Indigenous Womxn in Power

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Thanks! *A Zoom link will be sent to your email closer to the time of the event. See you at the Panel.
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Join us for a panel discussion!

About this Event

Indigenous Womxn in Power:

A panel discussion starring strong, Indigenous, female pillars within the Manitoban community, as they tell their stories, share their guidance with the next generation of powerful woman, and provide meaningful answers to critical questions. This event is meant to empower Indigenous and non-Indigenous woman of colour to pursue roles in leadership and take up space.

Date: Nov 27, 2020

Time: 3PM-4PM

Location: ZOOM (you will be sent info and a link to join the Zoom meeting after registering & closer to the event time).

Joining us:

Leah Gazan is the Member of Parliament for Winnipeg Centre. She is an educator by trade and has spent her life working for human rights on the local, national, and international stage. Gazan is the NDP Critic for Children, Families, and Social Development and recently introduced Bill C-232 The Climate Emergency Action Act and submitted Motion 46 to convert the Canada Emergency Response Benefit into a permanent Guaranteed Livable Basic Income. MP Gazan is a member of Wood Mountain Lakota Nation, located in Saskatchewan, Treaty 4 Territory.

Shaneen Robinson-Desjarlais is a multi-award-winning journalist/broadcaster/writer who’s been on Canada’s media scene for nearly two decades. Over the years she’s spent time at CTV News, APTN and NCI FM. She was honoured to win first place for the Canadian Aboriginal Writing Challenge in 2008 for her play, Notay Kiskintamowin “Wanting to Know”, the same year she was named a National Aboriginal Role Model by the Governor General of Canada—and graduated from the University of Winnipeg where she founded what is now known as the Indigenous Course Requirement. A highly sought master of ceremonies, event planner, promoter, advocate, speaker, volunteer, marriage commissioner and karaoke connoisseur, Shaneen loves to keep a packed schedule and is also the Chair of the board of directors for Bear Clan Patrol Inc. and sits on the board of The Canadian Folk Music Awards. She has showcased Indigenous artists and their music throughout her career and is proud to be the Indigenous Music Development Coordinator for Manitoba Music. Above all Shaneen’s most important role in life is at home with her husband Martin and their sons Sampson and Marrick.

Bernadette Smith is the NDP MLA for Point Douglas Constituency in the Province of Manitoba serving as Caucus Chair of the Official Opposition and Critic for Mental Health and Addictions. Bernadette passed historic legislation banning poverty as grounds for the apprehension of children. As well Bernadette has opposed Pallister’s cuts to the Rent Assist program, EIA, Social Programming and Manitoba Housing. Bernadette holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (B.A.) as well as a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) from the University of Winnipeg. She is currently on leave from the University of Saskatchewan Master’s Program for a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Land Based Research on Indigenous Knowledge. Bernadette is a fierce advocate for North End families and a dedicated community-builder. She was born and raised in the North End and understands the challenges because she's lived them. She is a proud Indigenous mother and grandmother. Bernadette is the co-founder of both the Coalition of Families of Missing and Murdered Women in Manitoba, and the Drag the Red Initiative. Bernadette delivers keynote addresses, organizes events, and holds presentations to foster discussion and action, and raise awareness of positive Indigenous contributions to the history and development of Canada, as well as the issues surrounding MMIWG. She has spoken in an International women’s leadership conference, she has presented on a variety of women’s and indigenous issues on Parliament Hill. In 2008, Bernadette’s sister, Claudette Osborne-Tyo went missing. As a MMIWG (Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls) family member she knows the importance of strong political activism and has been a powerful voice for Indigenous people. Bernadette spearheads the No Stone Unturned Annual Awareness Concert for Missing and Murdered Persons, and the Drag the Red Initiative. Her community organizing has brought thousands of people together and drawn international attention to the issues surrounding MMIWG. Bernadette is proud to have served on the Executive Board of Directors of the Native Women’s Association of Canada, and served as Co-Chairperson of Manitoba Moon Voices. Bernadette is the recipient of several scholarships, bursaries, and awards for her activism. They include the Order of Manitoba, Ka Ni Kanichihk’s Oscar Lathlin Memorial Award, and the Aboriginal Circle of Education Young Leaders Award. Bernadette is Anishinaabe from Duck Bay and Pine Creek. She is a strong proud indigenous woman who is helping to inspire and uplift others.


Shawna Coulthard

Events & Volunteer Coordinator

University of Manitoba Students' Union

UMSU Service Centre: 204 474 6822

101 UMSU University Centre, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2

t: 204 474 6742


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