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In Honour of National Aboriginal Day
Today, June 21st, is National Aboriginal Day in Canada.  This year FemNorthNet would like to thank our Indigenous members for all of their critical contributions not only in our network's research and activities, but also in decolonizing our work and fostering spaces of cross-cultural sharing and understanding.  The knowledge and relationships forged amongst our members have built a strong foundation for our legacy, and will continue to shape our future work.

A Time for Reconciliation

 

FemNorthNet would also like to recognize the brave survivors of residential schools, whose advocacy prompted the creation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and whose stories revealed the shameful history of the residential school system in Canada.  

The summary of the TRC's final report, "Honouring the Truth; Reconciling for the Future", was released on June 2.  Their investigation found at least 150,000 Aboriginal children attended residential schools where their identities and cultures were devalued and denied, they lived in inhumane conditions, were neglected, separated from family, forced into arranged marriages, and physically and sexually abused. 

It is important for Canadians to learn about and acknowledge this history of "cultural genocide" and work to implement the 94 recommendations of the TRC, in order to realize the reconciliation and healing needed to co-exist peacefully as many nations within one country. 

Celebrating Aboriginal Women in the North

Artwork by Nathalie Coutou depicting geese flying on a winter night.

 

Last year we highlighted our work to date that featured information about indigenous women in Northern Canada, which you can check out here.  

Since 2014, we've created a number of new materials highlighting the realities of indigenous women living in Canada's North, listed below...

Women's Empowerment Workshop Guide
 

Cover of Thompson Women's Empowerment Workshop Guide
FemNorthNet's BluePrints project asked the question: How can we help northern women develop the leadership skills needed to influence local decision making about economic development? What our network realized was that in order to be effective leaders, women first needed to be empowered. Designed by Nina Cordell, an indigenous woman living in Thompson, this guide features practical exercises and tools to assist local women in understanding themselves, what they want in life, and how to get there through self-care and learning. 

 

Critical Reflections on Economic Planning in Thompson: An Analysis of TEDWG

 

Cover of TEDWG Analysis document
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Thompson, Manitoba is unique in that its percentage of Aboriginal residents is the highest of any Canadian city.  It is therefor important that Aboriginal ideas, concerns, and needs are taken into consideration in city planning.  In 2011, The Thompson Economic Diversification Working Group (TEDWG) was established to create plans for moving Thompson away from reliance on the mining sector towards a more diversified economy.  In this report, FemNorthNet examines how diverse women, including Aboriginal women, were included and/or excluded from this process and identifies how women's perspectives may have differently shaped the TEDWG conclusions.

Sexual and Reproductive Justice in the North

 

Sexual and Reproductive Justice fact sheet

Limited access to sexual health information and reproductive health services paired with high rates of sexual violence, sex trafficking, exposure to toxins from resource extraction activities, and a colonial legacy of inappropriate treatment in western medical facilities, puts northern indigenous women at high risk of poor sexual and reproductive health outcomes. Fortunately, resurgence in traditional Inuit and First Nation knowledge is providing indigenous women with access to alternative information networks and services, such as midwives that allow them to stay in their communities to give birth.

Community, Crisis, and Restructuring in Canada: An Intersectional Approach - Course Outline/Syllabus

 

Community, Crisis & Restructuring Course syllabus

Professor Teresa Healy believes political economy can not be understood without knowledge of indigenous history and perspectives.  Her course on Canadian political economy incorporates an intersectional lens in which diverse working class and indigenous perspectives are brought into dialogue with one another to examine globalization, colonialism, "development", economic restructuring, migrations, gender, citizenship, democracy, and much more.  


 

Access the recommended reading list abstracts here.

The Impacts of Economic Restructuring on Diverse Women in Canada's North - A Fact Sheet Series

Our intersectional approach to research has revealed that northern indigenous women experience unique impacts in terms of their access to services and infrastructure as a result of economic restructuring and resource development. Check out the fact sheets in this series below...
Fact sheet series about women's experiences of economic restructuring in northern Canada

Feminist Intersectional Policy Analysis: Resource Development and Extraction - The Maritime Link

 

Feminist intersectional analysis of the Maritime Link Project in Labrador

The Maritime Link will feed power generated from Muskrat Falls in Labrador to residents in Nova Scotia.  The potential impacts on the social and natural environment in Labrador were explored through the Environmental Assessment process, which consulted with regional indigenous groups.  In this analysis, FemNorthNet explores how indigenous voices were engaged, which indigenous voices were heard, and what indigenous concerns were taken into consideration.

Enjoy the Summer Solstice and the summer days to follow!
Our next update will arrive in your mailbox just before Fall. In the meantime, keep up with us on social media.