Aboriginal Women and Leadership – Honoring Indigenous Women and Children

By Monique Fong

I want to begin this article with a quote:

“The Western patriarchal paradigm paints Indigenous women as vulnerable; unworthy of value or respect. We know better. We know that we as lifegivers are strong, resilient, and capable of great things. This document is proof of that. It’s time to move forward – out of the darkness and into the light. The road ahead will be grueling, but it is nothing we can’t handle if we remain focused and committed to our overarching purpose: bringing justice to our women and girls.”
―Dawn Lavell-Harvard, President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada

This year has brought some good but long awaited news from the new Liberal Government who announced a much overdue Inquiry into the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. The government of Canada has hosted pre-inquiry meetings with families and organizations across Canada. It is a first step in helping families along their healing journey.

The Native Women’s Association of Canada has released 22 recommendations from the Symposium that was held in Ottawa. Over 40 Indigenous women leaders, family members, academics an dallies were joined by six human rights experts from the United Nations and Inter-American Commission on Human Rights participated in the event. At CAAN we applaud the work facilitated by the Native Women’s Association of Canada.

Please use this link to review the 22 recommendations.

http://www.nwac.ca/2016/02/nwac_fafia_22recommendations_mmiwg/

Another important list to be familiar with is the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada – Calls for Action. The areas of focus that pertain to CAAN’s AGM theme are; Child Welfare, Education, Health, Youth Programs and Justice.

Please use this link to review the 94 Calls for Action:

http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/File/2015/Findings/Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf

AGM Planning:

One of the great characteristics of CAAN is the way we pull together to get things done. With this in mind I have been helping the team in preparing for our upcoming AGM, which is a busy time. As a member of the AGM committee, one of my roles is to chair the Awards committee. It is an opportunity for CAAN to support, and to focus on the positive aspect of our community, and member’s contribution to the Indigenous AIDS Movement. This year we have a number of nominations and we will be announcing the Award Winners at the CAAN AGM.

EONS II:

One of the other important requests I do have from the board is to promote the EONS II Survey. To date I have only 17 completed surveys and we need to get to at least 50. Once we get more direction I will be starting to prepare the strategy. Please keep an eye out for the email and share with your memberships.

Saskatchewan Enhancement Initiative:

Some of the other things that I have been involved with is assisting in an in person meeting with the Saskatchewan Enhancement Initiative. The meeting was an opportunity to meet up with the groups, who shared ways that they are highlighting the Saskatchewan Indigenous HIV and AIDS Strategy. The 5 groups who participated are All Nations Hope Network, Planned Parenthood of Regina, OUT Saskatoon, Prince Albert Métis Women’s Association, and Battleford’s Family Health Service.

All the groups are excited to continue to work together so there is more support to our community members in Saskatchewan.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at 902 433 0900.

Saskatchewan Enhancement Initiative

monique-newsletter-2016-1From Left to Right: Dr. Kim McKay-McNabb, Marjorie Beaucage (OUT Saskatoon), Rachel Loewen Walker (OUT Saskatoon), and Kent Lindgren (Battleford Family Health Centre)

monique-newsletter-2016-2Staff of the Planned Parenthood of Regina:
Left to Right: Janelle McArthur, Michelle Descheneaux, and Chris Smith

monique-newsletter-2016-3Margaret Poitras – All Nations Hope Network

 

Filed Under: Summer 2016 Newsletter

About the Author: Brought to you by the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN).

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