One Year Into COVID-19 It’s not every day that you start a new job and then immediately have to close down the office indefinitely and send everyone home amidst a once-in-a-century pandemic. But that was my whirlwind experience when I joined YWCA Edmonton as our new CEO one year ago today. I hadn’t even met most of our staff yet before making that difficult decision after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mandated an historic stay-at-home order
The Power Lunch: Ending the Violence & Inequality
YWCA Edmonton proudly presents The Power Lunch Speaker Series. Join us for a powerful, raw and forward-looking conversation about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada. Grab your lunch and prepare to be inspired to take action on this important issue.
What: Ending the Violence & Inequality: A Speakers’ Panel on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada
When: Tuesday, December 8; noon-1 p.m. MT
Where: Zoom webinar
Limited spots are available so register today for the final session in this Power Lunch series. We will be using the Zoom meeting platform. A link to join the meeting will be emailed out to all registrants with their confirmation, and again shortly before the webinar begins. The event will be recorded and posted on the YWCA Edmonton website at a later date.
While this event is free and open to all, please consider making a donation to one of these two incredible not-for-profit organizations serving Indigenous women in Alberta: Calgary’s Awo Taan Healing Lodge Society(direct donation available on their website) and The Institute for the Advancement for Aboriginal Women. To make a donation to IAAW, please email Marta Rudiak at email@example.com.
Please continue to watch this space and our YWCA Edmonton social media feeds for more information and how you can get involved.
Registration Now Open!
Did you know that an Indigenous woman in Canada is more than three times likely to experience violence than a non-Indigenous woman? Our panel discussion, moderated by award-winning journalist Brandi Morin, will talk about lived experience and ways we can all confront and end violence and inequality waged against Indigenous women and girls.
This speakers’ panel is part of YWCA Edmonton’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. This international campaign runs annually from November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to December 10, World Human Rights Day; it is design to raise awareness of gender-based violence as a human rights issue and to strengthen local work around violence in our own communities.
Meet the Panel
Anishinabe, Treaty 4. Executive Director, Awo Taan Healing Lodge Society, Calgary, Alberta
Josie’s background includes 28 years steeped in complex social issues working with Indigenous organizations and advocacy for Indigenous women and families affected by family violence.
She believes in a balanced approach, with teachings of Indigenous wisdom and healing in combination with contemporary western methodologies in promoting the health and well-being of First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals, families and communities.
She has a Bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies with ongoing education in management and teachings from the traditional knowledge holders.
She testified at the Missing and Murdered Indigenous inquiry in May 2018 on the matter of service organizations as the only urban Indigenous Women’s shelter in Alberta.
She is also a Board member Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women, chair of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Committee (Calgary), Resolve Alberta, Research Education for Solutions to Violence and Abuse and the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative and a Canadian Femicide Observatory Justice and Accountability.
Nahanni Fontaine is the NDP MLA for the St. Johns constituency in the Province of Manitoba. She serves as the NDP House Leader and critic for Justice and Status of Women.
Nahanni has a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree from the University of Winnipeg in Environmental Studies and International Development and a Masters of Arts (M.A.) degree in Native Studies, Women’s Studies and Critical Theory from the University of Manitoba.
Nahanni provides workshops and presentations on the historical and contemporary context of Indigenous women and girls, including the issue of missing & murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) in Canada.
Nahanni has served as a representative of the Indigenous community regionally, provincially, nationally and internationally on a number of boards and committees, including, to name a few, the Winnipeg Police Advisory Board, Canadian Race Relations Foundation and the United Nations Working Group on the Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Nahanni is the recipient of several awards, scholarships and fellowships, including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s Doctoral Scholarship; the YMCA Women of Distinction Award; and the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Person’s Case.
Before being elected to the Manitoba Legislature, Nahanni served as the Province’s Special Advisor on Aboriginal Women’s Issues for the Aboriginal Issues Committee of Cabinet of Manitoba.
Nahanni is Status Ojibway from the Sagkeeng Anishinaabe First Nation in southern Manitoba and is the proud mother of Jonah and Niinichaanis.
Stephanie Harpe is the Community Outreach Coordinator for The Institute For The Advancement Of Aboriginal Women (IAAW). Some of her work at IAAW includes hosting their Murdered, Missing and Exploited Indigenous People’s Support Group, as well as being their National Representative for Aboriginalalert.ca.
Stephanie’s life experiences have shaped her humanitarian work: she herself is a survivor of the Residential School system, and survived an attempted murder attack. She is a proud daughter of a murdered mother, Ruby Anne McDonald, and is also the niece of Historical Chief Dorothy McDonald of Fort Mckay First Nations.
In 2019, Stephanie traveled to 31 Indigenous Communities in Western Canada in 2019 as an International Advocate for Murdered, Missing and Exploited Indigenous People’s with Safety and Wellness Super Clinic. She has been a keynote speaker for National Models United Nations International Conference, and has delivered a powerful TEDX Talk titled Indigenous Suffering and Survival to Success.
As a singer/songwriter, Stephanie was able to tie her passions together when she received the United Nations Youth Representative’s invitation to the world’s largest youth conferences in Malaysia, Dubai and London to both speak and sing.
Brandi Morin is an award-winning French/Cree/Iroquois journalist from Treaty 6, AB, near Edmonton. For the last 10 years, Brandi has specialized in sharing Indigenous stories, which have influenced reconciliation in Canada’s political, cultural and social environments.
She is one of Canada’s most prominent journalistic voices on Indigenous issues with an “insatiable” passion for justice.
Her most notable work is published/broadcasted with Al Jazeera English, the Guardian, the National Observer, the Toronto Star, Power & Politics, CTV National, CBC Newsnet, the New York Times, Huff Post Canada, Elle Canada, Vice Canada, the Walrus, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network National News, and CBC Indigenous.
Brandi won a Human Rights Reporting award from the Canadian Association of Journalists in April of 2019 for her work with the CBC’s Beyond 94 project tracking the progress of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. The award is co-sponsored by Journalists for Human Rights.
Brandi is a survivor of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and uses the experience to shed light on the ongoing genocidal crisis in Canada.
She is “obsessed” with truth-telling through storytelling and humanizing the marginalized of society.
Her passion for human rights, justice, cultural revitalization, the environment, and reconciliation has inspired and empowered Indigenous and main stream audiences around the world.