The inaugural Daughters Day event took place on September 1, 2012 in Churchill Square. It featured speakers, music, a dramatic performance, Daughters of the Year presentations, and more.
Our second community engagement session “Rebuilding Lives: Stories of Success and Struggle of Immigrant Women in Edmonton” took place on May 11. You can see some pictures here. As well, you can watch videos from the event: Introduction (with host Lesley MacDonald); Main Talk from REACH Edmonton Executive Director Jan Fox; and, the Panel Discussion with Mona Ismaeil, Primrose Igonor, and Cst. Mona Gill, moderated by Lesley MacDonald.
Our first community engagement session coincided with International Women’s Day on March 8 and featured a performance from Aboriginal singer/songwriter Phyllis Sinclair and a session of Ask Your Auntie.
Daughters of the Year Award Recipients
Karina Pillay-Kinnee Born in Durban, South Africa, Karina came to Slave Lake at the early age of two months. She is proud to call Slave Lake, a vibrant, rural, Northern community nestled in a pristine environment on a beautiful lake home. Karina Pillay-Kinnee was elected Mayor of the Town of Slave Lake in 2004 and is now serving her third term in office. Her vision is to see Slave Lake be the community of choice for lifestyle and environment. Mayor Pillay-Kinnee’s life and that of all the residents in the Lesser Slave Region changed dramatically in May 2011 when wildfires devastated the town destroying 502 housing units, the Government Centre, Regional Library, three churches and ten businesses. Following the disaster, the Mayor has been a tireless leader for the community. She is working closely with the Municipal District of Lesser Slave River and the Sawridge First Nation as part of a regional tri-council to develop plans for the long-term recovery of the region. Karina is also a well-known figure in Canadian media and has given many addresses regarding the challenges faced by the people of Slave Lake as they rebuild their town and their lives. Karina and her husband, Bill own and operate Arcadia Oilfield Services 2000 Ltd. For the past thirteen years, she has also promoted lifelong learning and increased cultural opportunities in Slave Lake working as a coordinator for the Slave Lake adult learning council. Having attained a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Alberta, Karina recognizes and promotes the value and importance of education. She is also a strong advocate for improving health services and volunteers as a board member for the Lesser Slave Lake Health Advisory Council. When not working for their business or community, Karina and Bill enjoy spending time travelling around the world or resting at their peaceful retreat on the lake.
Since 2005, Renée has served as the Executive Director of the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights, an organization committed to advancing the principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Renée is also the Founding President of Ainembabazi Children’s Project, a charitable organization focused on improving the rights of orphans and vulnerable children affected by AIDS in East Africa through education, health and community economic development. Renée is currently a member of the National Commission for UNESCO in Canada, the ONEdmonton Leadership Initiative, as well as sitting on the Board of the South Sudan Development Foundation. In 2012, she was the recipient of the Good Relations Award from the Aboriginal Commission on Human Rights and Justice and Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women.
Rumana Monzur was an Assistant Professor of Dhaka University, a Fulbright scholar and a graduate student in Political Science from the University of British Columbia. In June 2011, she was brutally attacked and blinded by her then-husband at the time during a visit to her home country Bangladesh. Her husband assaulted her because she wanted to continue higher education in Canada against his wishes. He justified this assault to the Bangladeshi media by alleging that Rumana had been unfaithful. Her case caught widespread media attention around the world due to ongoing domestic violence against women in Bangladesh and violation of the fundamental right of education. Rumana returned to Vancouver in July 2011 for further treatment but surgeries in both her eyes were unsuccessful, leaving not much hope for her to see ever again. Still, she is a mother to a daughter, a student, and an inspiration encouraging other women to leave abusive relationships.
Faye Dewar is a proud Métis woman. She grew up in a home with addiction and abuse throughout her childhood. Faye is a single mother who raised two children. She has a great love for her grandchildren and extended family. Faye has a Degree in Indian Social Work. She works as a Health Advocate at the Boyle McCauley Health Centre. Faye is also the owner of a business called Missing Links Home Service that she started in 2008. She volunteers as the president on the board of NiGiNan Housing Ventures that is in the process of building an apartment that will provide a holistic approach in housing and supports for aboriginal men and women who may have an addiction or mental health issues. Faye also volunteers for the Centre for Equity Rights for All, on their National Working Group (which is now called Women Housing Equality Network), Grassroots Organization Operating in Sisterhood, and Institute for the Advancement for Aboriginal Women. Her focus and goals have always been to make the world a kinder and gentler place for all – through laughter, not taking no for an answer, by working with others, by sharing, and by giving all she can give so others can have what she has.