International Women’s Day Breakfast March 5, 2015
We were fortunate to celebrate this day with Jeannette Corbiere Lavell; a woman who has dedicated more than a quarter of a century to the causes of Native women.
After marrying a non-Native, Jeannette received notice from the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development stating that she was no longer considered an Indian according to the section 12 of the Indian Act. This section resulted in women losing their Indian status, as did any children of the marriage. Women could not receive treaty benefits or participate in band councils and political affairs. They lost the right to be buried in ancestral cemeteries. Native men who married non-Native women were not deprived of these rights. Jeannette fought tirelessly against injustice and in 1985 section 12 of the Indian Act was repealed.
Jeannette Corbiere Lavell is a founding member of the Ontario Native Women’s Association and was also elected one of the vice-presidents of the Native Women’s Association of Canada. She held the position of president of both the Nishnawbe Institute (an organization promoting Native culture) and Anduhyaun Inc. (a residence for Native women in Toronto). Jeannette received her teaching degree from the University of Western Ontario and eventually assumed the position of a school principal. She was also a cabinet appointee to the Commission on the Native Justice System, as well as an education/employment counsellor, and a consultant to the community for the Ontario government.
Join Me on the Bridge
The Join me on the Bridge campaign started in 2010 when women from Congo and Rwanda joined together on the bridge connecting their two countries, showing that they could build the bridges of peace and hope for the future. This action sparked a massive global movement, and we were joined by thousands of people on hundreds of bridges worldwide.
On International Women’s Day, 8 March, thousands of people show that they are with the women of Afghanistan, Iraq, Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan and other war-torn countries.
We stand with these women to give them strength and to show we support their demands for peace and equality. Women are peace builders and with equality at the peace negotiation tables and governing bodies of their countries they will build a more peaceful world.
Now is the time for women around the world to unite in building bridges, joining on bridges and celebrating what is possible on bridges. Stronger women are building the bridges of peace for our future. With your support we will be even stronger.