Warrior way to peace

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September 8, 2016 12:00 AM

Several indigenous fashion vendors including Brandy-Lee Maxie, creator of Powfit, left, will be introduced by Shelley Wiart, founder of Women Warriors at a two day Rise Up Mighty Warrior event in Lloydminster Oct. 13-14 to prevent violence against women.

Women Warriors is teaming up with Lakeland College and the Lloydminster Native Friendship Centre to host two days of violence awareness and prevention.
The event, called Rise Up Mighty Warrior, is the brainchild of Shelley Wiart, a Metis founder of Women Warriors to build a safer community for indigenous and non indigenous women in our community.
“I am hoping to raise awareness about violence and safety issues in our community,” said Wiart.
“It’s going to be a really good event for all community members to attend.”
Rise Up Mighty Warrior will kick off at Lakeland College on Oct. 13 with a talk by Debra DeWaal, owner of Safe and Sound Safety Training at the Servus Credit Union Lecture Theatre from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
DeWaal is former Calgary police officer who Wiart says is a really incredible keynote speaker.
“I feel it is a really good time to have it at Lakeland college because of safety with college students coming back on campus,” she said.
“It’s good for people to be informed on their own safety and how to take care of themselves.”
Wiart hopes up to 120 people will turn at Lakeland and at least 100 for the wind up daytime conference on women’s safety in the Crown Ballroom of the Days Hotel & Suites on Oct. 14.
Wiart said the idea behind the two day event grew from the free fitness classes and nutritional education that Women Warriors provides mainly to indigenous women and their children to prevent Type 2 diabetes.
“With my participants, I’ve run three programs this year and I felt like it would be really good to have a violence awareness and prevention conference,” said Wiart.
“I want to give them a platform to talk about their health and safety so I created this conference.”
The conference will also touch on the national issue of Missing, Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) with a talk by Stephanie Harpe of the Fort Mckay First Nation whose mother was murdered in Edmonton.
“She will talk about MMIW and how it’s affected her life,” said Wiart who noted that issue is also close to home.
“People always think of MMIW as elsewhere, but they are right here in Lloydminster —there are five of them from Onion Lake,” said Wiart.
She said the conference is also about the violence in our community and how we can better protect all of our women.
It’s billed as an opportunity to build relationships and knowledge sharing between indigenous and non indigenous community members, leaders, academics, health care providers, community service providers and businesses.
The conference will feature several other speakers including Karen Pheasant an indigenous University of Alberta professor, ending with round table discussions to engage community members.
The event is also sponsored by Interval Home Lloydminster, Family and Community Support Services Alberta and the Lloydminster Health Foundation.
Ticket price and purchase information for both events is available at the www.riseup.womenwarriors.club website with an early bird discount deadline of Sept. 30.
A free ticket draw will also be made in a Mighty Warrior nomination contest with details posted on the Women Warrior club website.
The two day event will also showcase numerous leading indigenous fashion vendors in Western Canada.

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