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SILENT NO MORE

INTERNATIONAL SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS
ON VIOLENCE AGAINST INDIGENOUS WOMEN

29 TO 30 MARCH 2021

#SILENTNOMORE

VIOLENCE AGAINST INDIGENOUS WOMEN, GIRLS AND GENDER-DIVERSE PEOPLE IS A CRISIS ACROSS THE AMERICAS. IN CANADA, AFTER A NATIONAL INQUIRY INTO MISSING AND MURDERED INDIGENOUS WOMEN AND GIRLS WAS HELD, THE INQUIRY MADE A DECLARATION OF GENOCIDE.

The International Summit of the Americas on Violence Against Indigenous Women, hosted by the Native Women’s Association of Canada, will:

1. Address the violent impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse people, including on their direct physical and mental well-being;

2. Examine the intersectionality of violence and explore best practices to address the violence; and

3. Highlight the crucial importance of traditional healing and resiliency.

With no end to the pandemic yet in sight, the need for urgent and effective remedies for this shadow pandemic of violence is all the more pressing. The International Summit of the Americas on Violence Against Indigenous Women will aim to identify international, national and regional solutions that will enable decision-makers to take action.

This Summit will bring together visionaries and thought leaders including grassroots Indigenous women, and representatives of governments, industry and media from across the hemisphere, to discuss what is inarguably one of our most pressing human rights concerns.

AGENDA

DOWNLOAD AGENDA

OUTCOME DOCUMENT

OUTCOME DOCUMENT

OPENING DAY STATEMENT

OPENING DAY STATEMENT

SUMMIT SPEECH

SUMMIT SPEECH

GUEST SPEAKERS

The International Summit of the Americas on Violence Against Indigenous Women will take place March 29, 9:45 to 17:30 Eastern Time, and March 30,
11:00 to 17:00 Eastern Time.

This two-day event will include keynote speakers and panel discussions featuring internationally recognized figures. There will be opportunity during the panel side events for questions and ideas from the public.

The Summit of the Americas will conclude with the development of an outcome document detailing next steps, and a commitment by all participants to move forward together in ending violence against Indigenous women throughout our nations.

LUIS ALMAGRO,
LUIS ALMAGRO,SECRETARY GENERAL, OAS
ANTONIA URREJOLA NOGUERA,
ANTONIA URREJOLA NOGUERA,RAPPORTEUR ON THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES (CHILE)
ELDER ALMA BROOKS
ELDER ALMA BROOKSNWAC ELDER
ANDREA CARMEN,
ANDREA CARMEN,EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL INDIAN TREATY COUNCIL
CONNIE WALKER
CONNIE WALKERAWARD-WINNING CBC JOURNALIST
BRANDI MORIN
BRANDI MORINAWARD-WINNING INDEPENDENT JOURNALIST
LORRAINE WHITMAN,
LORRAINE WHITMAN,PRESIDENT OF NWAC
NELSY KU CHAY
NELSY KU CHAYCOORDINATOR, HOUSES OF INDIGENOUS AND AFRO-MEXICAN WOMEN
JANA L. WALKER
JANA L. WALKERSENIOR ATTORNEY, DIRECTOR OF THE INDIAN LAW RESOURCE CENTRE
TARA WADHWA
TARA WADHWADIRECTOR OF POLICY FOR THE US TRUST AND SAFETY TEAM, TIKTOK
MARION BULLER
MARION BULLERFORMER CHIEF COMMISSIONER FOR THE NATIONAL INQUIRY INTO MISSING AND MURDERED INDIGENOUS WOMEN AND GIRLS
JOSÉ FRANCISCO CALÍ TZAY
JOSÉ FRANCISCO CALÍ TZAYUN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON THE RIGHT OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
DR. IVAN ZINGER
DR. IVAN ZINGERCORRECTIONAL INVESTIGATOR OF CANADA, OFFICE OF THE CORRECTIONAL INVESTIGATOR
BRENDA HILL
BRENDA HILLDIRECTOR OF TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE & TRAINING, NATIONAL INDIGENOUS WOMEN’S RESOURCE CENTER
EMMA STEVENS
EMMA STEVENSMI’KMAQ SINGER
DET. SGT. ALANA MORRISON
DET. SGT. ALANA MORRISONSURVIVOR ASSISTANCE SUPPORT PROGRAM, NISHNAWBE ASKI POLICE SERVICE
CLAUDIA JIMENA PAI
CLAUDIA JIMENA PAICOUNCILOR FOR WOMEN AND THE FAMILY, ASSOCIATION OF TRADITIONAL INDIGENOUS AUTHORITIES - INDIGENOUS UNIT OF THE AWÁ PEOPLE (UNIPA)
AMANDA TASCÓN PANCHI
AMANDA TASCÓN PANCHITECHNICAL COORDINATOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF WOMEN AND GENDER, INDIGENOUS ORGANIZATION OF ANTIOQUIA TECHNICAL AND POLITICAL ORGANIZATIONAL ADVISOR, CRISTIANIA KARMATADRÚA RESERVATION
OLGA MONTÚFAR CONTRERAS
OLGA MONTÚFAR CONTRERASPRESIDENT, INDIGENOUS PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES GLOBAL NETWORK
PRESIDENT, FUNDACIÓN PASO A PASO
SHERRI MITCHELL WEH’NA HA’MU KWASSET
SHERRI MITCHELL WEH’NA HA’MU KWASSETFOUNDING DIRECTOR, LAND PEACE FOUNDATION
AUTHOR OF SACRED INSTRUCTIONS: INDIGENOUS WISDOM FOR LIVING SPIRIT-BASED CHANGE
JACQUELINE O’NEILL
JACQUELINE O’NEILLAMBASSADOR FOR WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY, GOVERNMENT OF CANADA
CAROLYN BENNETT
CAROLYN BENNETTMINISTER OF CROWN-INDIGENOUS RELATIONS
ELDER RAMONA NICHOLAS
ELDER RAMONA NICHOLASNWAC ELDER
MICHELLE SAUVE
MICHELLE SAUVEACTING COMMISSIONER, ADMINISTRATION FOR NATIVE AMERICANS (ANA)
MADONNA THUNDER HAWK
MADONNA THUNDER HAWKTRIBAL LIAISON, LAKOTA PEOPLE’S LAW PROJECT (LPLP)
MARIZE VIEIRA DE OLIVEIRA
MARIZE VIEIRA DE OLIVEIRA PRESIDENT, INDIGENOUS ASSOCIATION OF MARACANÃ VILLAGE (AIAM)
SUSAN AGLUKARK, O.C.
SUSAN AGLUKARK, O.C.INUK SINGER/SONGWRITER
FOUNDER, THE ARCTIC ROSE FOUNDATION
NAHANNI FONTAINE
NAHANNI FONTAINENDP MLA FOR ST. JOHNS
GRANDMOTHER ROBERTA OSHKAWBEWISENS
GRANDMOTHER ROBERTA OSHKAWBEWISENSNWAC NATIONAL GRANDMOTHER
ELDER ISABELLE MEAWASIGE
ELDER ISABELLE MEAWASIGENWAC ELDER
PATRISIA GONZALES
PATRISIA GONZALES PROMOTORA OF INDIGENOUS MEDICINE & HERBALIST, DEPARTMENT OF MEXICAN AMERICAN STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
SILVESTRA MELANIA CANALES POMA
SILVESTRA MELANIA CANALES POMAPRESIDENT, NATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF ANDEAN AND AMAZONIAN INDIGENOUS WOMEN OF PERU (ONAMIAP)
BETH TREMBLAY
BETH TREMBLAYCOMMUNITY SUPPORT WORKER, NWAC
KARINA GOULD
KARINA GOULDMINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
ANITA BHATIA
ANITA BHATIAEXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, UN WOMEN
LAURA HERNÁNDEZ PÉREZ
LAURA HERNÁNDEZ PÉREZNAHUA PUEBLA, COLECTIVO YEHCOA UM, MÉXICO
JENNIFER MONTAÑO
JENNIFER MONTAÑOMASTER IN CRIMINAL LAW LAWYER FROM THE NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF COLOMBIA
NAVAJO NATION FIRST LADY PHEFELIA NEZ
NAVAJO NATION FIRST LADY PHEFELIA NEZMEMBER OF THE NEW MEXICO MISSING AND MURDERED INDIGENOUS WOMEN AND RELATIVES TASK FORCE (USA)
SARA MAYORGA VILLANUEVA
SARA MAYORGA VILLANUEVAGENERAL COORDINATOR, ALLIANCE OF INDIGENOUS WOMEN OF CENTRAL AMERICA AND MEXICO

REGISTRATION

This will be a virtual event, livestreamed on Zoom. It is free of charge and everyone is welcome, in fact encouraged, to participate in and view the sessions, throughout the event.

REGISTER BY SENDING AN EMAIL WITH YOUR NAME AND/OR ORGANIZATION TO:

SUMMITAMERICAS@NWAC.CA

FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES, PLEASE CONTACT

Gloria@GloriaGalloway.com

GUEST SPEAKERS

Hear from leaders and speakers from across the Americas and join the conversation!

Luis Almagro

LUIS ALMAGRO
SECRETARY GENERAL, ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES

Luis Almagro has served as Secretary General of the Organization of American States since 2015, having been reelected for a second term in March 2020. Upon taking up the leadership of the OAS, he announced that the central theme of his administration would be “more rights for more people” and that he would work “to be the voice of the voiceless.”

Mr. Almagro is a lawyer by profession who speaks Spanish, English and French. In his home country Uruguay, he has served as a Senator and Foreign Minister, and as Uruguay’s ambassador to China. A career diplomat, he has extensive regional and international experience.

In 2019, hosted by NWAC, Almagro visited Canada to study the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. He visited remote First Nations communities. He publicly stated: “I think the facts found during the [National Inquiry on MMIWG] perfectly match with the legal definition of genocide.”

Antonia

ANTONIA URREJOLA NOGUERA
RAPPORTEUR ON THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES (CHILE)

Commissioner Antonia Urrejola Noguera, a citizen of Chile, was appointed by the Organization of American States (OAS) as the Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples for a four-year term beginning on January 1st, 2018. A lawyer graduated from the University of Chile with a post-title in Human Rights and Transitional Justice, Commissioner Noguera has worked for the Presidency of Chile, the Special Commission of Indigenous Peoples in Chile, the Ministry of National Assets and the Ministry of Planning and Cooperation of Chile with a specific focus on work related to human rights and the rights of Indigenous Peoples. Commissioner Noguera was also a principal advisor to the former Secretary General of the OAS between 2006 and 2011, and has worked as a consultant for various international organizations including the UN Development Program, the International Labour Organization, and the Inter-American Development Bank.

ELDER ALMA BROOKS
NWAC ELDER

Elder Alma Brooks is a Maliseet Grandmother from St. Mary’s First Nation in New Brunswick who has been working with NWAC’s Resiliency Lodge as an Elder providing counselling and support to Indigenous women. Elder Alma was an elected Band Councillor prior to working with the Maliseet Grand Council and the Wabanaki Confederacy. Elder Alma was also the acting President of the New Brunswick Native Council for 18 years.

Elder Alma’s work is informed by traditional ways of knowing, including advocacy work in protection of local lands and waters from environmental threats and providing support through traditional knowledge and practices. This has led to her participate in raising funds for the Wabanaki Environmental Defense Fund, and to her participation in forums such as the Honouring Indigenous Women’s Wisdom Delegation to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) and the KAIROS Gendered Impact: Indigenous Women and Resource Extraction Symposium.

Lorraine Whitman

LORRAINE WHITMAN
PRESIDENT OF NWAC

Lorraine Whitman (Grandmother White Sea Turtle), a member of Glooscap First Nation in Nova Scotia, was elected President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada in September of 2019. Graduating with honours from the University of Alberta’s Grant McEwan College Rehabilitation Practitioner program, Lorraine’s career has focused on health care and healing. Early in her career, she developed, implemented and evaluated personal and educational programs in Edmonton-based schools, workplaces and social environments for individuals with physical needs and challenges. Upon returning to Nova Scotia in 1987, she worked for 23 years as a social development officer for Glooscap First Nation. In 2010, Lorraine was employed as the Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative Coordinator for Glooscap First Nation.

Lorraine served Glooscap First Nation as an elected councillors from 1997-2012, sat on the Board of Directors of the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq for more than 15 years, serves as a health committee member for the Tripartite Forum for more than 10 years and was the Mi’kmaq representative on the Annapolis Valley School Board from 2000-2003. In 2017, Lorraine was elected president of the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association and became an Elder for Acadia University. She is also a recipient of the Nova Scotia Volunteer Award (2019).

Outside of attending to her duties as NWAC’s president, Lorraine splits her time between career and speaking on Mi’kmaw culture in schools and at public events. She is an artisan and a volunteer in her church and at the local elementary school.

ANDREA CARMEN
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL INDIAN TREATY COUNCIL

Andrea Carmen, Yaqui Nation, has been the Executive Director of the international Indian Treaty Council since 1992. Her work with the IITC began in 1976 when she was hired as a student intern, becoming an staff member in 1983. Andrea was IITC’s team leader for work on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples from 2006-2009, and was one of two Indigenous representatives invited to address the UN General Assembly at the UN Earth Summit +5 in 1997.

Andrea is an expert presenter on various topics, including human rights, treaties, cultural indicators, biological diversity, food sovereignty, and UN Sustainable Development Goals, and has conducted over 100 training sessions and presentations for Indigenous Peoples and communities, UN bodies, academic institutions and NGO’s. Andrea has also served as an advisor, founding member, or Steering Committee member for the Indigenous Initiative for Peace, World Council of Churches, the North American Indigenous Peoples Bio-Diversity Project, the First Nations Development/Eagle Staff Fund Native Food Systems Initiative, the US Human Rights Network US UPR Project, and First Peoples World Wide.

In 2019, Andrea was selected by Indigenous Peoples, communities and organizations in North America to be their representative on the new Facilitative Working Group for the Development of the UNFCCC Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples’ Traditional Knowledge Exchange Platform for the first three years of its operation.

Connie Walker

CONNIE WALKER
AWARD-WINNING CBC JOURNALIST

Connie Walker, Cree from Okanese First Nation in Saskatchewan, is an award-winning investigative journalist and host of Stolen: The Search for Jermain, an investigative podcast about the disappearance of a young Indigenous mother in Montana which premiered earlier this month on U.S.-based Gimlet Media. She is also the former host of the Missing and Murdered podcast series which was produced for the CBC News Network in Canada.

After her graduation from the University of Regina, Connie hosted Living Saskatchewan, and was a reporter and producer of The National. In 2009, Connie became a correspondent for Connect with Mark Kelley, and in 2013, she helped produce 8th Fire, an acclaimed documentary on contemporary Indigenous life.

In 2016, Connie‘s eight-part investigative podcast, Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo, won the inaugural Best Serialized Story award at the Third Coast International Audio Festival. Season 2, Missing and Murdered: Who killed Alberta Williams? was released in 2018 and won the RTDNA’s Adrienne Clarkson Award and was nominated for a Webby Award.

BRANDI MORIN
AWARD-WINNING INDEPENDENT JOURNALIST

Brandi Morin, a Métis award-winning Human Rights Independent Journalist from Alberta, possesses a passion for telling Indigenous stories that are focused on change and reconciliation in Canada’s political, cultural and social environments. Based out of Edmonton, Brandi has lent her talents to several news organizations, including Indian Country Today Media Network, the Aboriginal peoples Television Network National News, CBC News, Al Jazeera English, the New York Times, CTV National, the Toronto Star, and the National Observer.

In 2019, Brandi won a Human Rights Reporting award from the Canadian Association of Journalists for her work with the CBC’s Beyond 94 project, which tracked the progress of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.

NELSY KU CHAY
COORDINATOR, HOUSES OF INDIGENOUS AND AFRO-MEXICAN WOMEN

Nelsy Ku Chay is the coordinator of the Casas de la Mujer Indígena (CAMIs), which are state-funded houses that provide support, healthcare and violence prevention programs to Indigenous and Afro-Mexican women.

Working as the coordinator of a national network of 35 CAMIs, Nelsy Ku Chay has been working for the past year to protect the houses from significant budget cuts in the wake of increased domestic and sexual violence against Indigenous and Afro-Mexican women spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nelsy Ku Chay stated: “They [CAMIs] play a fundamental role in our communities. When women decide to leave their houses because of a situation…like violence, the first place they go is a [CAMI].”

JANA L. WALKER
SENIOR ATTORNEY, DIRECTOR OF THE INDIAN LAW RESOURCE CENTRE

Jana L. Walker, an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation, is a senior attorney with the Indian Law Resource Center in Helena, Montana. Jana received her J.D. cum laude from the University of New Mexico School of Law and is admitted to practice law in Montana, New Mexico and the District of Columbia. Founded in 1978, the Indian Law Resource Centre is a non-profit organization, established and directed by American Indians, that is dedicated to protecting the rights of Indian and Alaska Native nations and other Indigenous Peoples. Jana serves as the Project Director for the Center’s Safe Women, Strong Nations project, which works to end violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women and its devastating impacts on Native communities. The project does so by raising awareness domestically and internationally, providing advice to Native nations and Native women’s organizations on ways to restore safety to Native women and criminal authority to tribes, as well as helping to strengthen the ability of tribes to prevent and address such violence on their lands.

TARA WADHWA
DIRECTOR OF POLICY FOR THE US TRUST AND SAFETY TEAM, TIKTOK

Tara Wadhwa serves as the Director of Policy for the US Trust and Safety team at TikTok. She joined Tiktok in February 2019 and focused on the global policy development for Hate Speech and Harassment before transitioning to manage the US policy portfolio. Before joining TikTok, Tara spent a decade as a researcher and administrator at the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights where she focused on leveraging corporate commitment to enhance human rights protections in a variety of sectors, including technology. Tara holds a Master of Public Administration from the NYU Wagner School of Public Service and a B.A. from Yale.

MARION BULLER
FORMER CHIEF COMMISSIONER FOR THE NATIONAL INQUIRY INTO MISSING AND MURDERED INDIGENOUS WOMEN AND GIRLS

Marion Buller, Cree from Mistawasis First Nation in Saskatchewan, was the Chief Commissioner for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) from 2015 to 2019. Receiving both her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Victoria, Marion worked in criminal and civil law prior to being appointed as a Provincial Court Judge in British Columbia in 1994. Marion was the first Indigenous woman appointed to this role. In 2006, Marion initiated the First Nations Courts in British Columbia. Marion also served as President and Director of the Indigenous Bar Association in Canada, the B.C. Police Commission, the Law Courts Education Society, and the Law Foundation of British Columbia.

JOSÉ FRANCISCO CALÍ TZAY
UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON THE RIGHT OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

José Francisco Calí Tzay, Maya Kaqchikel from Guatemala, is the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples for the United Nations. With experience defending the rights of Indigenous Peoples, both in Guatemala and at the level of the UN and the OAS, Mr. Calí Tzay completed a law degree at Mariano Galvez University at the Chimaltenango Campus in Guatemala and a Master of Laws (LL.M) in Comparative and Indigenous Peoples Law from the University of Oklahoma.

Mr. Calí Tzay has an extensive background in law and diplomacy, acting as the Ambassador of Guatemala to the Federal Republic of Germany, as well as President of the Committee for the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (2004-2020). He was also the Director of Human Rights at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala (2008-2012), a member of the Presidential Commission against Discrimination and Racism against Indigenous Peoples in Guatemala (2001-2004) and President of the National Reparation Program for Victims of the Internal Armed Conflict (2003-2004).

DR. IVAN ZINGER
CORRECTIONAL INVESTIGATOR OF CANADA, OFFICE OF THE CORRECTIONAL INVESTIGATOR

Dr. Ivan Zinger, Correctional Investigator of Canada and Adjunct Law Professor at Carleton University, received his degree in Common Law from the University of Ottawa in 1992. In 1999, he obtained his Ph.D. at Carleton University in Psychology of Criminal Conduct.

Dr. Zinger joined the Public Service of Canada in 1996, holding a variety of senior managerial, policy and research positions in public safety-related federal departments and agencies. In 2004, he joined his current employer, the Office of the Correctional Investigator, and in 2009, he became the Executive Director and General Counsel. As of January 1, 2017, Dr. Zinger was appointed as the Correctional Investigator of Canada.

Over the years, Dr. Zinger has developed expertise in domestic and international human rights law in prison setting. His academic publications include articles on a variety of subjects, including prison oversight, ethics, dangerous offenders, correctional treatment, the diagnosis of psychopathy, conditional release, penal segregation, and the impact of tough on crime measures on corrections.

BRENDA HILL
DIRECTOR OF TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE & TRAINING, NATIONAL INDIGENOUS WOMEN’S RESOURCE CENTER

Brenda Hill, Siksika, has been an advocate for ending violence against Indigenous women and their children for over 30 years. Her work creating social change through advocacy that confronts the root causes of violence and oppression, and women-centered, inclusive, trauma-informed approaches, is based on grassroots, proactive, culturally-informed perspectives. Making connections and relationship building are central to her philosophy.

Prior to joining the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center as the Directory of Technical Assistance and Training, Brenda was an independent consultant and trainer, following her position as the Native Co-Directory for the South Dakota Coalition Ending Domestic and Sexual Violence. Prior to that, Brenda was the Education Coordinator for Sacred Circle, National Resource Center to End Violence Against Native Women for over 11 years. She is also a founding mother and former Director of the Women’s Circle Shelter Program on Lake Traverse Reservation. Brenda earned a B.A from New York University and an M.A. and certificate in alcohol and drug studies from the University of South Dakota.

EMMA STEVENS
MI’KMAQ SINGER

Emma Stevens, a Mi’kmaq singer from Eskasoni First Nation in Nova Scotia, garnered international acclaim and media attention in 2019 with her rendition of Paul McCartney’s “Blackbird” sung in Mi’kmaq. With fewer than 10,000 living Mi’kmaq speakers remaining, Emma’s rendition helped bring awareness to the various efforts in revitalizing endangered Indigenous languages internationally. Since its release, Emma has performed across Canada and internationally in Nairobi, Kenya, and Abu Dhabi, UAE for United Nations assemblies – singing and speaking in front of global policy makers. Emma is passionate about bringing awareness to important issues facing First Nations across Canada, including loss of language and the 4,000 missing and murdered Indigenous women that have been recorded in Canada since the 1970’s.

DET. SGT. ALANA MORRISON
SURVIVOR ASSISTANCE SUPPORT PROGRAM, NISHNAWBE ASKI POLICE SERVICE

Det. Sgt. Alana Morrison has worked for 18 years as a police officer with Nishnawbe Aski Police Services (NAPS). After interviewing over a thousand victims of domestic violence and child sexual abuse, some more than once, Alana realized that victims needed more support than what was currently being offered. In 2017, Alana and her husband, Chief of Police Roland Morrison, launched the Survivor Assistance Support Program. This pilot program provided support to victims, enlisting two female officers to transport them to safe houses, assist them with finding legal services, inform them if their abusers made bail and helped to plan their return to their community. Alana earned an award from Ontario Women in Law Enforcement due to the success of the program. The pilot program, despite being successful in providing support to victims, shut down in 2018 due to a lapse in funding. On December 11th, 2020, NAPS was able to relaunch the program.

CLAUDIA JIMENA PAI
COUNCILOR FOR WOMEN AND THE FAMILY, ASSOCIATION OF TRADITIONAL INDIGENOUS AUTHORITIES – INDIGENOUS UNIT OF THE AWÁ PEOPLE (UNIPA)

Claudia Jimena Pai, a member of the Awá Chinguirito Mira Indigenous Reservation in Colombia, has been working with the Association of Traditional Indigenous Authorities, Indigenous Unit of the Awá People (UNIPA) since 2004. At the same time she began working with UNIPA, Claudia also worked as a Technical Assistant in Nursing with the Indigenous IPS located in the El Verde Estate, Gran Sábalo Reservation. In this role, Claudia raised awareness about the importance of prenatal care, vaccinations, and disease prevention. At the time, she was the only Indigenous Auxiliary who accompanied this process together with other Public Health officials and medical professionals.

In 2008, the Congress of the Awá People appointed Claudia as the Coordinator of Administration, Planning and Finance for UNIPA. In 2016, she was appointed as the Councillor for Women and the Family of UNIPA, carrying out a strengthening of the gender approach in community organizational processes and daily life.

AMANDA TASCÓN PANCHI
TECHNICAL COORDINATOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF WOMEN AND GENDER, INDIGENOUS ORGANIZATION OF ANTIOQUIA
TECHNICAL AND POLITICAL ORGANIZATIONAL ADVISOR, CRISTIANIA KARMATADRÚA RESERVATION

Amanda Tascón Panchi, Embera Chamí from Karmata Rua Cristiania Reservation in Colombia, is the Technical Coordinator of the Department of Women and Gender for the Indigenous Organization of Antioquia (IOA) and the Technical and Political Organizational Advisor for the Karmata Rua Cristiania Reservation. With a degree from the Higher School of Public Administration in Municipal and Public Administration and a Master’s Degree in Education and Human Development from the University of Manizales, Amanda has extensive experience in social processes, including training for Indigenous leadership and the rights of Indigenous women. Amanda also has experience with working with numerous organizations in roles that support the rights of Indigenous women and communities, including the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Center for Indigenous Cooperation (CECOIN).

OLGA MONTÚFAR CONTRERAS
PRESIDENT, INDIGENOUS PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES GLOBAL NETWORK
PRESIDENT, FUNDACIÓN PASO A PASO

Olga Montúfar Contreras, Nuhuatl, is President of both the Indigenous Persons with Disabilities Global Network and the Fundación Paso a Paso. Olga is also a representative for Focal Point of Latin America and the Caribbean for Indigenous People with Disabilities, Coordinator of the Mixed Monitoring Group PAD with the Organization of American States (OAS), Coordinator of the Network of Indigenous Women with Disabilities and a Fellow at the Office of the UN High Commissioner’s Indigenous Leaders Program. Trained originally as an engineer at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Olga returned to university to obtain a Master’s in Social Policies and Development at the Autonomous University of the State of Hidalgo after seeing the lack of opportunities for Indigenous Peoples with disabilities. As an Indigenous woman with a disability, Olga’s experience in development and policy is framed within various human rights frameworks, including women’s rights, Indigenous rights, and the rights of people with disabilities.

SHERRI MITCHELL WEH’NA HA’MU KWASSET
FOUNDING DIRECTOR, LAND PEACE FOUNDATION
AUTHOR OF SACRED INSTRUCTIONS: INDIGENOUS WISDOM FOR LIVING SPIRIT-BASED CHANGE

Sherri Mitchell Weh’na Ha’mu Kwasset, from Penobscot Indian reservation (Penawahpskek), speaks and teaches around the world on issues of Indigenous rights, environmental justice, and spiritual change. Receiving her Juris Doctorate and a certificate in Indigenous People’s Law and Policy from the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law, Sherri is the Founding Director of the Land Peace Foundation, an organization dedicated to the global protection of Indigenous land and water rights. Sherri is also author of Author of Sacred Instructions: Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change. Prior to forming the Land Peace Foundation, Sherri served as a law clerk to the Solicitor of the United States Department of Interior, as an Associate with Fredericks, Peebles and Morgan Law Firm, as a civil rights educator for the Main Attorney General’s Office, and as the Staff Attorney for the Native American Unit of Pine Tree Legal.

Sherri has been a long-time advisor to the American Indian Institute’s Traditional Circle of Indian Elders and Youth and was a program coordinator for their Healing the Future Program. She has also served as an advisor to the Indigenous Elders and Medicine People’s Council of North and South America for the past 20 years. In this role, she has worked with Indigenous spiritual leaders from across the Americas, helping to ensure that their voices are heard. This has included bringing their messages to political leaders in the United States, Canada and the Indigenous Peoples Forum at the United Nations.

JACQUELINE O’NEILL
AMBASSADOR FOR WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY, GOVERNMENT OF CANADA

Jacqueline O’Neill is Canada’s first Ambassador for Women, Peace and Security. Appointed by the Prime Minister in June 2019, her primary role is to advise Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defence, and numerous other departments engaged in implementing Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.  Previously, Ambassador O’Neill was President of The Institute for Inclusive Security, a US-based organization that increased the inclusion of women in peace negotiations and related processes, including the reform of police and military organizations.

Prior to that, Ambassador O’Neill worked at the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Sudan and at Khartoum’s Ahfad University for Women. She was also a policy advisor to Canada’s Secretary of State for the Asia-Pacific region. Most recently, Ambassador O’Neill was a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Canada Institute, an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian International Council. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Alberta and a Master in Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

CAROLYN BENNETT
MINISTER OF CROWN-INDIGENOUS RELATIONS

Carolyn Bennett, the Member of Parliament for the riding of Toronto-St. Paul’s, is the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations. In November 2015, Carolyn was appointed Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In 2017, she became the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations with a mandate to guide the Government’s forward-looking and transformative work to create a new relationship with Indigenous Peoples. She was previously the Minister of State for Public Health and has also served as the critic for Public Health, Seniors, Person with Disabilities, the Social Economy, and Aboriginal Affairs.

Prior to being elected to the House of Commons in 1997, Carolyn was a family physician and a founding partner of Bedford Medical Associates in downtown Toronto. She was also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. Her fight to save the Women’s College Hospital of Toronto inspired her to enter politics.

ELDER RAMONA NICHOLAS
NWAC ELDER

Elder Ramona Nicholas, an Elder working with NWAC’s Resiliency Lodge, is a Wolastoqey grandmother from Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick. Elder Ramona is the Kcihcihtuwihut (Knowledge Keeper-in-Residence) at the University of New Brunswick. She is also on the board of MiningWatch Canada, which is a pan-Canadian initiative that addresses the urgent need to protect communities and the environment from the risk mining projects pose.

Elder Ramona received a Bachelor of Arts from St. Thomas University, majoring in Native Studies and Anthropology. She continued with her education with a Master’s in Archaeology from the University of New Brunswick. After curating a museum exhibit at the Fredericton Region Museum, entitled Wabanaki Way, Elder Ramona was inspired to once again continue with her education and enrolled in an Interdisciplinary PhD program at the University of New Brunswick.

MICHELLE SAUVE
ACTING COMMISSIONER, ADMINISTRATION FOR NATIVE AMERICANS (ANA)

Michelle Sauve, a member of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, is the Acting Commissioner of the Administration for Native Americans (ANA), an agency with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that promotes self-sufficiency for Native Americans through funding community-based projects, training and technical assistance. As Acting Commissioner, Michelle also services in the dual role of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Native American Affairs, affirming the government-to-government relationship between the Administration for Child and Families (ACF) and Indian tribes. In addition to these roles, Michelle also serves as the Executive Director of the Intradepartmental Council for Native American Affairs (ICNAA) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and as the Intergovernmental Affairs Specialist in the Office of the Commissioner at ANA.

 

In the past, Michelle provide training and technical assistance to American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start programs, as part of the Office of Head Start Technical Assistance Network. She also worked in program management with the Washington Internship for Native Students at American University, as an Executive Director for the Commonwealth Tenants Association in Boston, and as a Project Manager for Child Care Development Block Grant in California. Michelle has a degree in American Studies from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard University.

MADONNA THUNDER HAWK
TRIBAL LIAISON, LAKOTA PEOPLE’S LAW PROJECT (LPLP)

Madonna Thunder Hawk, a member of the Oohenumpa band of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, has a long history of grassroots activism prior to her formative work for Lakota People’s Law Project (LPLP) as a Tribal Liaison. Her work with LPL builds alliances and support for Indian child welfare among South Dakota’s tribal leaders and communities. She also established the Wasagiya Najin “Grandmothers’ Group” on Cheyenne River Reservation to assist in rebuilding kinship networks and stopping the removal of children.

 

First becoming active in the late 1960’s, she is co-founder of Women of All Red Nations (WARN), as well as the Black Hills Alliance – which prevented corporate uranium mining in the Black Hills and proved the high level of radiation in Pine Ridge reservation’s water supply. She was also a member of the American Indian Movement (AIM) and occupied Alcatraz and Wounded Knee in protest of the federal government’s genocidal policies against Native Americans. In 1974, she established the We Will Remember Survival School, an act of reclamation for young Indigenous people who were pushed out of public school. Madonna also spent months camped in Standing Rock to oppose the Dakota Access pipeline and protect clean water and treaty rights. She is a grandmother to a generation of Native American activists.

MARIZE VIEIRA DE OLIVEIRA
PRESIDENT, INDIGENOUS ASSOCIATION OF MARACANÃ VILLAGE (AIAM)

Marize Vieira de Oliveira, Guaraní, is the President of the Indigenous Association of Maracanã Village (AIAM) in Brazil, an organization focused on Indigenous resistance and bringing together Indigenous Peoples of different ethnicities in the urban context of Rio de Janeiro. A strong advocate for Indigenous peoples in Brazil, Marize is also a member of the State Council for Indigenous Rights and one of the founders of Aldeia Maracanã.

Marize is a professor and doctoral student at the Federal Fluminense University (UFF). Her thesis is aimed at proving that the Government of Brazil has always had a racist policy towards Indigenous Peoples.

SUSAN AGLUKARK, O.C.
INUK SINGER/SONGWRITER
FOUNDER, THE ARCTIC ROSE FOUNDATION

Nunavut’s first ever Juno Award winning Inuk singer/songwriter, Susan calls herself the accidental artist. Susan grew up in Arviat, Nunavut and with “no musical orthodoxy” to draw from, Susan’s early years were spent learning as she was headlining. The past 25 years and the following 7 albums has seen Susan set on a path of personal discoveries, cultural reconnections, and personal healing. In addition to her career as a singer/songwriter, Susan founded The Arctic Rose Foundation, a foundation that helps youth in the north through art and other engaging cultural and creative projects.

Susan has garnered 3 Juno awards, received The Order of Canada in 2005, and most recently was awarded the Governor General’s Lifetime Performing Arts Award for lifetime artistic achievement.

NAHANNI FONTAINE
NDP MLA FOR ST. JOHNS

Nahanni Fontaine, Ojibway from Sagkeeng Anishinaabe First Nation, has been the MLA for St. Johns since 2016. She is a nationally recognized expert on Indigenous women in Canada, and has helped to bring international attention to the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, Indigenous/police relations and women’s representation in politics. She has been a vocal opponent to the Pallister government’s reckless cuts to women’s health care and restorative justice programs. She is the NDP Official Opposition’s House Leader, Critic for Justice, and the spokesperson for Veterans Affairs.

GRANDMOTHER ROBERTA OSHKAWBEWISENS
NWAC NATIONAL GRANDMOTHER

Grandmother Roberta Oshkawbewisens, Little White Buffalo Woman of the Bear Clan, was raised on the Wikwemikong Unceded Territory on Manitoulin Island in Ontario. Grandmother Roberta offers assistance and guidance to First Nations, Inuit and Métis women at NWAC’s Resiliency Lodge. Grandmother Roberta has been offering this kind of support for many years as a grandmother to her community. She is a graduate of the Native Counsellor Training Program and has experience working in the fields of addiction and education. She also worked as an Advisor to Native students and staff, district agencies, and First Nations communities for Northern College, and was a part-time First Nation Studies Professor. Grandmother Roberta has worked with Indigenous and women’s organizations and committee’s across Canada, providing guidance in progressing through trauma with ceremony.

 

In her role at NWAC’s Resiliency Lodge, she assists Indigenous women who are in need of healing and provides guidance through ceremonies. She shares with them the things they need to know as they progress through the stages of life and teaches about the medicine wheel and the evolution of life.

ELDER ISABELLE MEAWASIGE
NWAC ELDER

Elder Isabelle Meawasige, Bear Clan Woman of the Serpent River, is an Elder with NWAC’s Resiliency Lodge. After retiring from her career as a social worker 21 years ago, Elder Isabelle has been working as a grandmother, elder, teacher and healer. She is a woman grassroots leader and works at the Health Access Centers in their traditional healing programs, uplifting the people who come into contact with her. Elder Isabelle also co-founded the Grandmothers Council, whose mandate is to mobilize Indigenous communities through presentations aimed at raising awareness about the causes and repercussions of human trafficking. The Grandmothers Council asserts its sacred role and responsibility by attending gatherings, walks and rallies that refer to violence against Indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse people.

 

She is well-traveled and has worked in a variety of specialty areas including Child and Family Services, Mental Health Settings, Sexual Assault Groups, the Indian Residential School Movement and Metis Community Wellness. Since 1999, she has presented powerful soul healing workshops at numerous Indigenous Peoples conferences in every province in Canada and in the USA, including child and family conferences, and mental health and family violence conferences. She promotes Traditional Aboriginal Cultural Perspective that is interwoven in all her work. Woman empowerment is one of the many gifts that she and other Grandmothers have set their attention on.  

PATRISIA GONZALES
PROMOTORA OF INDIGENOUS MEDICINE & HERBALIST, DEPARTMENT OF MEXICAN AMERICAN STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

Patricia Gonzales, granddaughter of Kickapoo, Comanche and Macehual peoples, specializes in Indigenous ways of knowing and Indigenous medicine. Obtaining her PhD in Mass Communications from the Department of Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Patricia’s focus is on community healing and, through a Kellogg Fellowship (1997-1999), was able  to establish a promotora project on traditional medicine in New Mexico. She is a promotora of Indigenous Medicine, an herbalist and an apprenticing Traditional Birth attendant. As a community health promoter-researcher, her courses and research combine applied Indigenous medicinal knowledge with explorations into under-girding philosophies and world views. She is the author of Red Medicine: Traditional Indigenous Rites of Birthing and Healing (2012) , The Mud People (2003) and Traditional Indian Medicine: American Indian Wellness (2016), the first textbook on American Indian medicine.

SILVESTRA MELANIA CANALES POMA
PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF ANDEAN AND AMAZONIAN INDIGENOUS WOMEN OF PERU (ONAMIAP)

Silvestra Melania Canales Poma is a leader of the Quechua people of the Ayachucho region in Peru. She is the President of the National Organization of Andean and Amazonian Indigenous Women of Peru (ONAMIAP), the coordinator of the southern Region of the Continental Link of Indigenous Women of the Americas (ECMIA SUR), and a member of the Collegiate Council of ECMIA.

 

From a young age, Silvestra Melania became involved in leadership, holding difference positions in the Lucanas community. She held positions with the Lucanas Women’s Federation and the Ayacucho Regional Federation of Indigenous Women (FEREMIA), of which she was President. She also was elected as mayor of the Lucanas district from 2011-2014. Her entire organizational and political trajectory is based on the vindication of her identity, as well as the struggle for autonomy and the full exercise of the rights of women and Indigenous peoples. Fulfilling her role, she has represented Indigenous women in at regional, national and international levels.

 

BETH TREMBLAY
COMMUNITY SUPPORT WORKER, NWAC

Beth Tremblay, also known as, Nipayi Monoqan/Night Rainbow, is a mother, daughter, and sister of Wolastokuk (Wolastoq Homeland) in New Brunswick and represents the Crow Clan from her Grandmother’s lineage and Wolf Clan from her Grandfather’s bloodline. She is a Social Worker, Intuitive Spiritual Healing Activator, and Trauma Informed Life Coach.

 

Beth has experience supporting several populations from children in the school system, runaway and homeless youth, survivors of sex trafficking, survivors of sexual assault, survivors of domestic/intimate violence, adults experiencing severe and persistent mental illness and homelessness, children and adults diagnosed with developmental disabilities, as well as children and adults who have experienced trauma.

 

She is a certified teacher in Breath~Body~Mind. She teaches techniques rooted in mindfulness to regulate the nervous system’s overactivation of trauma responses (fight/flight/freeze/fawn).

Beth was raised with traditional teachings by her beloved father, Ron Tremblay/Spaqasit Possesom, Wolastoq Grand Chief (Kci-Sakom). She was also spiritually guided from Sagatay – Gwen Bear a Wolastoqewi-Grandmother, a beautiful elder & teacher who has now crossed over to the spirit world, and gkisedtanamoogk a traditional specialist and teacher from the Wampanoag Nation. She combines her teachings, inner ancestral wisdom, education, and her experiences in a holistic approach to guide and support others along their healing journeys.

KARINA GOULD
MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Karina Gould, the Member of Parliament for Burlington, is the Minister of International Development for the Government of Canada. A graduate from McGill University and the University of Oxford, Karina is passionate about public services and international development. Before her election as the Member of Parliament for Burlington, she worked as a trade and investment specialist for the Mexican Trade Commission in Toronto, a consultant for the Migration and Development Program and the Organization of Americans States in Washington, D.C., and spent a year volunteering at an orphanage in Mexico. She is passionate about breaking down barriers for women, youth, and underrepresented groups.

ANITA BHATIA
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, UN WOMEN

Anita Bhatia is the Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the Assistant Secretary-General for Resource Management, Sustainability, Partnerships at the United Nations. Anita has had a distinguished career at the World Bank Group, serving in various senior leadership and management positions, both at Headquarters and in the field. She brings extensive experience in the area of strategic partnerships, resource mobilization and management. Anita also served as Director of Global Partnerships for the International Finance Committee (IFC) and the Director of Development Partner Relations for the World Bank. In these positions, Anita focused on key policy areas including fragile and conflict-affected states, gender equality, financial inclusion, and enhancing sustainability. Anita holds a BA in History from Calcutta University, an MA in Political Science from Yale University and a Juris Doctor in Law from Georgetown University.

LAURA HERNÁNDEZ PÉREZ
NAHUA PUEBLA, COLECTIVO YEHCOA UM, MÉXICO

Laura Hernández Pérez, Nahua, has 10 year of experience in community work with Indigenous girls, boys, youth and women in areas of sexual health, reproductive health, violence prevention, gender equality and human rights. With a Bachelors of Social Work with a specialization in intervention models with young people from UNAM, Laura has worked in Nahua communities in the states of Puebla and Queretaro, and in Mexico City. She is currently a member of the Yehocoa Um Collective, a legal representative for the Alliance of Indigenous Women for Human Rights and Social Development (AMIDES), a member of the Collegiate General Coordination of the National Coordinator of Indigenous Women (CONAMI Mexico), and head of the Commission for Children and Youth.

JENNIFER MONTAÑO
MASTER IN CRIMINAL LAW
LAWYER FROM THE NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF COLOMBIA

Jennifer Montaño is a legal advisor to Indigenous organizations for the defense of human rights and their peoples, especially on issues related to the implementation of the Final Peace Agreement between the Colombian State and the defunct FARC-EP, prior consultations, differential and intercultural treatment of Indigenous People in prison, Special Indigenous Jurisdiction and autonomy. Jennifer is also a researcher on issues of interculturality, women’s rights, rights of Indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants and peasants. She holds a Master in Criminal Law and is a Lawyer from the National University of Colombia.

NAVAJO NATION FIRST LADY PHEFELIA NEZ
MEMBER OF THE NEW MEXICO MISSING AND MURDERED INDIGENOUS WOMEN AND RELATIVES TASK FORCE (USA)

Navajo Nation First Lady Phefelia Nez was born in Keam Canyon, AZ and raised on Hopi Partition Land in Big Mountain, AZ. Phefelia is the Navajo Nation Representative of the New Mexico Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relative (MMIWR) Task Force and an Indian Advisory Board Member of the Natural History Museum of Utah. In the past, Phefelia was on the Board of Directors Navajo Youth Empowerment Services, the President and Executive Director of Shonto Community Development Corporation, and the Program Coordinator of Dine’ College.

Phefelia Nez earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Political Science (with an emphasis in Comparative and International Politics) and Criminal Justice from Northern Arizona University. She also has 27 credit hours in the Master of Public Administration at NAU. She is also an alumni of ASU Lodestar Center’s Generation Next Nonprofit Leadership Academy Class V.

SARA MAYORGA VILLANUEVA
GENERAL COORDINATOR, ALLIANCE OF INDIGENOUS WOMEN OF CENTRAL AMERICA AND MEXICO

Sara Mayorga Villanueva, member of the Cabécar Indigenous People, is one of the only female Indigenous lawyers in Costa Rica. Since 2008, Sara has worked with the Alliance of Indigenous Women of Central America and Mexico. This organization is focused on engaging in dialogues and studies in three Indigenous territories, Talamanca Bribri, Ujarr and Salitre, on the impact of climate change. This work has required her to work with many key officials in the region and to organize collaborations among various actors and organizations in the area. She believes it is crucial to have continued dialogue between youth and elders to fully understand the impact of climate change and to devote time to provide trainings to locally organized groups and governments.

Other guest speakers from across the Americas will include:

UNITED NATIONS ENTITY FOR GENDER EQUALTY AND EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN (UN WOMEN) & OTHER UN REPRESENTATIVES

SPECIAL RAPPORTEURS ON INDIGENOUS RIGHTS

INDIGENOUS WOMEN LEADERS AND HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATES & ACTIVISTS

FORMER MMIWG NATIONAL INQUIRY COMMISSIONERS HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONERS / DEFENSORIA DEL PUEBLO INDIGENOUS WOMEN ELDERS, YOUTH AND 2SLGBTQQIA+ MEDIA, INDUSTRY AND GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES

SUMMIT FACILITATOR


Gloria Galloway
Summit Facilitator

Gloria Galloway is an award-winning freelance writer and media consultant whose major clients include the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) and other social and environmental non-governmental organizations. She was a national reporter for four decades and worked for a number of Canadian daily newspapers including The Globe and Mail, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator, and the Windsor Star as well as the Canadian Press, Canada’s national wire service. She was hired as the deputy national editor of the Globe and Mail in 2001 but returned to reporting a couple of years later and then, in 2005, was transferred to The Globe’s Ottawa bureau where she wrote about a wide range of political issues, from defence to health to the environment. She was sent multiple times to cover military actions and social crises in Afghanistan and Rwanda, and covered multiple elections, both federal and provincial. During her last 10 years as a reporter, much of her time was spent writing about Canada’s Indigenous people. She was also a frequent political commentator on CTV and other news networks.


Waneek Horn Miller
Activist & Former Olympic Athlete

Waneek Horn-Miller, Mohawk from Kahnawake Mohawk Territory, is a retired Olympic athlete and activist. Waneek was a member of the Canadian women’s water polo team that won a gold medal at the 1999 Pan American Games, and co-captained the Canadian team at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Graduating from Carleton University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts, her water polo prowess also led to being recognized as Carleton’s Women’s Athlete of the Year from 1994 through 1997. Prior to her athletic career, Waneek first gained public attention while behind the lines of the Oka Crisis in 1990 when she was stabbed by a Canadian soldier’s bayonet. This near-death experience was a turning point in her life, as the incident fueled her dreams of competing at the Olympic Games.

After retiring as an athlete in 2008, Waneek began working with the Assembly of First Nations as the IndigenACTION Ambassador to develop a National Indigenous Sport, Fitness and Wellness Strategy that aimed to attract Aboriginal youth to higher education by building self-esteem and emphasizing a balance between education and sport. She also was the assistant chef de mission for Team Canada at the 2015 PanAm Games. Waneek is the host of her own health and wellness show on the ATPN network and tours the country as a motivational speaker. She is also an ambassador for Manitobah Mukluks, the world-famous Indigenous-owned footwear brand that has been worn by well-known models and actors. Recently, Waneek was named one of Canada’s most influential women in sport by the Canadian Association for the Advancement for Women and Sport and Physical Activity.

RESOURCES

STATEMENT BY NWAC CEO

International Women’s Day statement by NWAC NWAC CEO Lynne Groulx

PRESS RELEASE

On International Women’s Day, NWAC Announces International Summit to End Violence Against Indigenous Women

FACT SHEET

Violence Against Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA PEOPLE IN CANADA