PSAC Thunder Bay Women’s Committee Monday, October 16th, 2008 - 5pm Attendees Dianne Rayner - President / UTE 00020 Sandra Goodick - NAPS 00400 Cathy Harasym - CEIU 623 Sara Williamson - CEIU 623 retired Kathy Pham - Agriculture 30 Judith Monteith-Farrell - PSAC Regional Union Rep Regrets Debbie Linkletter – NHWU Local 00035 Cheryl Prokosh – Agriculture 30 Reine Sarti – UTE 00020 Gail Roussin Jean Kerber Kym Vandal Beth Boon – PSAC Admin Assistant Old Business Cathy Harasym spoke on the Fans she distributed during the Bluesfest, the Westfort Street Fair and at Kakabeka Falls. The fans were received with enthusiasm. (PSAC Fans, think Public campaign) Cathy also spoke on the walk for Justice vigil held at Marina Park and that we had a good representation from our committee. The Walk was part of a national campaign initiated by Gladys Radek, who lost a niece to the Highway of Tears. She launched the Walk4Justice to draw attention to all the missing and murdered women not only in the Highway of Tears file but many others besides. The Walk4Justice began on National Aboriginal Day June 21. Radek said the march is intended to push Canadians, especially those in government, to set up safeguards against violence against women, put more mechanisms of transparency and accountability for authorities into place, and overhaul the justice system, among other goals. Radek is leading the march from Vancouver to Kamloops, to Jasper, east to Edmonton then south to Calgary and east to Parliament Hill, where they have a ceremony scheduled for Sept. 15. For more information on the march and how to donate or volunteer, log on to www.walk4justice.piczo.com To sign the petition destined for Prime Minister Stephen Harper log on to www.petitiononline.com, click the International Politics and Government button and scroll down to First Nations Missing and Murdered Women heading. Dianne mentioned the walk for Full Moon Memory Walk Sept 15th: we had 4 members of the committee attend. Hundreds of supporters took to the streets of Thunder Bay, Sept. 15, for the 4th annual Full Moon Memory Walk in honor of the missing and murdered Anishinabe and Métis women of Northwestern Ontario. The event has been organized by the family members of unsolved murder victims in order to raise awareness on the issue of the marginalization and violence against Aboriginal women as well as on the need for action. It was cosponsored by the Ontario Native Women’s Association, Nishnawbe Aski Nation, Fort William First Nation, Beendigan Inc., and CAW Local 229. Elder Isabelle Mercier explained that the ceremony takes place on a full moon because it is the moon that takes care of the water. “Women are water carriers. We carry our children in water. “It’s an important time for aboriginal women. As the aboriginal teachings go, we are all related. So an injury to one is an injury to all." A small discussion on the results of the federal election, and also how can we motivate our members to participate more in discussion with the party leaders. Area council and PSAC held an open forum and the membership involvement was very low. Current We have decided for a short term event, the RWC will adopt a family for Christmas and provide them with a food hamper, or possible gift card for groceries, and a nominal gift for each member. We will request a female head of household family with maximum of 2 children to ensure that the most can be made from this opportunity. We will check with Reine to see where our bank balance is at. Dianne will contact the Children Aid society and get that started. Long Term Ideas The RWC has the chance to have a speaker (NAPS Cst. Jackie George) come talk to us about what is most needed in the northern communities: money for flights, rescue kits, education, books/sessions on anti-family violence. Sandra will speak to Jackie to see if she is able to join us on Nov 5th our next scheduled meeting (which was later rescheduled to Nov 3rd). The idea on adopting a northern school to provide further educational needs or gifts or whatever is needed was talked about. More research is necessary before discussion can occur and/or a decision can be made as to whether or not this is a sustainable activity for the RWC to undertake. On going Research is needed for someone to see if there are monies that could be made available for persons who need to leave northern communities (for example, a woman and child(ren) who must flee a remotely-located community because of violence against the woman and children). Sources as to where would they get the money to fly out of that community must be looked into. We need to ensure that the local police in the northern communities (NAPS, T3PS, APS) are aware of funds which may be available or resources AND that they have storage space avilable to maintain survival kits (should we choose to participate in that concept as an activity). Round table Sarah spoke on the Health coalition rally, and talked about the level of support that is needed from the membership to continue to be out there and discussing cuts to the hospital budgets, long-term care issues, need people to lobby. Resolutions for PSAC convention that were created this evening need to mailed out before the end of this month. The PSAC regional women's committee will write up another resolution for delegate status (for fair representation, that all RWC maintain a delegate status to the convention) and send it in to Gaelle Felix at PSAC HQ in Ottawa. The meeting ended around 6:50pm Next Meeting Date: Monday, November 3rd at 5:15, PSAC office.