(April 15, 2016) (Ottawa, ON) – The staff and board of the Native Women’s Association of Canada have collectively determined names of three late iconic Indigenous women to put forward for the open nomination process to add a woman to the next Bank of Canada note.
As the voice of Indigenous women in Canada, NWAC feels that it is our duty to celebrate the powerfully influential role Indigenous women play in our collective history. By showcasing any of the following incredible women, not only would the Bank of Canada be taking a strong step toward reconciliation, this department would be joining our communities in embracing the leadership and resilience of our women.
The three women NWAC has selected for submission to the Bank of Canada include:
1. E. Pauline Johnson (1861-1913):
Emily Pauline Johnson (Mohawk name: Tekahionwake) was a Mohawk woman from the Six Nations Reserve of Grand River in Ontario. She made a name for herself in the arts as a celebrated writer, poet and performer. Johnson’s work has been published and received wide acclamation across Canada, the United States and Great Britain.
2. Annie Mae Aquash (1945-1975)
Annie Mae Aquash (Mi’kmaq name: Naguset Eask) was a Mi’kmaq woman from Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia. An unwavering advocate for Indigenous empowerment and sovereignty, Aquash was a lifelong activist in the American Indian Movement of the 1970s.
3. Shannen Koostachin (1995-2010)
Shannen Koostachin was a fearless, young Cree activist from Attawapiskat First Nation in northern Ontario. Shannen’s Dream is a Canadian youth-driven movement advocating for equitable education funding for First Nations children that was born out of Koostachin’s activism. Though she does not technically fit the criteria for submission given her untimely passing only 6 years ago, it is NWAC’s belief that Shannen’s spirit, influence and activism have more than earned her a place as a contender.
The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote, and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of First Nations and Métis women within First Nation, Métis and Canadian societies. As a national organization representing Indigenous women since 1974, NWAC’s mandate is to achieve equality for all Indigenous women and girls in Canada.
“In different respective ways, each of these individuals embodies what is so beautiful and powerful about Indigenous women. It is my sincere hope that the Bank of Canada take these impressive women into consideration for the next Bank of Canada note.”
―Dawn Lavell-Harvard, President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada
For more information, please contact:
1 Nicholas Street, 9th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7
Tel: 613-722-3033 ext. 223