

Tamitik Status of Women began in the 1970s as a grass-roots organization of women who shared their experiences and supported each other when there were very little established services to help women who found themselves in abusive or violent situations. Today, Tamitik is an active agency that provides programs and services for individuals and families focused on the intervention and prevention of violence against women, youth, and children, as well as poverty issues in the Kitimat area.

Other organisations Rio Tinto is supporting are:

  • Centre d’hébergement Tipinuaikan, Uashat mak Mani-utenam, Quebec
  • Centre féminin du Saguenay, Saguenay, Quebec
  • Centre le Volet des Femmes, Aguanish, Quebec
  • Hope Haven, Labrador City, Newfoundland and Labrador
  • La Passerelle, Alma, Quebec
  • Maison des femmes de Sept-Îles, Sept-Îles, Quebec
  • Maison La Source, Sorel-Tracy, Quebec
  • Native Women’s Association of the NWT, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
  • Puakuteu Comité de femmes de Mashteuiatsh, Mashteuiatsh, Quebec
  • Women’s Y Foundation, Montreal, Quebec

Notes to editors

Rio Tinto is committed to supporting efforts to end family and domestic violence, by collaborating with initiatives such as the White Ribbon Campaign. 

In 2018, Rio Tinto announced a variety of measures to protect and support employees in North America who are experiencing domestic abuse, or who have an immediate relative who is experiencing abuse. These measures include access to paid leave, 24 hours support services, short-term financial assistance and emergency accommodation for survivors of domestic violence.

The donations announced today will come from the Rio Tinto Aluminium Canada Fund. Established in 2008, the Fund aims to deliver long term social and economic benefits for the communities in which Rio Tinto operates and broader society. The Fund invests over $10 million annually to encourage programmes and initiatives in the fields of education, environment, health and community liveability. 


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Rio Tinto                                                                       

Simon Letendre

Director, Media Relations – Canada & US

T +1 514 796 4973

Burns Lake Elizabeth Fry Society

Tamara Bjorgan 

Manager of Women’s Services

T +1 250 692 7559

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