The RESOLVE Network and Circling Buffalo Inc. recently hosted a webinar entitled Responding to Gender-Based Violence Across the Prairies to acknowledge November as being Domestic Violence Awareness month (Manitoba), Family Violence Prevention month (Alberta) and to raise awareness of Saskatchewan Violence Prevention Week (SVPW) held from November 30-December 6, 2020. The webinar included a presentation led by Dr. Erin Whitmore (Ending Violence Association of Canada) & Dr. AnnaLise Trudell (Anova) on their report titled Pandemic Meets Pandemic: Understanding the Impacts of COVID-19 on Gender-Based Violence Services and Survivors in Canada. Followed by another presentation led by Elder Mae Louise Campbell, Laurie Mackenzie (Great White Owl Woman), and Kim Trossel on sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of Indigenous women and girls and the Clan Mothers’ Healing Village project.
Summary of First Presentation - Pandemic meets Pandemic: Understanding the Impacts of COVID-19 on Gender-Based Violence Services and Survivors in Canada Presentation: The presentation reviewed the findings from a national survey conducted by the Ending Violence Association of Canada and Anova exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on gender-based violence service providers and survivors. Drawing on responses gathered from 376 gender-based violence service providers and volunteers from across the country, this presentation discussed the concerns and challenges of GBV-service provision during the pandemic, the impact of the pandemic on survivors’ experiences of violence and their attempts to seek support, and key actions necessary to strengthening GBV supports.
Summary of Second Presention - Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Indigenous Women and Girls and the Clan Mothers’ Healing Village Project Presentation: The presentation included a video created by the Knowledge Keepers Advisory Council in response to lateral violence in the community, released a couple of years ago on December 17 (International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers) called "Stop Daa Violence ". Following the video, Elder Mae Louise Campbell briefly discussed the Clan Mothers Healing Village Project. Laurie Mackenzie and Kim Trossel then shared survivor knowledge. The presentation also included a teaser, and A Matriarchal Response & Solution to Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking informed by lived experience leadership.
Dr. Erin Whitmore is the Executive Director of the Ending Violence Association of Canada, a national organization based in Ottawa that is focused on addressing and responding to sexual and gender-based violence. Erin has over a decade of experience working in a variety of community-based, academic, and government research and policy analysis roles on a variety of gender-equality issues.
Dr. AnnaLise Trudell is a gender-equity consultant and the manager of Education, Training & Research at Anova, the women’s shelter and sexual assault centre in London Ontario. She brings extensive analysis of the causes and impacts of gender-based violence and of prevention programming through her doctoral and postdoctoral research at Western University. As Manager at Anova for over a decade, she has overseen the facilitation, curriculum development and evaluation of youth anti-violence programming and professional trainings. She is a seasoned public educator and facilitator with over 500 lectures and presentations engaging youth, professionals & post-secondary students through public education.
Elder Mae Louise Campbell is from the Ojibwa-Saulteaux Metis Nation. She has birthed five children and is a Granny and great Grandmother to many. She grew up in the small Metis northern community of Kississing Lake-Cold Lake MB, her family originates from Waterhen and she is 1 of 8 children birthed to William and Marie Campbell.
Elder Mae Louise life’s work is centred on protecting and resurrecting that which was almost eradicated under centuries of colonization; our Indigenous Spiritual Values and Principles. It is with a sense of urgency that she encourages all peoples at every level to commit to bringing back our Ancestral Indigenous knowledge for it is perhaps the only real hope to bring balance into a world that has suffered the consequences of colonial powers for far too long.
Currently she is Elder and co-founder on a project Clan Mothers Healing Village and Knowledge Centre a contemporary sustainable innovative holistic model of healing, education and training that aims to support Indigenous women and girls who have been victims of sexual exploitation and sex trafficking.
Informally, Elder Mae Louise is Grandmother/Elder/Advisor to many organizations in Winnipeg, Manitoba and across Canada which employ “Indigenous value-based healing systems” in their approach to working with our families, communities and All Our Relations.
Laurie Mackenzie (Great White Owl Woman) is a survivor with lived experience, who speaks publicly to bring forward the voices for those who have gone before us and those who are left behind.
Kim Trossel (pronoun she/her) is a woman with lived experience in the sex trade, and a survivor of human trafficking. She is known for speaking her truth – especially when it comes to activism for the rights, services, and supports for the sexually exploited, and adult survivors. She has been employed by Klinic Community Health for the last 16 years– as a peer counsellor with the Dream Catcher program, where she co-facilitates the weekly support group for women and transgender women transitioning from the sex trade (A sacred sisterhood of peer supported – strong- healing women – getting their power back.) She also facilitates the S.W.A.T. group, and Heart, Mind, Body, Spirit Group at Sage house, a street women’s health, outreach, and resource drop in.
About Circling Buffalo Inc.
The Manitoba First Nations Board for Family Violence Prevention aims to empower our communities to build upon their strengths, communicate and network effectively, and provide prevention services through holistic, community-driven programming. To learn more visit the Circling Buffalo Inc. website.
Event is in partnership with Circling Buffalo Inc., the University of Manitoba, and the Prairieaction Foundation.