AMC Celebrates International Women’s Day 2022

March 8, 2022

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba


Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – Today the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) is proud to recognize and celebrate the achievements of First Nation women and girls and reflect on the work remaining to be done to achieve gender equality. 

AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas states, “Let us make this International Women’s Day a time to celebrate the great women of our past, our present and our future. As men collectively we need to hold other men and political systems accountable to enforce the advancement of gender equality. We must continue to work on the advancement women empowerment in our First Nations and our country as a whole. This year’s theme of #BreakTheBias is particularly fitting considering the intersectional oppressions First Nations women and girls experience as a direct result of bias, stereotypes and racism.”  

The ultimate mission is to forge and maintain a gender-equitable world in which First Nation women can thrive. While strides have certainly been made, too many women continue to face barriers to work, education, higher wages and equal shares of caregiving responsibilities. Uplifting women and girls has a ripple effect that leads to greater resilience for us all. 

On this International Women’s Day, let us celebrate First Nations women who have paved the way for a more inclusive world, including such matriarchs as: 

  • Assembly of First Nations Manitoba (AFN) Regional Chief Cindy Woodhouse of Pinaymootang First Nation was elected to her role in 2021 and has since become an incredible role model for First Nation youth. Previously, Regional Chief Woodhouse spent six years working as an intergovernmental affairs adviser in Ottawa and has more than proved her ability to act as a strong leader in nation-to-nation affairs; 
  • Dr. Marcia Anderson of Winnipeg, Norway House Cree Nation and Peguis First Nation is the current Vice-Dean, Indigenous Health, Social Justice and Anti-Racism of the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences in Winnipeg, MB. Throughout her career Dr. Anderson has advocated for a more robust curriculum in Indigenous health and changes in the admissions process that would support the successful recruitment of increased numbers of First Nations, Métis and Inuit students.  
  • Melanie McKinnon of Misipawistik Cree Nation is the Head of Ongomiizwin – Indigenous Institute of Health and Healing and recent lead for clinical operations with the AMC Manitoba First Nations COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team. Melanie McKinnon was the first First Nations person to take on the role of what was then called the Northern Medical Unit of the University of Manitoba. of Canada’s Calls to Action within the Faculty.”; 
  • Senator Mary Jane McCallum of Barren Lands First Nation became a senator in 2017 and is a strong advocate for social justice. Over the course of her distinguished career, has provided dental care to First Nations communities across Manitoba. Recently, the Honourable Mary Jane McCallum was unanimously elected as Chancellor for the University of Brandon. Chancellor McCallum is the first First Nations citizen to serve in the role for Brandon University, as well as the first female Chancellor; and 
  • All First Nations women for their ongoing work, resiliency and determination in building healthy communities. 

We must continue to advance the rights of women and fight to remove barriers so that women can unlock their highest potential and truly, #BreakTheBias on #IWD2022 and every day. When the strengths of our women are recognized, our nations become stronger. First Nations women are sacred in our lands and should be honoured as such. First Nation women saves lives; are our leaders, are ground-breaking business owners and therefore it is truly everyone’s responsibility to #BreakTheBias today and every day.  

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