Equay-wuk establishes a Women's Working Group to work with NAN

On May 1st and 2nd, 2002, Equay-wuk (Women’s Group) held a ‘Working Group’ Meeting at the Forest Inn (see the pictures). Attending the meeting were Grand Chief Stan Beardy and Deputy Grand Chief Goyce Kakegamic (Women’s Issues Portfolio). The NAN leaders presented the Equay-wuk Board of Directors with the Nishnawbe Aski Nation flag. Since 1999, the Nishnawbe Women and Self Government Program has been providing workshops to women of the northwestern NAN communities on the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Self Government initiative with the goal to having women’s participation in First Nations self government. The Nishnawbe Women and Self Government projects are funded by the Status of Women Canada, Department of Canadian Heritage & Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. This past year, the third Nishnawbe Women & Self Government 2001 Project began on September 17, 2001. The first workshop was given to 20 Grade 11 Pelican Falls First Nations High School students on October 3 and 4, 2001. Since then and up until April 2002, five workshops were given in these five communities: Fort Hope, Kasabonika, Mattagami, Sandy Lake and Sioux Lookout. From Nishnawbe Aski Nation, Assistant Self Government Negotiator Lawrence Baxter, made presentations at two of the workshops. Also as part of the project, a Self Government Survey was mailed out to Equay-wuk members and results will be included in the final project report. A Second Edition of the Self Government Training Manual will also be released. At a NAN Chiefs meeting in Timmins on March 21, 2002, NAN Resolution 02/04 was passed regarding the Representation of Women at Nishnawbe Aski Nation Chiefs’Meetings. The resolution “directs the NAN Executive Council to set up a Women’s Working Group with representatives from the NAN Tribal Council areas, with Equay-wuk taking a lead role in facilitating this process. The Working Group is mandated to provide recommendations to the NAN Chiefs on how women could be included in the Chiefs meetings.” The resolution goes on to state, “that the Executive Council work with the Women’s Working Group to identify how women from across Nishnawbe Aski Nation should be represented at the Nishnawbe Aski Nation political level and in Chiefs’ meetings. Options and recommendations should be presented at the next Chiefs’ meeting.” The Working Group currently consists of volunteers from different northern communities, Equay-wuk staff and board members and Goyce Kakegamic, Deputy Grand Chief of NAN. The Working Group are looking to find women representative of the eastern NAN Tribal Council areas. The plan of the Working Group is to hold meetings by teleconference and in July, the Working Group Delegation will attend the NAN Chief’s meeting (Keewaywin Conference to be held in Chapleau Cree & Brunswick House First Nations) where they will be making a presentation on women’s issues. For more information on the Working Group or Equay-wuk, check out our website at www.equaywuk.ca or call (807) 737-2214 or toll free at (800) 261-8294. Respectfully Submitted by Darlene Angeconeb, Nishnawbe Women & Self Government Project Coordinator.