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NationTalk Interviews from 2nd Annual She Is Wise Conference (Toronto, ON)

Press Release

ONWA Day 1, She is Wise Conference – Keynote Speaker: Fay Blaney

Fay Blaney, Xwemalhkw (Homalco) Coast Salisho was raised by her great grandparents, speaking her own language until the age of 7. She and 4 generations of her family attended residential schools in BC. She is a graduate of Simon Fraser University, a founding member of the Aboriginal Women’s Action Network, and has been involved with the Women’s Memorial March in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver for over 25 years. She is a post-secondary educator in Women & Gender studies, and facilitates cross cultural sensitivity training and reconciliation dialogue circles. Currently Ms. Blaney represents the Aboriginal Women’s Action Network as an expert witness to the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

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ONWA Day 2, She is Wise Conference – Keynote Speaker: Kathy Abolson-King

(Minogiizhigokwe – Shining Day Woman) Anishinaabe, a member of Flying Post First Nation, is a Kokum, mother, daughter, auntie, sister. She works as an Associate Professor and Director of the Centre for Indigegogy, Faculty of Social Work, at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her academic and cultural work has been in restoring, reclaiming, re-righting Indigenous history, knowledge, cultural worldviews and making the invisible visible. She is author of “Kaandossiwin, How we come to know” (2011) and most recently has been gathering stories of resistance and resilience from her mother, a survivor of the St. John Anglican Residential School in Chapleau, ON. Kathy shares with us the resilient wisdom of her mother and how important it is to listen to the stories of the many wise women in our lives.

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ONWA Day 3, She is Wise Conference – Keynote Speaker: Sandi Boucher

Sandi Boucher of Thunder Bay and a proud member of Seine River First Nation in Treaty 3, is a dedicated author, activist, and a strong advocate for respectful cross-cultural relationships that honour wisdom and not just education. The host of “The Learning Curve” on Shaw Community TV, Sandi is known for her passionate and empowering style that speaks “to hearts, not minds.” Sandi’s audiences include elementary, secondary, and post-secondary schools; colleges and universities; First Nation communities and agencies; mainstream municipalities and businesses. In 2016 Ms. Boucher was named both the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year and the Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund Business Woman of the Year.

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ONWA Day 3, She is Wise Conference – Nationtalk speaks with Elder Mariea Linklater

Elder Mariea Linklater is Nehiyowskewe from Thunderchild First Nation, Saskatchewan and lives now in Saskatoon,. After 8 years in residential school, she went on to marry her husband of 59 years Walter Linklater, who passed away in 2018; in addition to raising their own 7 children, they fostered over 300 children, and 20 adopted grandchildren. Mariea received a Women of Distinction award in 2016On day 2, She is Wise Conference, Elder Mariea was our keynote speaker. We invite everyone to listen.

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