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Evidence of meeting #28 for Status of Women in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was young.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Bonnie Brayton  National Executive Director, DisAbled Women's Network of Canada
Peggy Taillon  President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Council on Social Development
Jocelyne Wasacase-Merasty  Regional Manager, Prairie Region, National Centre for First Nations Governance
Paige Isaac  Coordinator, First Peoples' House

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

Joyce Bateman Conservative Winnipeg South Centre, MB

But that's a falsehood, because I was quoting our witness's—

4:55 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Irene Mathyssen

Order!

Madam Bateman, please; I want to hear from these—

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

Joyce Bateman Conservative Winnipeg South Centre, MB

But that's a falsehood.

4:55 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Irene Mathyssen

I want to hear from our witnesses, and we'll have to be very, very quick, because—

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

Joyce Bateman Conservative Winnipeg South Centre, MB

On a point of order, Madam Chair, my integrity has been impugned by this woman, and you are not permitting me to clarify it.

She misunderstood, because she may not have been paying attention.

What I said was that the Canadian Council on Social Development, in their 2006 labour force profile of youth, stated—they stated—that the gender gap had reversed, and that the employment market had improved more for girls than for boys.

I was quoting one of our witnesses. My words were misdirected.

I have been maligned in front of these people and I would like an apology.

Thank you.

4:55 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Irene Mathyssen

Thank you, Ms. Bateman.

I appreciate your intervention and that you are now on the record.

I did want to give our witnesses an opportunity here. I think it's important that we hear from them. We only have....

Well, actually, we have no time left.

4:55 p.m.

NDP

Mylène Freeman NDP Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Oh, no.

4:55 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Irene Mathyssen

I'm awfully sorry, Ms. Freeman.

We'll go to Ms. Truppe, for seven minutes.

I'm sorry.

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

Susan Truppe Conservative London North Centre, ON

Thank you, Madam Chair, and thank you both for being here today.

Jocelyne, you mentioned or suggested that the things that would be helpful to you are empowering the voice of the aboriginal woman, solutions by women themselves, and engaging them early.

With respect to economic participation, prosperity, and leadership, do you have any suggestions how Status of Women might be able to help you with these three suggestions?

4:55 p.m.

Regional Manager, Prairie Region, National Centre for First Nations Governance

Jocelyne Wasacase-Merasty

I would suggest getting the stories out there and showcasing other successful aboriginal women, not just aboriginal women, but women in general, and maybe taking that extra time to talk about skill development and the needs that they feel are important to start helping them access those avenues.

Talk about entrepreneurships in a forum that's designated specifically for them, because a lot of times, as I said, because we have a marginalized voice, a lot of our women are not comfortable speaking in a forum where there are men, when you think of business and entrepreneurship. Have that specific avenue for them to talk about some of the issues, some of the barriers, and then brainstorm some of the needs or supports that they see are key, and try to achieve some of those goals.

Again, it's all about the dialogue. That's always my approach.

5 p.m.

Conservative

Susan Truppe Conservative London North Centre, ON

You just mentioned they're not comfortable when speaking in groups, maybe with men.

What would make them comfortable, any suggestions? What can we do for them?

5 p.m.

Regional Manager, Prairie Region, National Centre for First Nations Governance

Jocelyne Wasacase-Merasty

Participating in an aboriginal women's leadership project, we've had a strategic planning session where a lot of these issues came out, and I heard from them. They talked about all these issues, so I see that as one of the most effective ways that....

And then just strategizing the needs they had. For me, it all came back to cultural identity, understanding the historical context that has put us on this path and some of the things we need to do to rectify some of those situations, and also celebrating and supporting the women who are already doing it out there, but also adding to that pool of women who are participating in that world.

5 p.m.

Conservative

Susan Truppe Conservative London North Centre, ON

Thank you.

5 p.m.

Regional Manager, Prairie Region, National Centre for First Nations Governance

Jocelyne Wasacase-Merasty

Again, you know....

5 p.m.

Conservative

Susan Truppe Conservative London North Centre, ON

Go ahead, sorry.

5 p.m.

Regional Manager, Prairie Region, National Centre for First Nations Governance

Jocelyne Wasacase-Merasty

No, I was probably just going to go off on another tangent.

5 p.m.

Conservative

Susan Truppe Conservative London North Centre, ON

You've been very helpful, thank you.

When the Girls Action Foundation appeared before us, they recommended providing mentorship and diverse role models for girls growing up, educating boys and young men to think critically about gender expectations, promoting equality between sexes, and implementing and expanding programs that reduce gender harassment, especially in educational institutions.

Since then, a number of witnesses have expressed support for these recommendations.

I'll start with you again, Jocelyne. What are your thoughts on this approach? Are there other factors that should be considered?

5 p.m.

Regional Manager, Prairie Region, National Centre for First Nations Governance

Jocelyne Wasacase-Merasty

I like the approach. It's creating awareness of some of the issues we put in front of ourselves. I think the same approach can be taken to the first nations' level. When we talk about lateral violence, institutionalized discrimination, those kinds of things, I always find that if we start labelling them, then we can start identifying them, and we can start dealing with them.

The more educated we are about some of these negative things that are holding us back, the more effectively we can deal with them. I like the approach. I think the same approach can be modelled for first nations in this kind of approach too.

Some of the issues might change. Some of the terminology would have to be suited to the kind of challenges we're facing in our first nations communities.

5 p.m.

Conservative

Susan Truppe Conservative London North Centre, ON

Thank you.

Paige, I have the same question for you. Do you remember the question?

5 p.m.

Coordinator, First Peoples' House

Paige Isaac

Yes.

I agree. I would support that.

I think educating both sides can only bring them closer. An emphasis on exactly that: becoming a supportive community and learning how to not—I don't know how to say this—keep women back.

We need to create a supportive community because to be successful, we need to support each other. If we want to get somewhere, we need to work together.

5 p.m.

Conservative

Susan Truppe Conservative London North Centre, ON

Do you think that educating boys and young men to think critically about gender expectations would help in your communities? That is to either of you or both of you.

5 p.m.

Coordinator, First Peoples' House

Paige Isaac

I think so. Definitely. By developing the language, developing the learning about different actions and expectations, young men and boys could be learning differently.

5 p.m.

Conservative

Susan Truppe Conservative London North Centre, ON

I'll ask you the same question in regard to the boys and men.

5 p.m.

Regional Manager, Prairie Region, National Centre for First Nations Governance

Jocelyne Wasacase-Merasty

I think the more awareness among all the parties involved, the better it will be in the long run. It will start creating that synergy to start moving towards what I've always believed is a common goal.

We're always here. We're about trying to make a better place for the next generation, and men are just part of that. They've come to realize their reality. They have to rethink that, because traditionally, we were on an equal footing, and we complemented each other. What's missing right now is our voice, because we're not in balance. That has an impact not just on the women but also on the overall holistic version of the world we want to try to accomplish. They are equal partners in this, definitely.

5:05 p.m.

Conservative

Susan Truppe Conservative London North Centre, ON

Thank you.