Reclaiming Our Past Glories and Gifts to Share with Our Families: NAN women meet

From the Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal ...

NAN women share views at conference

By JONATHAN WILSON - Mar 17, 2007
Women from across Nishnawbe Aski Nation are moving to the forefront in fixing the problems in their remote communities.

A three-day conference organized by the NAN Women’s Council kicked off Friday in Thunder Bay.

Women’s Council spokeswoman Jackie Fletcher said the gathering is the first of its kind, bringing together 80 women from the area spanning to Hudson’s Bay between the Quebec and Manitoba borders.

“The women are so talented,” she said.

“We want to share the gifts that the women have.”

The conference is titled “Reclaiming Our Past Glories and Gifts to Share With Our Families”.

Fletcher said the women’s council will present its strategies to the delegates, to find out if they reflect the issues in the 49 NAN communities.

“We’re tackling pretty heavy issues,” Fletcher said.

“Family violence is a big one in the communities, and suicides and other issues you’ve heard about up in the North.”

Fletcher said they want to take a positive approach to solving such problems, by finding out what’s working well in some communities.

“If you focus of the negative things, it attracts negative things,” she said.

“This whole conference will be about looking at what positive things are happening in our communities.”

Among the guest speakers is NAN’s government relations manager Alanna McKenzie, who also owns her own software and family food service businesses.

She’s accomplished things her female ancestors never would have attempted, and feels taking charge of her future would meet her elders’ approval.

“Our grandfathers and grandmothers wanted us to survive,” she said.

“That’s what we do when we come forward and take on different challenges.”

As an aboriginal businesswoman, McKenzie said she always tries to conduct herself with dignity and respect.

She said she was looking forward to tackling the issues with other delegates this weekend.

“Leadership comes in many forms,” she said.

“With things changing so much in our communities, I hope that we see more women coming forward.”

Thunder Bay Mayor Lynn Peterson welcomed conference delegates Friday, and commended them for working to make their communities stronger.

“Women are such a force in each and every community,” Peterson said, “and when they all work together, it makes a really big difference.” 

Tb News Source article ...

NAN conference focuses on women
Tb News Source - 3/16/2007

Women and their many contributions will be front and center this weekend at a first-time conference.

The Nishnawbe Aski Nation Women's Council kicked off the 'Reclaiming Our Past Glories and Gifts to Share with Our Families' conference Friday. The three-day event will focus on women and what they do in their communities.

Over 70 delegates from across NAN territory will be taking part in the conference. They will be participating in workshops and hearing from a variety of successful female speakers. Women's council member, Jackie Fletcher says the event will have a positive spin, keeping away from all the negativity that has been surfacing about the Northern communities.

The goal of the conference is to contribute to the development of a socio-health plan for all of the 49 NAN communities. The conference runs through Sunday afternoon at the Travelodge Airlane.