Gathering to make life safer for aboriginal women

TRADITIONAL HEALTH Specialist Ruby Morgan talks to the audience at the Northwest Gathering in the long house at Northwest Community College

TRADITIONAL HEALTH Specialist Ruby Morgan talks to the audience at the Northwest Gathering in the long house at Northwest Community College

MANY PEOPLE came out to hear speakers offer ideas to increase safety for aboriginal women and youth on the first day of the two-day Northwest Regional Gathering at Northwest Community College (NWCC) yesterday.

The aim of the gathering is to improve collaboration between Aboriginal services, anti-violence programs and coordination of committees to make life safer for aboriginal women, in particular between Aboriginal communities, on and off reserve Aboriginal services, mainstream services and coordination of committees on domestic violence and sexual assault.

Participants include regional First Nations leadership, band health and social services, urban Aboriginal services, anti-violence services and others involved in responding to violence against women across the region.

Speakers came from around the region, the province and the country to speak on topics such as Justice and Healing on the Highway of Tears and Aboriginal Men Ending Violence.

Last night featured the Women of the Sacred Headwaters, a storytelling and photography presentation of the struggle and triumphs by the women leading the battle to protect the Sacred Headwaters and traditional lands.

Today’s events start at 9 a.m. and include the keynote address on Resurgence of Aboriginal Men as Protectors: Overcoming the Violence in Aboriginal Communities at 9:30 a.m. in the longhouse at NWCC.

Other speakers will talk about Increasing Access to Health Programs for Aboriginal Women and sessions in the afternoon include Residential Schools, Just The Facts by local speaker Arlene Roberts and Accountability for Violence: Interventions to Increase Safety.

The two-day event concludes with the Xbisuunts Dancers at 3:30 p.m. today.