Saskatchewan First Nations Women's Commission

Saskatchewan First Nations Women's Commission

The Saskatchewan First Nations’ Women’s Commission (SFNWC) is the recognized regional voice for the advancement of First Nations’ women’s and children’s rights in Saskatchewan. The SFNWC is committed to the development and sustenance of healthy communities by which all First Nations people benefit.

Historically, since the 1960s First Nations’ women in Saskatchewan have come together to discuss a variety of issues and the poor living conditions in which they had to endure. The Saskatchewan First Nations’ Women’s Commission (SFNWC) was formed in 2000, first as a Council, and in February 2004, the Chiefs-in-Assembly voted for the FSIN Convention Act to be amended to include the SFNWC as the seventh Commission. The Saskatchewan First Nations Women’s Commission Act was ratified at the June 2004 Chief’s Legislative Assembly and is formal legislation of the Chiefs that validates and supports the ongoing work of First Nations women and leadership in Saskatchewan.

Honoring the Treaties is a priority for Saskatchewan First Nations’ Women’s Commission. The mandate of the Commission is the advancement of First Nation women’s rights and advocacy on strategic initiatives while respecting the Treaty and Inherent rights of all First Nations. The Women’s Commission ensures the mandate is met through:

  • Representing First Nations women to ensure a strong voice is heard and presented at the Chiefs Legislative Assemblies and Chiefs Commissions;
  • Directing the Saskatchewan First Nations Women’s Secretariat on research projects and strategic initiatives;
  • Holding meetings and information sessions with First Nations women and youth to hear concerns and priorities firsthand;
  • Supporting First Nations women in leadership, and working towards the advancement of leadership development and women’s governance; and
  • Supporting First Nations citizens on critical issues as they arise

The SFNWC has worked diligently in these areas and will continue working with and on behalf of First Nations women, and working with the federal and provincial governments to develop partnerships. Efforts focus on creating necessary policy and legislative changes in the areas of matrimonial real property, citizenship, missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, missing persons, violence in First Nation communities, HIV / AIDS education and awareness, and providing true gendered analysis in all policy areas. Creating positive change in these areas will improve the lvies and the health of wellbeing of all First Nations women and children in Saskatchewan. The SFNWC will also continue research regarding violence against First Nation women and children, sexual exploitation of women and children, FASD, suicide prevention, and supporting First Nation women in leadership roles.

Structure of the Saskatchewan First Nations’ Women’s Commission

Chief Lynn Acoose, Sakimay First Nation
Chief Margaret Bear, Ochapowace First Nation
Chief Joanne Roy, Waterhen Lake First Nation
Chief Connie Big Eagle, Ocean Man First Nation
Chief Tammy Cook-Searson, Lac La Ronge Indian Band
Chief Marie Anne Day Walker-Pelletier, Okanese First Nation
Chief Elsie Jack, Carry the Kettle First Nation
Chief Ellen Lecaine, Wood Mountain First Nation
Chief Eileen Morrison, Buffalo River Dene Nation
Chief Crystal Okemow, Lucky Man First Nation
Chief Coreen Sayazie, Black Lake Dene Nation
Chief Anne Thomas, Witchekan Lake First Nation
Acting Chief Sylvia Weenie, Young Chippewayan First Nation
Chief Lori Whitecalf, Sweetgrass First Nation

Non-voting members of the SFNWC include:

FSIN Vice-Chief Heather Bear
FSIN Vice-Chief Kimberly Jonathan
Tribal Vice Chair Elaine Chicoose, File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council
Tribal Representative Corrine McNab, Touchwood Agency Tribal Council
Tribal Chief Isabel O’Soup, Yorkton Tribal Council
Senator Margaret Keewatin, Okanese First Nation
Senator Amanda Louison, Kahkewistahaw First Nation
Senator Theresa Stevenson, Cowessess First Nation