Central Albertan First Nations, Métis women appointed to government advisory committees

Asooahum Crossing director is among the chosen

A strong Red Deer voice for indigenous people was appointed to a provincial government economic advisory committee.

Tanya Ward-Schur was among 32 female indigenous leaders chosen to sit on the First Nations and Métis women’s economic security councils. The councils will provide advice, and recommendations, to the Government of Alberta on how to improve economic security for indigenous women, and communities.

The women selected for the two committees come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and include community elders, and Inuk women.

Schur, who’s on the First Nations Women’s Council on Economic Security, is the director of the Asooahum Crossing. She’s also owner and operator of the consulting and training business, Drumocracy, which uses rhythmic drum circle workshops to teach intercultural competency training, and team-building.

A Blackfoot Métis, and mother of two grown children, Schur follows the traditional teachings of the medicine wheel and is committed to community development, and the empowerment, of indigenous people. She has a Master’s degree in Leadership Studies from Royal Roads University.

Some other women on the committee have Central Alberta ties, including Tina Northwest who has researched and taught for employers, such as the Samson Cree Nation, and the Maskwacis Cultural College, and is involved in powwow dancing.

Tracy J. Lee, a senior adviser for Aboriginal Health at Alberta Health Services, is also on the committee. She’s a member of the Ermineskin Cree Nation, and has held various leadership positions that have allowed her to understand the challenges First Nations women face in health and wellness, education, employment, and culture.

Another committee member is Heather Bishop, an Olds College grad, with 25 years experience in the area of indigenous and stakeholder engagement.

The appointments are for six or 12 months, and will be up for renewal according to government policies.

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