Date(s) - Tuesday, June 14, 2016
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre
On Tuesday, June 14th, a group from the community heard presentations about the experiences of delegates attending the 60th meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women.
Alberta Johnson, past president Provincial Council of Women of Manitoba, moderated the evening.
The theme this year at the CSW was women’s empowerment and its link to sustainable development and the review theme was the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls. A group from Manitoba, delegates of the National Council of Women of Canada presented on “Lessons from the Heart – Indigenous Women Bringing Our Children Home”.
We learned a great deal from this presentation, with description of the systemic barriers in place which are unfair, discriminatory, and harmful to children, and particularly indigenous children. Manitoba has the highest percentage of indigenous children in care in Canada. We also heard about the actions being taken, and in particular the work at MaMaWi, and Nelson House, where extended family care is practiced and supported.
It was good to know that this issue was being taken to meetings of the Commission on the Status of Women, where many women from around the world gather. Many of course were surprised with the situation that indigenous families face in Canada.
With support from IIWR-MB, twelve human rights students (four men and eight women), from University of Winnipeg Global College, traveled to New York with Prof. Marilou McPhedran to participate in the UN CSW sessions, as delegates of the World Federalist Movement. We heard from Katrina Leclerc and Breanne Lavalee-Heckert who were members of the YOUTH SPEAK OUT panel co-hosted by the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders, Taking IT Global, and Canadian Voice of Women for Peace. The students reported on how much they learned about how the UN system works, and how important it is for young women to be there.
Shauna Fontaine was a member of the Canadian Government delegation, that included the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau and The Honourable Patricia A. Hajdu, Minister, Status of Women and The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs. Unfortunately, another commitment came up for Shauna, but she prepared an excellent report that you can read here.