Empowering podcast

By Geoff Lee

April 27, 2017 12:00 AM

Shelley Wiart, the founder of Women Warriors, is inspiring Indigenous women across Canada to share their stories of healing and hope in a 10-episode podcast.
The Women Warriors’ podcast launched in mid April on iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher, with more than 130 downloads in the first week.
“I’ve got quite a few people messaging me saying they were inspired and keep up the good work, so I think it’s going well,” said Wiart.
The podcast is an extension of the Women Warriors’ program that offers free fitness classes and nutrition education to women at the Lloydminster Native Friendship Centre.
The program also integrates nutrition education and dietary change, holistic counselling, and community building in Lloydminster.
The podcast fulfills Wiart’s dream of creating a positive and inspiring community of Indigenous women who can lift each other up, but it’s not exclusive to Indigenous women.
“It’s also about healing, so anyone who has had difficulty or trauma in their life, it’s something all women can listen to and be inspired by,” said Wiart.
“It’s just that Indigenous women sometimes face special barriers, and I want to talk about that.”
Wiart’s plan to is release one episode a week with one of the latest podcasts featuring a talk with Tunchai Redvers, a proactive Indigeneous student from Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario.
Redvers co-founded the “We Matter” campaign aimed at preventing Indigenous youth suicide. She also talks about being “two spirited” and healing through poetry.
The first podcast was about Stephanie Harpe on the legacy of residential schools.
“The purpose of my podcast is to inspire and empower indigenous women through stories from other Indigenous women, that overcome barriers and reached success in various fields,” said Wiart, who calls herself a Metis host.
Wiart has an extensive contact list and has met most of her podcast subjects at conferences and through her Women Warriors program in Lloydminster.
Last year, she built her network at the Indigenous Women Traditional Gathering at Cold Lake First Nations and at World Indigenous Business Forum in Saskatoon.
“I usually tell them about my program and we connect either through Facebook or Linkedin afterwords,” she said.
Wiart purchased all of her podcasting equipment locally, and relies on an audio engineer from Polarity Audio Works in Lloydminster to edit the episodes.
She paid for the cost of season one herself and has set up a crowfunding-style account at Patreon for people to pledge anywhere from $1 to $40.
“That way I can afford to make season two,” said Wiart.
Wiart is also set to launch another 8 Weeks to Healthy Living program at Motion Fitness on May 1 at 7 p.m.
This Women Warriors’ program exposes women and their children to many different types of exercise and  activity, in order to educate and encourage them.
“I have 15 newcomers that come on Monday and 15 returnees that come on Wednesday,” said Wiart, who noted the program was studied last year by researchers from the University of Calgary.
On May 9, Wiart will take part in an Indigenous Health Conference at U of C to speak to a group of doctors about Indigenous women’s health.

More News

LCSD hosts archbishop

The Lloydminster Catholic School Division (LCSD) had a special guest this week, as Archbishop Richard Smith toured multiple schools. more »

Falk talks first session in House of Commons

Battlefords-Lloydminster member of Parliament Rosemarie Falk is back in her constituency for the summer. She held a summer office open house this week for people to have a tour, drop by for a conversation,… more »

Health council opens channels

We have your back on healthcare. That’s what the Yellowhead East Health Advisory Council (HAC) told local and area residents during its latest meeting at the Lloydminster Hospital on June 20. more »

more »