Aboriginal women’s group honouring Red Deer woman

Seeds planted helped Teresa ‘Corky’ Larsen-Jonasson find her voice

Theresa “Corky” Larsen-Jonasson (Photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)

A Red Deer aboriginal woman to be honoured on Friday credits her grandmother for helping her find her voice in the community.

Teresa ‘Corky’ Larsen-Jonasson, now an elder herself, will receive the Institute For the Advancement of Aboriginal Women (IAAW) 2017 Esquao Award in Community Involvement at a gala in Edmonton.

“It’s meaningful to me because I believe my grandmother was also a recipient of this award back in the 70s.”

The IAAW, formerly the Voice of Alberta Native Women Society, recognizes the achievements and contributions of First Nations, Métis and Inuit women in Alberta.

Larsen-Jonasson said she will be accepting the award on behalf of her grandmother and the many women in Red Deer that work hard for their community. Her grandmother, Christine Joseph, is now 94 and lives in Cochrane, where Larsen-Jonasson was visiting on Wednesday.

In the early 70s, when Larsen-Jonasson was a young teen, her grandmother would pick her up and take her to meetings. “More often than not I would go reluctantly because I found them boring. As a teenager my mind was elsewhere. Regardless, it planted a seed.”

“I’m born and raised Red Deer. This is where my heart is, my family. This is the community I’m going to do my work in, as best I can.”

Today she’s involved with Red Deer Native Friendship Centre, Safe Harbour and other groups in Red Deer, including Red Feather Women. She serves as a member of the National Collective of the Walking With Our Sisters Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women awareness project.

She’s a member of the Urban Aboriginal Voices Women’s Council and works with the Red Deer Welcoming and Inclusive Communities Network. She attended the National Indigenous Women’s Summit in Ottawa in March.

As well, Larsen-Jonasson recently published a children’s book, The Sharing Circle, which is based on a traditional indigenous way for adults and children to deal with disagreements.

The 56-year-old Cree-Métis woman said there was a time in her teens until the early 90s when she had a pretty “lost life” personally. Then she started to sit with an elder named George Goodstriker who was from the Standoff Blood reserve. He “adopted” her and her husband Lynn Jonasson, according to culture, not law.

“He didn’t save my life but he taught me and gave me tools that I could do it myself. I don’t think I really found my voice in my community until I was in my late 40s, 50. Now it’s coming out … Sometimes when you speak out people push back. Before that would just throw me but now I feel capable to stand my ground. It’s because these seeds were planted when I was a young woman.”

barr@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Construction underway at Medicine River Wildlife Centre in Red Deer

The new building is twice the size of the old one

Fish for free

No license is required to ice fish on Family Day weekend

Music industry struggles to shake ugly legacy of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll

TORONTO — Allegations of sexual misconduct swirling around pop-rockers Hedley have put… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer rings in the Chinese New Year

A couple hundred fill Festival Holiday to ring in the Year of the Dog

WATCH: From humble beginnings Red Deer-based wrestling promotion is growing

It wasn’t that long ago that Dylon Featherstone and the Canadian Wrestling… Continue reading

WATCH Replay Red Deer Feb. 18: Your weekly news highlights

Watch news from Red Deer and Central Alberta

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Life or death main decision for school shooting suspect

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The evidence against the Florida school shooting suspect… Continue reading

Man who stole millions from Seabird Island band sentenced to 4.5 years jail

Stephen MacKinnon sentenced in Chilliwack court for stealing $2.3 million over eight years

Vancouver artist’s cartoon of Florida school shooting resonates

Cartoon shows football coach, one of the victims, meeting others killed in school shootings

B.C. man brings dog to court as ‘best witness’

Man is defending himself on charges of uttering threats, possessing weapon for dangerous purposes

WATCH: Polar dippers brave icy water to raise money for Sylvan Lake charities

The water may have been cold, but the amount of money raised… Continue reading

WATCH: Cat yoga — the purr-fect de-stresser, says Red Deer-area cafe owner

Felines and humans stretch together each month at Alley Cat Cafe

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month