WHITEHORSE – In recognition of Women’s History Month, the Women’s Directorate unveiled a poster celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Council (YAWC) and its predecessor, the Yukon Indian Women’s Association (YIWA).
“Women's History Month provides an opportunity for Canadians to learn about the important contributions of women and girls to our society,” Minister Elaine Taylor said on behalf of Minister responsible for the Women’s Directorate Marian C. Horne. “We are proud to acknowledge women during this 17th annual national celebration who have made a significant contribution to the lives of Yukoners.”
YIWA women were involved in leadership training, education and national lobbying through the Indian Rights for Indian Women’s national committee and the Native Women’s Association of Canada. Some YIWA members sought or obtained executive positions on these two national bodies, including Edi Bohmer, Marion Sheldon, Margaret Thomson and Jean Gleason.
Former YIWA president Emma (Kaushee) Harris led initial efforts to open a home for single mothers. In March 1980, the doors opened to the Yukon Women’s Transition Home Society (Kaushee’s Place) to provide counseling and referral services to women and children – a service that continues to this day.
“The Yukon Indian Women’s Association and Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Council fostered the growth of Aboriginal women and communities, and have inspired others to follow in their footsteps,” Taylor added. “The creation of the Whitehorse Aboriginal Women’s Circle and the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society are two such examples of the many layers of inspiration that these extraordinary women have provided to Yukon communities in their 35 years.”
The poster, which commemorates 35 years of leadership, activism, community development and celebration, was unveiled at an evening reception on Wednesday, October 21 at the Old Fire Hall in Whitehorse.
From left to right: Winnie Peterson, President of the Yukon Aboriginal Women's Council; Amanda Mudry, Policy Analyst of the Women's Directorate and Youth Representative for the Yukon Aboriginal Women's Council, and; Minister Elaine Taylor, on behalf of Marian C. Horne, Minister responsible for Women's Directorate.