Friendship Society director named to new provincial council

The executive director of the Red Deer Native Friendship Society has been appointed to a provincial council that will identify economic barriers facing aboriginal women in Alberta.

The executive director of the Red Deer Native Friendship Society has been appointed to a provincial council that will identify economic barriers facing aboriginal women in Alberta.

Tanya Schur was appointed to First Nations Women’s Economic Security Council.

The province announced the creation of the council on Monday.

The 23-member council includes aboriginal women with a variety of backgrounds.

They will look at the challenges aboriginal women face.

“This council opens the door for First Nations women to bring our stories and experiences forward to government, government agencies and community stakeholders.

It gives us a conduit to voice our concerns and our solutions, to overcoming the social and economic barriers that we face as First Nations women,” said Koren Lightning-Earle, co-chair, of the First Nations Women’s Economic Security Council, in a press release.

Tanya Schur, a Blackfoot-Métis, is the mother of two grown children and holds a master’s degree in Leadership Studies.

She follows the traditional teachings of the medicine wheel and is committed to aboriginal community development and the empowerment of aboriginal people.

The province also announced a 13-member Metis Women’s Economic Security Council.

The government working group that will support the councils includes senior representatives from departments with programs and services that support aboriginal women and families.

Those departments include Aboriginal Relations, Culture, Education, Enterprise and Advanced Education, Health, Human Services, and Justice and Solicitor General.

These departments will work together to address the issues and ideas the councils raise.

Premier Alison Redford says in a release that the councils will give native women a greater voice on issues that affect them and their communities.

The two groups — one for First Nations women and the other for Metis women — will report directly to the aboriginal relations minister.