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Aboriginal Women's Leadership Circle

Women's Worlds 2011 proudly introduces the

WW 2011 aspires to 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.

WW 2011 participants should 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. This is why we identified the value of creating an Aboriginal Women's Leadership Circle, a volunteer advisory body comprised of Aboriginal [First Nations, Inuit, Métis] women.

Just as the event's content and program should challenge colonialism and neo-colonialism in its various forms, the internal organizing process should, too. We believe the non-tokenistic involvement of Aboriginal/Indigenous women is vital to feminist organizing and convening.


Working within an Aboriginal worldview, we will collaborate within WW 2011 to be respectful of all people and communities, their perspectives, and their potential contribution to this celebration of voices.

The Circle will advise on the 'who', 'what', and 'how' of recognizing and honouring Indigenous perspectives, experiences, knowledge, culture, and territory within WW 2011. We are here as an all-encompassing, over-arching body to ensure that voices across community, political, social, environmental, arts, and culture sectors and beyond are heard.


The Aboriginal Women's Leadership Circle will work collaboratively and provide leadership to all of WW 2011 to ensure Indigenous women's voices are included at every stage of planning and at the event.

The Circle recognizes the distinctive realities between First Nations, Métis, Inuit, as well as other Indigenous women throughout the world, and will encourage representation from across the globe as well as sharing of knowledge and experiences between generations.

The Circle will ensure the highlighting of Indigenous women's unique and disproportionate experience with globalization.

The Circle will support WW 2011's prioritization of inter-generational sharing and women with disAbilities, and ensure their relevancy to Aboriginal women.


Representing a diverse range of backgrounds, experiences, disciplines, and Aboriginal ancestry, we are collectively committed to being an integral part of WW 2011.

Founding member Claudette Dumont-Smith of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation territory is a registered nurse who has worked at the local, regional and national levels on Aboriginal issues for the past 35 years and has held various positions including that of Commissioner on the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Mary Sillett has been involved in Inuit/Aboriginal issues since 1976. Positions she has held include President of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, President of Pauktuutit (Inuit Women's Association of Canada), and Commissioner on the Royal Commission of Aboriginal Peoples.

Tina Keeper of Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba is an actor, producer, researcher, communicator, and former Member of Parliament.

Jessica Yee is a Two Spirit Indigenous feminist activist from the Mohawk nation. She is the founder and Executive Director of the Native Youth Sexual Health Network which works across North America in the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health by and for Indigenous youth.

Erin Konsmo is a young Métis from Red Deer, Alberta. Both a social justice entrepreneur and compassion activist, she is currently a community-based researcher for Aboriginal HIV/AIDS and works internationally with a variety of development organizations.

Alanis Obomsawin of the Abenaki Nation has created over 30 uncompromising documentaries with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) that chronicle the lives and concerns of First Nations people. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.

For more information on the WW 2011 Aboriginal Women's Leadership Circle, please email circle@womensworlds.ca.

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