Nbisiing Women speak out to leading candidate for Chief

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Scott McLeod

Scott McLeod proposes to establish a forum for Women, Elders and Youth

The women of Nipissing First Nation will be a strong voice to hear from in this week’s election for Chief and Council.  Scott McLeod, the leading candidate for Chief, has heard from a number of Nbisiing kwewag over the course of his campaign and through a survey sent out recently.

“It’s clear to me that women in Nipissing First Nation are expecting to be heard on a great number of issues facing our community,” said Scott McLeod, Crane Clan and a direct descendant of Chief Shabogesic. “I think it’s important that we establish and support a specific forum for the women to participate and show their concerns to Chief and Council.”

Scott expressed a few kind words for the role of women in his life and the life of the community.

“We depend so much on their advice, direction and in how they care for and nurture our community. They are also our life givers – caretakers for the Lake, the water and Mother Earth. We have to honour them in their role as leaders in the community,” said Scott.

Scott McLeod has also voiced his support for an Elder’s Forum and a Youth Forum that will provide a voice directly to Chief and Council, and when required, the community, and governance functions.

“To me, this is a logical direction in self-government and grass-roots representation. This is what the community is asking for and expecting of their government.”

Scott was happy to share some of the interim results of the Nipissing First Nation Women’s Survey as well as some of the comments that struck a chord with him.

“As we establish and continue with an ongoing Women’s Forum, we’ll hear from more and more from Nipissing First Nation women, their perspectives and their issues,” concluded Scott.

  • Election Day, Friday, July 10 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. in Garden Village and Duchesnay.

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INTERIM RESULTS OF THE NIPISSING FIRST NATION WOMEN’S SURVEY

The following results of the survey and shared comments may not represent the views of all Nipissing First Nation women nor are they an exhaustive list of issues important to Nbisiing kwewag.  If you are a Nipissing First Nation woman and are interested in providing your views, you are invited to fill out the survey.

Ranking of Women’s Issues in Nipissing First Nation

ISSUE SCORE RANK
Education of our children, taking care of the youth. 100 1
As women & caretakers of the water & the Lake, being more involved in the fisheries discussions from a women’s perspective. 81 2
Safety, addressing family violence & missing and murdered Aboriginal women. 76 3
Our Nbisiing culture & Ojibwemowin language 60 4
Being coming more involved in NFN business & having a forum to discuss women’s issues 58 5

Comments from the Women’s Survey

  • “Creation of a Women’s Council where our opinions on critical decisions are included and acted upon.”
  • “Job creation or training should be one of the highest priorities. You can’t create a job for everyone here but if they were trained themselves, they would have a better chance of getting a job somewhere.”
  • “I would say the highest priority are our waters and lakes. Without them we cannot take care of our children, families or any issues of any kind. Our culture is so important. We must do everything we can to preserve it.”
  • “For me it is being treated fairly. It shouldn’t matter what your name is or what family your belong to. Treat all people with respect no matter what area or side of the Nipissing First Nation you were raised and grew up in.”
  • “Discussions regarding Elders/Long-Term Care facilities would be an important issue.”
  • “Membership, passing status to our children and grandchildren and the one parent rule.”
  • “I find that the most important issue I have is being able to have a roof over my children’s heads and food on the table and knowing that my children are safe in their environment. I would move back to Nipissing if there were more affordable housing and jobs that I would be qualified for so I can support my family while living in the community.”
  • “I feel that substance abuse is huge with NFN women! We have so many women who are losing their children to foster cares outside of NFN due to drug use. We need more help with woman for substance abuse, more involvement with parenting and we need a women’s shelter in the Garden Village area.”
  • “For me, the most important issue is my children having an education that is rich in our culture and teachings, provided in Anishinaabemowin. They need to grow and learn in safe, culturally oriented environments, where we can teach them to be safe and respectful, and instill pride in who they are as Anishinaabe.”
  • “Expanding upon Nbisiing Secondary school to include all grades and provide language immersion.
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