More than 300 Haida, Heiltsuk and non-indigenous women gathered at three dialogue sessions this past winter to talk about challenges facing their communities and identify solutions to enhance their family, community and Nation's wellbeing.
Organized by the Skidegate Band Council, with an advisory committee made up of respresentatives from Skidegate, Old Massett and the Council of the Haida Nation, the dialogue sessions were intended to engage and empower indigenous and non-indigenous women from Haida Gwaii and the Heiltsuk Nation as leaders.
Three different sessions were held in Skidegate, Port Clements and Masset, with one for Haida Women, one for Haida and Heiltsuk women, and one for all women living on Haida Gwaii. The two-day gatherings included panel discussions, sharing circles, speaker presentations, working tables and open dialogue. The Gwaii Trust awarded the project a $10,000 Community Innovation grant, which allowed the organizers to leverage more funding from several other sources. This project has directly and indirectly benefited hundreds of islanders, allowing participants to develop their leadership skills through networking, learning, mentorship and action-based decision-making, skills which will be passed on to their families, communities and nations.