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Womens Association Revitalized

Florence Poorman

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      APRIL 1979      v09 n04 p09  
Indian women will strive for healthy social growth on the reserves.

In her presentation, the President of the Saskatchewan Indian Women's Association said, "I am here once, again requesting your guidance and support and in addition I wish to offer our help and support towards the leadership's endevours for the Indian people of this province." And then, mentioning the aims and objectives of the Association she continued, "To protect Indian Treaties and Treaty Rights and to promote the welfare of the Indian people of Saskatchewan. To foster the programs in Economic Development and Social rights for the Indians, in Education and to promote and assist in the development of organizations for the Indian women on the reserves. We wish to play a great part in the organization of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians"

The President also stressed the importance of cooperating fully with different social organizations that operate for the social problems of the people. These agencies are rehabilitation centers, alcohol drop-in centers, senior citizens centers, child care and juvenile delinquency programs.

Some of the Indian women spoke in Cree and made some marvelous speeches. Mrs. Philomen Gamble was appointed Senator for the ladies organization some time ago and has been a source of advice for Indian people. Mrs. Gamble is from Beardy's reserve and is a prominent speaker, but she was nervous this time and she said, "1 think it's because we are broke."
        
Mrs. Kingfisher, Sturgeon Lake reserve, is also a Senator and knowledgable about the Indian plight to-day. She mentioned the freedom we possess in this
country of Canada, as we have the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of education. "We are lucky we are not in Russia where levels of freedom are limited," she said.

After a two year lapse the Saskatchewan Indian Women Association has been revived and the women have formed an executive.

Mrs. Sady Cote, from the Yorkton District, was elected the new president for the Association along with a new slate of energetic women on the executive.

The Association presented their stand to the chiefs and the F.S.I. executive and asked for support. First and fore-most the Indian women need funding to operate.
 
In the introduction speech Mrs. Cote placed emphasis on the importance of children do the reserves, and helping the men in the organization and the Chiefs.

Each member of the Association spoke on the role each will play in the betterment in the lives of Indians on reserves. Money is important to further  the work of the Indian women but most important is the co-operation of the Chiefs working together to make a better life for the children.

In the presentation the women's group expressed their awareness of social problems that stem from a history of neglect by the federal government. The
woman realize the chore is depressing but given the opportunity can govern themselves in a very productive association.

 Indian women have not received their fair share of federal funds in years gone by for the benefit of their people on reserves. These ladies are not afraid to get their elbows dirty and are willing to deal with real issues. Welfare assistance has brought social deprivation to the Indian people. We all know that before that time Indian people supported themselves with great pride.

Mrs. Anna Kingfisher expressed the need to govern ourselves and to have control of our own destiny, and help form INDIAN GOVERNMENT. "There are substantial gains in forming this type of government," she said.

The next body of elected ladies are the District Representatives appointed to 6 areas of the province. These ladies made a definite stand in area problems. They choose to work behind the men, and typical to the agenda, they were last on the list, a lady said.

Several leaders of the province spoke in support of the women's aims to work side by side with the same priorities.

The organization was established again to help the socio-economic problems that exist on the reserves. These ladies are trying to overcome the Indian reputation as an impoverished nation.

These ladies are: President, Mrs. Sady Cote; 1st Vice-President, Angeline Roberts, Sturgeon Lake reserve; 2nd Vice-President, Georgina Thunderchild, Turtleford, Sask.; 3rd Vice-President, Emma Sand, Mistawasis Reserve; Treasure Myrtle Gardipie; Beardy's reserve; Secretary Gloria Ledoux, Muskeg Lake reserve.

District Reps. are Suzie Derocher, Flying Dust reserve, for the meadow lake area; Edna Brass, for the Yorkton area. North Battleford area is Bella Wapass, Thunderchild reserve; Saskatoon area is Flora Mike, Prince Albert area is Dorothy Bird and Fort Qu'Appelle area is Vera McNabb.

The Senators are; Saskatoon area Mrs. Philomen Gamble; Prince Albert, Mrs. Anna Kingfisher; Yorkton area, Rose Ewack; Prince Albert area, Maria Merasty; Fort Qu'Appelle, Eugene Lavallee; North Battleford is Emma Okanee; Fort Qu'Appelle, Martha Tawiyaka and Winona Frank.

-Florence Poorman