AMC Celebrates the International Day of Women and Girls in Science

February 11, 2022

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba


Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) issues this statement today to mark the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. We hope that this day inspires our First Nations women and girls to pursue their academic dreams. 

AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas states, “To move forward with positive change, the world needs science. But for the field itself to move forward with even bigger strides, science needs First Nations women and girls. We need look no further than our own First Nations Pandemic Response Coordination Team (PRCT) leads Dr. Marcia Anderson and Melanie McKinnon for inspiration. These two women are intelligent, hard-working and inspirational and I encourage all to look to them as leaders for First Nations and all Manitobans alike.” 

According to data gathered by Statistics Canada in 2016, women made up only 34% of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) bachelor’s degree holders and 23% of science and technology workers among Canadians 25 to 64.  

On this day, AMC encourages our Nations to remind our people of the incredible strides that women and girls have already made and the potential of the wisdom they will continue to bring. In addition to reviewing the many incredible accomplishments of women and girls in science, AMC recommends teaching our youth about First Nations women trailblazers in the field of science. Notable names include Ann Thomas Callahan, the first Cree nurse to graduate from the Winnipeg General Hospital’s nursing school and Dr. Mary Jane McCallum a notable Senator and dentist. These women remind our Nations that anything is possible. 

Throughout history, women have made incredible strides and led ground-breaking scientific research. They have developed treatments and innovative technologies, they have developed vaccines and they have been on the front lines of major medical crisis such as COVID-19. We would not be where we are today in science if it were not for women in the field. 

“The AMC continues to stress the importance of promoting the increase of First Nations girls and women in science. Diversity brings about new ways of thinking, new knowledge and different experiences. Diversity in science is no different. Creating a diverse group of scientists ensures that the scientific issues we study will reflect the concerns of First Nations citizens. If we can increase the representation of our women in science, we will surely make greater strides in science,” concluded Grand Chief Dumas.  

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