Roseann Martin - NWAC Elder Advisor Roseann Martin – Residential School Survivor and a Mi’gmaq Grandmother has travelled all over Canada and who is a pipe carrier, drum keeper and water protector and likes to share her teachings.
Born in Listuguj Quebec on September 2, 1952 to Howard Metallic and Rebecca Wysote both of Mi’gmaq ancestry. She is the eldest of 14 siblings. At the tender age of 5 she was sent to the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School where she stayed for 3 1⁄2 years. Following her return to her community she was once again sent away to the Gaspe coast for an additional 8 years. In total she spent most of her childhood away from her community and family and friends. Her journey has seen enough trauma and anger along with multiple addictions that she has overcome.
Today she has over 25 years of sobriety and healing to be able to share her story for future generations to begin the healing process. Some of her hobbies include various types of beading and sweet grass picking. As a respected Elder within her community she is able to conduct sweats and various other ceremonies to help the healing process for family and community. Currently she sits on the Board of Directors for both the Quebec Native Women as a Regional Elder, and also works for Native Women of Canada as an Elder adviser.
Ogimaakewak Singers is a collective of femme singers and hand drummers that come from and carry songs and teachings form their various Indigenous nations. Ogimmaa kwewak translates rouglhy into female leardersof, as we like to say, boss ladies. Ogimaa kwe is the name of ojne of our group members grandmothers, we continue to hoour the live and traditions of our relations of the past and hope the sharing our songs today will be carried by our relations of the future.
Bridget Tolley Bridget Tolley is Algonquin grandmother from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg in Quebec, Canada. Her mother, Gladys Tolley, was struck and killed by a police car in October 2001, which galvanized Bridget to action and led her to become a committed activist in the family-led movement to end violence and the disappearance and murder of Indigenous women and girls. Bridget is a founding member of Families of Sisters in Spirit and Justice for the Victims of Police Killings Coalition, planning vigils at Parliament Hill to support families and raise awareness. She is also active in other social justice causes related to police violence, Indigenous education, housing, and child welfare.
Lynne Groulx LL.L., J.D. As the Executive Director for the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), Lynne Groulx advocates for the rights of Indigenous women daily. Her passion and expertise on Indigenous rights, gender equality, human rights and economic development make Lynne one of our country’s strongest activists. Lynne’s intensive dedication to empower women of all nations awarded her one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network in 2018. The Embassy of Gaboon in Canada also honoured her as one of the 20 inspiring women from around the world, and awarded her the “Hope and Empowerment Award.” Lynne’s academic background equipped her to push for decolonization in all aspects of society. She focused in Civil and Common Law with studies in Corporate Law, Social Justice and Indigenous Legal Traditions and Customary Laws. In the past two years at NWAC, Lynne is furthering the organization’s capacity to address its mission “to advocate for and inspire women and families of many Indigenous nations” and defend Indigenous women’s human rights. Through effective high-level negotiations with key government agencies, Lynne is bringing Indigenous women’s issues to the national and international stage.
Most notably, Lynne is developing a Social and Cultural Innovation Centre for NWAC. This culturally appropriate, Indigenous hub will include a Resiliency Centre to promote healing, workshop space and a boutique to provide employment and revenues to over 200 Indigenous women entrepreneurs in Canada. Lynne Groulx is a paradigm of resolute leadership expressing the full capacity of her knowledge to ensure justice and equality for all Indigenous women. Through her visionary efforts, she has embossed the unmistakeable value and power of the many nations of Indigenous women to further to road to reconciliation and decolonization.