Portage la Prairie, Manitoba
An Elder of the Dakota First Nation, she has overcome many difficult life situations to become a strong advocate for the well-being of Aboriginal women. Using the wisdom gained from her own experiences, she is a tireless community activist who has given of her compassion as generously as her time, particularly on behalf of the victims of violence, alcohol and substance abuse.
Dr. Katie Cooke
Victoria, British Columbia
As a public servant, researcher and community leader, she has devoted five decades to promoting the equality of women. The first President of the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women, she played a catalytic role in influencing the implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women. Chair of the federal Task Force of Child Care, and a founding member of the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women, she has been an inspiring mentor, who continues to this day in efforts she pioneered to identify situations of inequality and to find innovative solutions to the discrimination faced by women.
She has demonstrated her steadfast commitment to improving the status of women in her community activities, as well as throughout her legal career. The co-founder of the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) and the Canadian Women's Foundation, she was also the Ontario co-chair of the Canadian Bar Association Task Force on Gender Equality. Her efforts and considerable energy have focused on a wide spectrum of women's equality issues, including pay equity, violence against women, women's athletics, pornography and prostitution, midwifery and the situation of domestic workers.
Dr. Margaret Gillett
Working within an often sceptical and hostile environment, she succeeded in her ground-breaking efforts to have women's studies acknowledged as a legitimate field of study at Canadian universities, as well as contributing to the body of knowledge related to women's historical contributions to Canada. Active in her local community in advancing women's equality issues, she has also played a prominent part in international activities to promote the role of women in development.
Dieppe, New Brunswick
A champion of the aspirations of Acadian women, she was the guiding force in the establishment of Les Dames d'Acadie across New Brunswick, and was among the first to campaign for the representation of Acadian women in national francophone women's organizations. A prominent proponent of the creation of the New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women, and active in efforts related to women's empowerment and education, she also oversaw the publication of an anthology of the achievements of Acadian pioneer women, launched during the International Summit of Acadian Women held in New Brunswick in 1994.
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