2009 Recipients

Jeannette Corbiere Lavell

Well-known role model and advocate for Aboriginal women, Jeannette Corbiere Lavell is a fluent speaker and teacher of Ojibway language and culture and a member of the Anishinabek Nation. In 1970, Jeannette married a non-Aboriginal man, resulting in loss of her Indian status. In a landmark court challenge, she fought to regain her status, losing the final case by a single vote in the Supreme Court of Canada. Jeannette was instrumental in founding the Ontario Native Women's Association, the Native Women's Association of Canada and Indigenous Women of the Americas. With Bill C-31's passage in 1985, Jeannette's status was reinstated, along with that of her three children, to the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve. In 2002, she received the Anishinabek Nation Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2008, she became the first Anishinabek Nation Commissioner on Citizenship. Jeannette sits on the boards of Debajehmujig Theatre Group and the Ronathahonni Cultural Centre, and on the National Aboriginal Health Organization executive. Jeannette lives in Wikwemikong, Ontario.

Daphne E. Dumont

Daphne Dumont earned her law degree at Oxford University in 1976, becoming the first woman admitted to study law at any of the Oxford men's colleges. She became the third woman president of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), and its first-ever president from Prince Edward Island. Daphne is a founding member of the Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF). She has devoted countless hours to volunteering for community groups, including the Community Legal Information Association and the Canadian Federation of University Women, providing advice on family law, legal aid and access to justice. From 1991 to 1993, she served on the National Task Force on Gender Equality in the Legal Profession, chaired by Supreme Court Justice Bertha Wilson. In 2006, Daphne won the CBA's Touchstones Award for promoting equality in the Canadian legal profession. She recently completed five years of service on a CIDA-funded development project to introduce civil legal aid to rural China. Daphne lives in Charlottetown.

Bev LeFrancois

In 1970, school teacher, mother of four and activist Bev LeFrancois joined the peace and women's movement. Over the years, she has helped establish community, women's and rape crisis centres, and shelters for battered women. Bev has advocated for women's rights in such areas as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms equality clause, the Rape Shield Law and Matrimonial Property Laws, to name just a few. Bev is a founding member of many women's organizations - for example, the Port Coquitlam and Area Women's Centre (1975), Women of Halton Action Movement (1980), Canadians In Support of Afghan Women (1998) and Advancement of Women Halton (2008). All of the organizations Bev helped to establish are still in operation. From 1989 to 2003, Bev served as Executive Director of the Halton Rape Crisis Centre, and the Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Services of Halton. Bev and her husband Jim live in Oakville, Ontario.

Karen Messing

An academic, researcher, author and scientist, Karen Messing has worked for over 30 years with unions and women's groups to promote equality for women in the work force, developing public policies and practices that support working women. She brings creative thinking and a high level of scientific rigour to the work of addressing the health and well-being of women, as well as finding innovative approaches to ergonomics and occupational health. Karen co-founded the university-union partnership L'invisible qui fait mal (The Invisible that Hurts) to ensure women workers' needs are recognized in addressing occupational health and safety risks. She is the current chair of the Gender and Work Technical Committee of the International Ergonomics Association. Karen also authored the World Health Organization's fact sheet and booklet on gender and occupational health. Through her dedicated efforts, Karen has increased opportunities for women, helping to ensure women's workplace needs are considered so they can access all jobs without endangering their health. Karen lives in Montréal.

Mary Scott

Mary Scott has a long history in advancing equality for women, with a particular focus on Aboriginal women. Early on in the Internet age, Mary became skilled in using internet technology, reaching out to share her expertise with others by teaching, relaying communication to networks and creating web pages for many women's organizations. An active member of the United Nations Platform for Action Committee (UNPAC) and co-founder of the Manitoba Chapter of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), Mary attended the Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995. From there, she kept women in Canada apprised of developments at the Conference, providing a vital service for information-sharing and networking. She later developed an ongoing electronic newsletter on what's happening for women, globally and domestically. Mary was also instrumental in the success of an Oral History Project and the Babs Friesen Councils of Women Archival Project. Mary lives in Winnipeg.

YOUTH AWARD - Pauline Fogarty

Dedicated to engaging youth and empowering young women, Pauline Fogarty became involved in social activism at a young age. She has served with the Regional Multicultural Youth Centre in Thunder Bay since 1998. Pauline has represented the Centre at conferences across Canada, served as youth council president for two years, designed a girl's collective, served as fundraising officer and marketing assistant, and started Health Engaging Youth, a program involving youth in the mental health system. Pauline is also involved in environmental activism, youth engagement and First Nation's advocacy, as well as anti-racism, safety, anti-smoking, gender issues and technology. She works for St. Joseph's Health Centre as a Recreation Student and volunteers at the Canadian Mental Health Association for the Minding Our Bodies program, a two-year project (2008-2010) to increase capacity in Ontario's community mental health system, to promote active living and to create new opportunities for physical activity for people with serious mental illness. Pauline lives in Thunder Bay.

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