Debra Foxcroft, Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council President.
On Saturday March 8, International Women’s Day, the theme for this year in 2014 is “Equality for Women is Progress for all.” Can we all to take a moment to reflect back and honor our women who have inspired us, empowered us or challenged us?
It’s a time for us to reflect on the progress we have made individually, within our families and communities. It’s a call for change and celebration of acts of courage and determination by extraordinary and ordinary women.
And let us not forget the women we have lost in our lives. To them we send thanks and appreciation in our prayers and loving, positive thoughts.
As I was thinking about this day, and as a woman in a Leadership position, I am extremely proud and grateful for this opportunity to help make a difference in the lives of our people.
I wanted to take a moment to remind all of our Nuu-chah-nulth women, young and old, our Leaders, and all our men (young and old) in our communities of an important document that was developed by a group of our own strong, courageous, loving women from our Nuu-chah-nulth communities.
This Declaration of Nuu-chah-nulth Women, which I am extremely proud of, was adopted by the Leadership of the day by resolution at our AGM in 1996 in Port Alberni. I would like to recognize, honor and hold up all our Nuu-chah-nulth women, and especially our men who stand and stood beside us, who love us, support us, respect us and care for us unconditionally.
I also want to recognize and honor all the strong, courageous women we have had in our lives as mentors, advisors, leaders and teachers, who have supported us in our lives in good times and bad.
Let's take this day to celebrate who we are and honor the women who help us and inspired us, mentored us, supported us in our journey, especially our mothers, grandmothers, aunties, daughters, granddaughters and friends.
Let's remind ourselves every day that we are strong, proud, loving Nuu-chah-nulth women.
So today and every day, l challenge each and every one of you to celebrate the strength of our women and put into practice or take action in some small way to implement the Declaration of Nuu-chah-nulth Women.
Let's make this world a safe and loving place for our children and grandchildren to grow up in and thrive, free of any type of violence.
“HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY”
“The Strength of the Indian Nation Is In Their Women,
No Nation Is a Nation Unless There Are Women to Bear the Children of the Future”
DECLARATION OF THE NUU-CHAH-NULTH WOMEN
Nuu-chah-nulth Women, givers of life, are Mothers, Daughters, Grandmothers, Granddaughters, Aunts, Nieces, Sisters, Teachers and Friends.
We treasure the values and traditions we have been taught; they have sustained us during the many changes throughout history;
We take pride in our culture, heritage and traditions, and we honor and respect our Elders and their teachers;
We are responsible for the health and safety of our children and our families, and we seek to ensure that our children will always be protected;
We believe in the strength of our family ties, and assert our right to always retain the love of our immediate and extended families;
We have the right to be respected in spirit, mind, and body and to live free from sexual, physical, verbal and emotional abuse;
We have the right to love and be loved, care and be cared for, protect and are protected;
We have the right to be heard and to be treated as partners in our relationships with family and friends;
We have the right to be individuals, to make our own choices and to pursue our personal goals;
We respect ourselves, and we will be respected;
We will teach our children by example, and we will ensure the well-being of future generations of Nuu-chah-nulth is not jeopardized in any way;
We recognize changes in our society, and we will call upon our strengths to live with those changes in a manner consistent with our traditions and values;
We will maintain integrity and pride in being Nuu-chah-nulth Women.
“Honoring and Respecting Our Women”
Adopted at the 1989 Nuu-chah-nulth Annual Assembly