Ghislaine Goudreau is a health promoter with the Sudbury and District Health Unit and has developed programs that focus on improving the health of Aboriginal women, such as a cross cultural anti-violence program. While working as a health and wellness educator with the Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre she developed the Anishnaabe-Kwe (Aboriginal Women) Water Journey program. Despite challenges Ghislaine completed her Master’s of Science degree from the University of Alberta with her thesis, “Exploring the connection between Aboriginal women’s hand drumming and health promotion (Mino Bimaadiziwin). Her research process served to empower the participants and they explored the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, cultural and social supports integral to Aboriginal women’s hand drumming. Ghislaine is a member of the Waabishki Mkwaa (White Bear) Singers and assists in teaching young foster children how to drum. She is definitely an inspiration and a role model for other young First Nations Women.
Erica Halls is a remarkable young woman who began showing her leadership and commitment as an energetic seven year old. Erica has always impressed others with her extraordinary talents, intellect and the thoroughness of all her undertakings whether they be school, church or community oriented. Erica is extremely active in vocal and instrumental music in school and the community and has served as a tutor for other students. She represented LoEllen Secondary School at the Roots and Shoots Environmental Conference, the Student Leadership Conference, and the Week Without Violence Seminar, to name a few. When she isn’t organizing a fundraising event or serving on a school or community committee, Erica finds time to participate in school sports as well. Erica is a role model for young women as she demonstrates that nothing is impossible and all things are achievable through hard work and persistence.
Marion Harvey-Hannah is the Music director of the Bel Canto Chorus, the voice professor at Cambrian College and conducts the Cambrian College Choir. She does not just encourage her voice students to make beautiful sounds; she gives them the tools to continue to grow and progress as professional performers. Considered a “second mother” by many of her students she enthusiastically motivates them to succeed. Students of Marion, both past and present, attest to her incredible and unwavering faith in them. The depth of her knowledge and wisdom are an often quoted source of inspiration to her protégées. Marion’s performing career has included winning a CBC Talent Competition, appearing numerous times on CBC radio, performing as guest soloist with orchestras and other choirs, participating in numerous voice adjudications within and outside of Sudbury.
Dr. Susan James is the Director of the Midwifery Education Program at Laurentian University. She was one of the first women in her field to receive a Ph. D.; thus, she has paved the way for future generations of student midwives to attain higher post-graduate degrees. Susan is a published author with numerous chapters in academic books and many published articles to her name. Her current research activities include: the development of multi-professional education models for northern, rural and remote locations; proposed guidelines for complementary feeding for breastfed infants and toddlers; and phenomenological methods in the study of caregiver-client /patient relationships. As Susan guides students through their preparation to become midwives, she considers herself to be a midwife to the midwifery students. Her students are empowered to work in her image and have gone on to extend maternity health care in under serviced communities, to obtain post graduate training, to present at National conferences, and to be strong in their conviction as women supporting women.
Grace Kaattari is a well-known community activist in the social justice arena. She has volunteered on the Board of Village International, and has been a long-time active participant in many projects of the Social Planning Council, including working on the community garden at Rumball Terrace. Not only does she grow concerned when she sees suffering and injustice, but she joins progressive communities and commits time and energy as she works for the change. She has lead the “Beads of Hope” campaign to raise money to address AIDS in Africa, spearheaded the regular collection of items from her congregation to support the work of Foyer Notre Dame and the Red Jackets, worked tirelessly to raise the awareness about issues of working-class poverty and homelessness, and as a member of the United Church’s national “Church in Society Coordinating Group” enhanced the work of groups such as Project Ploughshares. Grace has a clear understanding that the issues that affect the lives of women and children impact on the entire community. Grace’s convictions have always moved her to action and she is now become a restorative justice conference facilitator.
Beth Mairs is the founder of Wild Women Expeditions, an all-woman outdoor adventure company. After working as a social worker in women’s services in Toronto, Beth was looking for a way to restore herself physically, emotionally and spiritually. Her solution was to build Canada’s largest outdoor adventure company for women, featuring cycling tours, backpacking, sea kayaking and winter camping. Beth has expanded her business to include a “Wild Women in Training Camp” for girls aged 8-14. Because Beth had the courage to make a change for herself, the lives of other women and girls have been enhanced. Beth developed a resource book that has been widely used by women’s groups, authored a book on community organizing and has served as Provincial Coordinator for the Ontario Women’s Health Network. Beth teaches part-time at Laurentian University’s School of Human Kinetics in the Outdoor Adventure Leadership Program.
Women of Steel are a group of women who are members of United Steelworkers Local 2020. Carol Fantin, Sandy Cameron, Terri Nugent, Linda Boyd and Linda Lafleur have all been activists with the Union as well as the community for more than 20 years. For the past seven years they have dedicated their time and effort to the goals of the Women of Steel Committee which are: to encourage greater participation of women, to help women develop as leaders, and to address the concerns and issues that women face in their workplaces. The Women of Steel assisted a group of women in an industrial work place work to change the unacceptable shower/change room facilities. They helped other women address issues of harassment and discrimination. Women of Steel acts as a resource to provide information, leadership and support to women in their workplaces. They also provide many hours of volunteer service for several community organizations; participate in activities such as International Women’s Day, Take Back the Night March, and several “women helping women” events in support of other women’s organizations and services.