Fall 2014 - Volume 3, Issue 3
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New Fact Sheet Series on Diverse Women’s Access to Services in the North!

Our newest fact sheet series brings together what’s been published about diverse women’s experiences with accessing services in the North with firsthand knowledge from the FemNorthNetwork. Learn more about:
  • The historical context of diverse women in the North that continues to shape their experiences and communities today;
  • The impacts economic restructuring and resource development have had on various aspects of northern life for these women, including housing, employment, healthcare, the justice system, and caregiving roles.
  • Innovative models for delivering services and community infrastructure that are responsive to the needs and cultures of diverse women.
Factsheets to be released October 14 through October 23, 2014–watch for them on our website!

Honouring a Northern Woman Leader

FemNorthNet is fortunate to be a collective of strong women and men from across Canada. Each is a leader in the communities and networks they belong to, and each seeks to empower and support those around them. One of these leaders is Petrina Beals, a woman who has been a dedicated ally to the women in her hometown, Happy Valley – Goose Bay, as well as an important member of our broader FemNorthNetwork. Petrina was honoured for her work during a circle ceremony that happened in Goose Bay in Summer 2013. This month we honour her again by sharing a video of that ceremony with the world.  Check it out on our website at

Labrador West: A Northern Community with Tough Challenges but Great Opportunity

This October we release two long-awaited reports about our partner community, Labrador West: “Keeping All Women in Mind” and “No Vacancy”.

Keeping All Women in Mind is a community profile, which highlights key challenges and opportunities that have arisen in Labrador West in recent years. Education, childcare, housing, and employment are among issues that are top of mind for locals who continue to actively lobby government and mining companies to support community improvements.

No Vacancy takes a closer look at the housing challenges facing Labrador West: rising housing prices, few new builds to meet demands, and great need for emergency and social housing solutions. This report will be featured at the upcoming Newfoundland and Labrador Housing and Homelessness Network Conference (October 28-29, 2014 in Grand-Falls Windsor, NL).
Keeping All Women in Mind will be released on Person’s Day (October 18, 2014) and No Vacancy will be available online on October 28, 2014. 


A Bold Vision – Creating An Inclusive Society

FemNorthNet would like to congratulate Bonnie Brayton, Director of the DisAbled Women’s Network of Canada, on her recent recognition as a Canadian “Bold Visionary”. Bonnie advocates tirelessly to not only support women living with disabilities, but also to create a Canada that is inclusive of everyone. Bonnie and Deborah Stienstra, FemNorthNet Co-Director, hosted a workshop on inclusive practice during the Bold Vision 2014 Conference, which ran from Sept. 24-26 in PEI.
You can download the joint DAWN-FemNorthNet toolkit that was featured in the workshop “Diversity through Inclusive Practice: A toolkit for creating inclusive spaces, processes & events” on our website at You can learn more about Bold Vision at

Celebrating Abilities – Connecting with Champions Living with Disabilities

Celebrating Abilities is a conference being hosted in Thompson, Manitoba from October 7-9, 2014 to recognize individuals from northern and rural Manitoba who live with disabilities and are making important contributions to society. FemNorthNet members will be there to connect with and interview these individuals about their experiences living and working in rural and northern communities. We are excited to be attending this conference, which will feature keynote presentations on accessibility legislation, First Nation perspectives on disability, and self-determination issues.

You can see the entire program

Community Updates

THOMPSON hosted the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event on September 20 to raise awareness about violence against women and girls. Coordinated by FemNorthNet member Nina Cordell, the event was hugely successful: fifty-four men donned high heels to raise $7,523 for the YWCA’s Women’s Centre where Nina runs programming (read more online: One day earlier (September 19), the Northern Grandmothers’ Council opened their meeting in Thompson with the Protecting Our Children Walk, to remember and raise awareness about Aboriginal murdered and missing women and girls (read more online:
This October, Thompson holds its municipal elections. FemNorthNet member Charlene Lafreniere, who has served two terms as a city councillor, is not seeking re-election. Charlene will be focusing on family life and other leadership roles within her community. We wish Charlene great success in all her future endeavours!
HAPPY VALLEY – GOOSE BAY hosted the most recent Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic (ReSDA) Workshop from October 2-4.  This year’s workshop focused on “Community Well-being and Resource Development”. FemNorthNet members were in attendance and sharing our collective research and resources: Libby Dean spoke about notions of well-being in the North, Petrina Beals and Bonnie Earl presented on the development of Happy Valley - Goose Bay's Community Vitality Index, and Trish Nash was involved with workshop planning. More information is available online:
Nearby Muskrat Falls is being transformed as dam construction continues. Concrete pouring for the power generation stations began in August (read more: Meanwhile drilling for the subsea cables of the Maritime Link project is set to begin on the Newfoundland side of the Strait of Belle Isle at the beginning of this month. Check out the CBC coverage: and
LABRADOR WEST has recently found out a new childcare facility will not be opening in the community. Iron Ore Company, who offered funding for the facility, was unable to find a not-for-profit organization to operate the space. Need for childcare in Labrador West is high, and the community was very disappointed by the announcement (listen to interviews on Labrador Morning: and The gap between the mining revenues taken out of Labrador and investment put into key infrastructure needs for communities hosting mining operations, like Labrador West, was explored in a recent Atlantic Business Magazine article: “It doesn’t add up”. Read it online:

In Other Northern News…

Canadians for a New Partnership was launched on September 4, 2014. The Partnership aims to “achieve better living conditions, education, and economic opportunities for aboriginal groups” and includes former leaders from the Canadian government and current Aboriginal leaders (learn more:
Yukon College received $6.3 million to strengthen and expand their Yukon Research Centre, which supports collaborative and innovative research projects aimed at meeting the needs of northerners (learn more online:
Meanwhile, the Polar Environment Atmosphere Research Laboratory (PEARL), an initiative leading research on northern climate change, is cutting back operations due to large funding cuts by the Government of Canada (read more:
Statistics Canada recently released “Inuit Health: Select Findings from the 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Survey”. The survey found the Inuit population is young, facing many health issues, and concerned about food security, housing, and preservation of culture, among other things. Read the report online:
The International Declaration on the Future of the Arctic was presented to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in September with over 1000 signatures from political leaders and influential figures from around the world. The Declaration calls for greater protection of the Arctic environment and respect for indigenous rights. Concern over the Arctic is widespread: a global Greenpeace survey found 74% of respondents would support creation of an “Arctic Sanctuary” (an area of Arctic Ocean protected from heavy industries, such as drilling for oil). Learn more online at

Conferences & Events

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CRIAW acknowledges our presence and work on Indigenous Territories. We respectfully recognize the legacy of colonization on Indigenous Peoples.

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