This post was originally published on Julie S. Lalonde’s blog, Yellow Manteau.
I talk for a living.
I wear many hats in my day-to-day, but I get paid to talk and in particular, as a public educator. I visit communities, elementary schools, high schools, campuses, military bases, faith groups, various workplaces and everything in between to talk sexual violence, bystander intervention and community support.
I’ve worked in this field for over a decade.
In that time, I’ve given literally hundreds of workshops, lectures, presentations and spoken on panels.
I’m a busy bee.
There appears to be a lot of mythology around the work I do and in particular, the reception I get. There’s this idea that everywhere I go is a giant love-in. Maybe it’s because my work is so visible in the media or because I have a lot of followers on Twitter or because I’ve won awards. Or maybe it’s part of some right-wing conspiracy that the world is super feminist and misandrist. Je ne sais pas.
Thousands of women in Canada—many of them single mothers—live on the financial brink, trapped in a constant cycle of ‘one step forward, two steps back.’ Customized supports can help them get unstuck.
This story was originally published in the Spring 2015 issue of SHE Magazine.
FOR YEARS, KRISTIN LUDLOW went from one low-paying job to another. She wanted more for herself: stability, financial independence, and work she cared about.
By the time she heard about the Women in Skilled Trades program in Burlington, she was in serious debt and had no savings. She successfully applied to the 29-week program but still struggled to make ends meet, even though the tuition was covered by the government.
Luckily for Kristin, the Women in Skilled Trades program included something special: an allowance to buy tools, work wear, and safety equipment. Without this extra support, she may not have been able to buy the tools that allowed her to find a job after graduation.
Over 1.5 million women in Canada live in poverty. Most, like Kristin, are working but earning low wages. “Just because you have a job and work 40 hours a week, doesn’t mean you’re going to get out of poverty,” says Ellen Faraday, a coordinator for the Women in Skilled Trades program.
INAC's Unstated Paternity Policy and 6(1)a All the Way
From 1876 through 1985, when a woman registered as a status Indian married a white man, she and their children were denied Indian status registrations; at the same time, when a man registered as a status Indian married a white woman, he could pass on status registration to her and their children.
In 1985, the Indian Act was amended to remove this sex discrimination. The argument was that this legislative remedy would bring the Indian Act in line with section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. However, these changes have come under criticism. Indigenous advocates have pointed out that sex discrimination continues through the second-generation cut-off rule and the way it is applied faster to re-instated Indian women and their children born before 1985. Further, a new form of sex discrimination was created known as “unknown and unstated paternity” – when a father did not sign his child’s birth certificate, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) assumed he was a non-Indian man.
Lynn Gehl, Ph.D., is an Algonquin Anishinaabe-kwe advocate, artist, and writer. She’s spent more than 30 years working on a Charter challenge regarding sex discrimination in the Indian Act as it relates to INAC’s unstated paternity policy. Lynn was denied status because her paternal grandfather is unknown. In April 2017, Lynn was granted the lesser form of status known as 6(2) registration. We spoke to Lynn about her court challenge.
This is the seventh post in the Confidence Stories series in partnership with Always®. Confidence Stories feature stories, tips and ideas to support girls, build their confidence, and encourage them to Keep Going #LikeAGirl.
Nikki met her mentor Hailey at a Boys and Girls Club of Hamilton program that partners mentors with girls to encourage their interest in physical activity and team sports (MacMentors and On the Move Girls). Their relationship has grown ever since, and they both have thoughts on why sports are key to fueling girls’ confidence. The Boys and Girls Club of Hamilton is a past recipient of funding from the Canadian Women’s Foundation’s Girls’ Fund.