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Ten youth win WW 2011 young Aboriginal women’s contest
For Immediate Release - 11 May 2011
OTTAWA - For works depicting what Aboriginal women's leadership means to them, ten young women have been recognized by the Aboriginal Women's Leadership Circle of Women's Worlds 2011 (WW 2011), a global feminist congress happening in Ottawa-Gatineau from 3-7 July this summer.
More than 100 submissions were received from across the country in the form of essays, films, paintings, and photography.
The Circle awarded three grand prize winners from three distinct cultural backgrounds with an all expenses paid trip to participate in Women's World 2011 - the largest gathering of women from around the world in Canadian history.
Grand prize winners:
Tanis Desjarlais, 22 (First Nations) : "Caught between worlds"
Hayley Moody, 19 (Métis) : "Where are your women?"
Naiomie Akavak, 24 (Inuk) :"What does Aboriginal women's leadership mean to me"
Desjarlais is a First Nations filmmaker whose piece "Caught between worlds" begins as a somber exploration of being an urban Cree struggling with sobriety. Disconnected from her traditions, she awakens to realize that the knowledge still exists and that "[v]isual art, media art, being honest and real, in my opinion, can and will heal the Indigenous People of Canada." Desjarlais lives in Toronto, originally from Regina.
Moody, an undergraduate at McMaster University in Hamilton, won for a moving speech she penned that firmly argues "[w]omen's Aboriginal leadership is about working together - all women working together - to create awareness and change in our globalized world. It's about learning from one another's stories and having the empowerment to change existing boundaries. It's about joining together."
Akavak, living with cerebral palsy, writes that "[e]ven though I struggle every day to speak, I want to be a voice for others to learn from. I want to send out a message that I care and that together we can make Nunavut safe for everyone." She sees her participation in Women's Worlds 2011 as an opportunity to learn from other strong women and continue to work toward becoming a leader in her own right so that she can help the people in Nunavut take a stand against violence toward women and children. Akavak resides in Iqaluit.
The seven runners up are:
Josephine O'Brien (First Nations) : "What Aboriginal women's leadership means to me" (essay)
Natasha Kanape Fontaine (Innu): "Regalia", "La Petite Filleet la Femme", "Menashkuat", "Pas-de-l'Ours" (visual art)
Kristen Bos (Métis): "Blossoming Leadership" (essay)
Kailey Arreak (Inuk): "What does Aboriginal Leadership mean to me?" (essay)
Hanako Nagao (Métis): "Drum Walk" (photo)
Monique Auger (Métis): "Exemplifying the Power of Leadership among Indigenous Women: Sophia Thomas, an Extraordinary Woman" (essay)
Naomi Sayers (First Nations):"Lead-HER-ship" (essay)
The Aboriginal Women's Leadership Circle is a volunteer advisory body comprised of Aboriginal [First Nations, Inuit, Métis] women striving to ensure that WW 2011 participants come away with a deeper understanding of Aboriginal women and Indigenous women, and with a recognition of their immense knowledge and leadership as inspiration for a better world. Women's Worlds 2011 will be a powerful celebration of voices and diversity. As Canada is host to this important event, the meaningful participation of Aboriginal women and the prominence of Indigenous women's issues are essential.
For more information: womensworlds.ca
Communications Lead, Women's Worlds 2011
email@example.com ; 613 853 8089