Previous Article Next Article FNPI Search Home Previous Year Next Year Year List

Female Pipefitters?

Martha Ironstar

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      JULY 1981      v11 n07 p38  
The woman of the 80's requires equal employment opportunities, as well as education, health and socioeconomic development. So does the Saskatchewan Indian Women's Association (SIWA), who have been struggling to get recognition for the registered Treaty Indian women in Saskatchewan.

SIWA is designed to assist in the development of programs best suited for the needs of Indian women. A prime example is the negotiations with the plumbing and pipefitting courses offered by Saskatchewan Indian Community College slated for September, 1981.

"Indian women today are not interested in just sewing or knitting. I'm getting requests for classes in nutrition, counselling and other educational areas," said SIWA president Sadie Cote.

Presently, SIWA consists of a president, Sadie Cote; executive director, Donna Crowe; a secretary and a recently hired research development day-care worker, Shelley Desjarlais. SIWA district representatives are considered the backbone of the Association, since they are responsible for developing programs in your area.

SIWA district representatives are: Georgina Thunderchild, (NORTH BATTLEFORD); Dorothy Bird, Angeline Roberts, (PRINCE ALBERT); Flora Mike, (SASKATOON); Shirley Bellegarde, (FILE HILLS DISTRICT); Carol Lavallee, (YORKTON); and Laura Bear, (SHELLBROOK AGENCY).

SIWA's future aim is to establish and develop a day care centre in Regina to service Treaty Indian working mothers and single parents. Another prospect is a preventive alcohol program in areas where needed.

SIWA has been lobbying with various government agencies for funding. President Sadie Cote said SIWA feels neglected because of inadequate funding and therefore, they are not able to provide the services such as housing for single parents, day-care centres, counselling services and youth programs.

"Because of the lack of funds and lack of recognition there have been no major accomplishments within the SIWA," said Cote.

"Executive Director, Donna Crowe, has been a great help," said Sadie. "She has done a tremendous amount of work since she was hired in April. SIWA has been going places. It feels just like starting over."

A SIWA group planned to attend the Interprovincial Association on Native Employment Conference scheduled for dune 22, at The Pas, Manitoba. The conference will focus on the planning of various activities and programs which the Association tends to pursue in the coming year and to promote Native Employment in Western Canada. Keynote speaker will be Honorable Lloyd Axworthy, minister of employment and immigration and minister of state responsible for the status of women.

SIWA would like to express their deepest appreciation to FSI Secretary, Ken Sparvier, for allowing them to set up an office within their department. This move will provide support and access to services within the Health and Social Services Task Force and the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians.