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Title: Women

Womens Wall of Fame
  • Our goal with the Womens Wall of Fame is to
    provide a snapshot and personal herstory of
    several women who have helped shape the Northern
    Womens Centre. The project looked at the past 15
    years of the Womens Centre beginning with the
    women who were involved with creating the Womens
    Centre to the current women who ensure that the
    centre continues to run. The women were asked to
    participate by either filling out a questionnaire
    or participating in an interview. The questions
    consisted of the following

  • 1. How are or were you involved either formally
    or informally with the Northern Womens Centre?
  • 2. What did you do specifically? What events did
    you participate in (Take Back The Night,
    Jezebels Jam, International Womens Day, Dec.
    6th mourning ceremonies, etc.)?
  • 3. Do you have a wish for the future of the
    Northern Womens Centre?
  • 4. What are you doing now (in regards womens
    issues) and how did the Northern Womens Centre
    influence your life?
  • 5. Is there anything else you would like to share
    about the Northern Womens Centre and what the
    Centre means to you?

Thank you
  • We are thankful for the women who were able to
    take part in this herstory. They capture the
    womens involvement with the Womens Centre and
    we are thankful for their contributions.

  • The Womens Wall of Fame is not complete it
    only gives a small herstory of what the Northern
    Womens Centre has done in the past 15 years.
    This is not a conclusion, but a collection of
    stories to capture the heart of the Northern
    Womens Centre. These women and many more are the
    herstory of the Northern Womens Centre. They
    helped to create and develop the Centre into the
    strong independent Centre we have today. The
    Northern Womens Centre has helped me become the
    woman I am today. I will hold the Northern
    Womens Centre close to my heart wherever life
    takes me. I am thankful for the support,
    mentorship, and education that I have gained from
    being a part of the Womens Centre.
  • Forever thankful
  • Vienna Skauge Bouillon

(No Transcript)
Marianne Veronika Goztonyi Ainley, 1937 2008
  • Dr Mariane (Marika) Ainley, a distinguished
    historian of science in Canada, died in Victoria
    in September 2008 at the age of seventy. Marika
    was a pioneer in the history of ornithology and
    women in Canadian science author of books and
    countless journal articles and book chapters
    former principal of the Simone de Beauvoir
    Institute and associate professor emerita of
    Concordia University and professor emerita of the
    University of Northern British Columbia.
  • Born in Budapest in 1937, Marika began her
    studies in industrial chemistry as a teenager,
    completing her Diploma at the Petrik Lagos
    Polytechnical College. After the 1956 uprising,
    she left Hungary, first for Sweden and then for
    Montreal. While employed as a lab technician by
    Chemaco and Imperial Tobacco, she was also
    completing a degree in English and French
    literatures and psychology (1964) at Sir George
    Williams University (now Concordia). Such
    intellectual breadth and energy marked Marikas
    scholarship and life. One of Marikas deepest
    passions was for birds. She completed Cornells
    certificate in ornithology in 1979 while working
    on her MSc in the history of science at the
    Université de Montréal. Her thesis, -La
    professionalization de lornithologie Americaine,
    18701979, was completed in 1980. She then
    pursued her PhD in history of science at McGill

Marianne Veronika Goztonyi Ainley, 1937 2008
  • Her dissertation, -From Natural History to Avian
    Biology Canadian Ornithology, 18601950,? was
    accepted in 1985. Marikas doctoral dissertation,
    she later wrote, -lacked a gender analysis? at
    the same time, her work experience -as an
    invisible woman chemist, combined with my
    activities as an amateur ornithologist, led to a
    scholarly interest in those on the margins of the
    Western scientific community.? Influenced by the
    work of American historian of science Margaret
    Rossiter, she attended the First International
    Interdisciplinary Conference on Women in the
    History of Science in Hungary in 1983, an
    experience she described as a -major turning
    point. For the following decade, she worked on
    two linked projects, both of which bore the marks
    of her feminist perspective on the history of
    science. Her work on women in Canadian science,
    funded by the Canadian Research Institute for the
    Advancement of Women and by a SSHRC Postdoctoral
    Fellowship, led to Despite the Odds Essays on
    Canadian Women and Science, published in 1990.

Marianne Veronika Goztonyi Ainley, 1937 2008
  • Simultaneously, Marika completed a -feminist
    scientific biography,? in her words, of a
    pioneering ornithologist and founder of the
    Zoology department at the University of Alberta.
    Restless Energy A Biography of William Rowan,
    18911957 was published in 1993. Marikas first
    regular academic appointment was as Principal of
    the Simone de Beauvoir Institute and Associate
    Professor of Womens Studies at Concordia
    University, a post in which she served from 1991
    to 1995. She left the institute in 1995 to become
    Professor and founding Chair of Womens Studies
    at the new University of Northern British
    Columbia in Prince George, BC.
  • During her time at UNBC, Marika served as
    president of both the Canadian Womens Studies
    Association and the Canadian Science and
    Technology Historical Association. While
    supervising graduate students, teaching
    undergraduates, and publishing a steady stream of
    articles and book chapters, Marika also engaged
    with the Prince George arts 6
  • community and enjoyed the birds of the boreal
    forest. She continued to work on the project that
    seemed to her most urgent and was dearest to her
    heart the history of women in scientific work.
    This research led her to a profound engagement
    with oral history, as she recorded interviews
    with some of Canadas pioneering women
    scientists, many of them of advanced age.

Marianne Veronika Goztonyi Ainley, 1937 2008
  • Marikas interest in the margins and silences of
    Western science also led her to an interest in
    indigenous scientific and environmental knowledge
    and its transfer in Canada and Australia, the
    topic of her final SSHRC grant (2001). During
    this period, her work was facilitated by Visiting
    Scholar appointments at Central Queensland
    University (2003, 2000) and the Institute for the
    Study of Gender at Auckland University (2001). As
    usual, Marika was entranced not only by her
    academic research but by Australias natural
  • Marika retired from her position at UNBC in
    2003, moving to Victoria with her husband David
    in 2004. Soon afterward, cancer interfered with
    her characteristically busy schedule of painting,
    research, and birding. Marika met this new
    challenge with her usual indefatigable spirit and
    inimitable style, continuing to work with her
    painting group, the Madronas, and completing her
    manuscript on the history of women and scientific
    work at Canadian universities from 1884 to 1980.
    On 26 September 2008, with her husband and
    children at her side and her dear sister on the
    telephone, Marianne Gosztonyi Ainley passed away.
    Celebrations of her life held in Victoria, Prince
    George, and Montreal made clear her contributions
    to communities of scholarship, advocacy, and
    friendship. She is deeply missed.
  • Jacqueline Holler
  • Chair of History and Coordinator of Womens and
    Gender Studies Programs
  • University of Northern British Columbia

Marianne Veronika Goztonyi Ainley, 1937 2008
  • I feel privileged to have been one of Marika
    Ainley Women's Studies students. She was an
    amazing force in life and one that now remains in
    my life after her passing. Marika stoked the fire
    in the hearts and minds of her students. She
    brought passion and color to everything she
    touched. Also, a favorite of a fellow student
    Emily Hansen, we kindly dubbed Marika 'Coco
    Chanel' as she swirled in creativity and
    strength. She was always well presented with a
    high level of grace. I would not be the woman I
    am today without the love, nurturing, and the
    influence of this amazing woman. She worked hard
    and struggled to have women in the Prince George
    region have access to education. To help them
    open their minds and question the world around
    them. I miss Marika everyday, I am glad to have
    had the amazing opportunity to have known her as
    a teacher, a woman, and a friend.
  • Rest in Peace lovely Marika.
  • Alexandra Vlaszaty.

(No Transcript)
Lynn Box
  • The University started offering classes in 1991,
    and in 1992 or 1993, when the campus was almost
    complete. Julia Emberly, one of the Womens
    Studies professors, was adamant that the
    University have a Womens Centre. I think that
    she was very instrumental in creating the Womens
    Centre, along with Paul Zanette, who was also an
    asset. I think because I was a student in Womens
    Studies, I was more involved with signing
    whatever needed to be signed and getting the
    Centre going. In the beginning, the University
    wanted the Centre to be located in the Winter
    Garden, but we wanted to be here, in the current
    space, because it is close to Security. I was
    also involved informally while I was doing my
    Womens Studies degree.
  • During the early days, we did not have a board
    of directors everything was run by consensus.
    Since we didnt have funding, everything was done
    by volunteers. Once we did get some money, we
    hired a part-time person to keep the Centre
    running. We didnt have the resources that are
    here now there were no books, bookshelves, or
    the microwave. The couch is the same one laugh.
    I think for the first couple of years we were
    pretty closely monitored as to what we were
    doing. In the beginning, we were not political
    it was more important to get the space
    established. There was a lot of resistance to the
    Centre from some of the men on campus. They just
    didnt see why we had to have a Womens Centre
    when there wasnt a Mens Centre, and at the time
    this was one of the bigger spaces available. For
    the first couple of years we were quiet. We had
    our room, and we didnt want to make any waves.
    We didnt want to upset any men on campus (well,
    not just men), there were a lot of women that
    didnt think we needed a Centre. We did an open
    house in both September and January so that we
    would have both doors open and we would do -women
    things,? like bake cookies and brownies, and have
    all that kind of stuff available, but the
    naysayer still wouldnt come through.

Lynn Box
  • I went to The December 6th ceremonies because
    they were on campus. Take Back The Night or
    Jezebels Jam began years later while I was doing
    my masters, so I didnt really have time for
    those events.
  • The Centre has been here since day one, and I am
    thrilled that it is still here. My wish would be
    that the Centre wouldnt be necessary that we
    wouldnt need womens shelters, womens centres,
    or separate spaces for women at all, and that
    women would get paid the same as men for the same
    kind of work, but until that happens, I think it
    is great that the Centre is here. My wish would
    be that someone won a whole bunch of money and
    bequeathed it to the Womens Centre to keep it
  • Now I make afghans from wool that are donated
    from the community or whoever will give it to me.
    I make three different sizes adult, child, and
    afghans for babies. The afghans are then given to
    women and children at the Phoenix House, and then
    the women can take the blankets with them when
    they leave. That is how I am giving back to the

(No Transcript)
Jacqueline Baldwin
  • In September of 1993, before the buildings of
    the University of Northern British Columbia were
    ready for occupancy, UNBC classes were held in
    various temporary locations in Prince George. I
    believe there were only about 200 students at
    that time. The Registration and Faculty offices
    for the new University were in a building on the
    corner of 6th Avenue and Brunswick Street,
    downtown, next to the often rollicking old Bingo
    Hall. The University Library was temporarily
    housed in a cavernous vacant Forestry building up
    near 20th Avenue and Ospika. Students would
    sometimes meet after class in the coffee shop of
    the Bingo Hall, and on occasion there were
    workshops given by visiting guests held in the
    large basement rooms of those buildings. Poet
    Betsy Warland of Vancouver held one of the first
    writing workshops organized by Dr. Julia
    Emberley, our professor, who was teaching a
    course called -Introduction to Womens Studies.?
    I was one of the 23 new students most of whom
    were from the immediate Prince George area, who
    had registered in her course, and it was the
    first time I had been in a University classroom
    for more than thirty years. When my youngest
    child graduated from Simon Fraser University with
    a degree in English and Womens Studies in 1991,
    I sold our farm and moved to the city so I could
    go back to school again. I wanted to pursue a
    writing career. We attended classes either in the
    Theatre of the College of New Caledonia, or over
    at the Ecole Francaise on 17th Avenue in the
    Millar Addition. When we needed a space where we
    could watch a video as part of our class work,
    students and professor would gather at my house
    downtown, and we would all crowd ourselves around
    on the living room furniture, sit cross legged on
    the floor or perched on the stairs to view the
    film. Sometimes we would bring potluck, or I
    would make a giant pot of Moroccan bean and
    squash soup for us to share. I remember those
    occasions as times of deeply profound discussion
    and learning despite the informal nature of the
    venue or maybe because of it.

Jacqueline Baldwin
  • Very early in the first semester, Dr. Emberley
    talked to us about the need for a Womens Centre
    to be established at the University, and invited
    people to form a group which could begin doing
    the planning and groundwork to make a University
    Womens Centre a reality. I was not on that
    particular committee, but I do remember observing
    what a lot of hard work was necessary to ensure
    that the foundation work was done so that space
    would eventually be approved and provided after
    the new buildings were up and running. Until the
    Womens Centre was formally established, our
    debriefing sessions were held in the Cafeteria at
    the College, at Other Art and Cappuccino Café
    opposite City Hall, down in the Bingo Hall Café,
    or in private homes. What we were learning in our
    Womens Studies classes was often very difficult
    to accept because of the deep and shocking truths
    about colonization, race, class and gender, and
    the depth and breadth of violence against women
    and children all over the world. It was difficult
    at first to learn how to accurately perceive the
    reality of male domination of women and how that
    domination informs womens lives. Sometimes
    students experienced emotional reactions to these
    realities, and the debriefing sessions provided a
    safety valve for many of us, and also comfort.
    The shared experience of studying texts in Dr.
    Joanne Fiskes classes in 1994 that outlined the
    appalling facts of the sex trade in Asia for
    example, was made less traumatic because of the
    connections students made after class in those
    various temporary places of gathering. On
    occasion, our studies triggered memories for some
    women students who had endured abusive
    experiences, and they found themselves able to
    talk about it out loud for the first time. Such
    was the value of the integrity of the after-class
    gatherings of the women. Later on this same
    connection grew and thrived in the Womens Centre
    when it was established. It became a place where
    women could seek and find learning, support,
    solace, understanding, wisdom, peace, and safety.
    A place of discussion, refuge and respect.

Jacqueline Baldwin
  • Beginning in 1992, I had participated in local
    Prince George events such as The Annual River
    Flower Ceremony, Take Back The Night March in
    Prince George and Vancouver, International
    Womens Day celebration annually, the December
    6th Montreal Massacre Memorial Ceremony, and then
    when it began in about 1996 or 1997, I was a
    guest performer at the annual Jezebels Jam. If I
    remember correctly, it was a group of students in
    Marika Ainleys Feminist Research Methods class
    who came up with the idea for Jezebels Jam. I
    was invited to read my poems at all of these
    events, and continued to do this until 2007. The
    Northern Womens Centre has been very supportive
    of my writing career, and extremely generous and
    welcoming to me. When my first book Threadbare
    Like Lace was published in October of 1997, I was
    invited to the Centre to meet students to talk
    about the publishing process, and presented with
    flowers and cards of congratulations Since 1992
    when I had my very first poem published, I have
    done more than 400 readings of my work at
    Conferences, Training Forums, and Workshops in
    Prince George and Vancouver, on Radio and
    Television, in Elementary and High Schools and at
    the College of New Caledonia, and have often been
    a classroom guest at UNBC. My books have been
    required reading in various classes at UNBC and
    in other Universities and Colleges across Canada.

Jacqueline Baldwin
  • In 2002, I was a cast member of the production
    of the Vagina Monologues at UNBC directed by
    Cathy Denby, a counselor in the First Nations
    Studies program, and stage manager Alison Haley
    of Prince George. It ran for five performances to
    full houses at the Canfor Theatre. The Northern
    Womens Centre and Serious Moonlight Productions
    were the joint sponsors/producers. I played two
    roles Hair, and The Bosnian Woman.
  • Being involved in this endeavor was one of the
    finest privileges of my life and I will always be
    grateful to my superb colleagues in the cast, The
    Northern Womens Centre, and all who were
    involved in the production and performances,
    including the respectful and enthusiastic
  • I wish that the Womens Centre will continue to
    grow and thrive, that funding for it will be a
    priority of the Universitys financial plans
    because of the immense contribution the Northern
    Womens Centre has made not just to the wellbeing
    of women students during the demanding years of
    working toward their degree, but to the wellbeing
    of all. The Northern Womens Centre benefits the
    wider Community of Prince George, and by
    extension all of Northern British Columbia
    through its work to raise awareness and promote a
    closer understanding of womens issues, and how
    all of those issues are connected to, and
    benefit, individual, family, and community
    health. 10
  • I believe it was poet Betsy Warland who once
    pointed out that feminism is not simply about
    women getting -a bigger piece of the pie? but
    about better health and wellbeing for all human

Jacqueline Baldwin
  • I continue to write, publish my work, and do my
    readings. I am involved in many community and
    University events that support advancement of
    women in society. I have done keynote
    presentations at Simon Fraser University, at
    Ending Violence Conferences in Vancouver, and
    presentations at similar events here in Prince
    George. An essay and poem of mine were published
    in the United Kingdom recently in an academic
    journal called Gender, Place and Culture A
    Journal of Feminist Geography. (Routledge 2009).
    Some work has been published in Chicago in 2009,
    and seven new poems appear in a new anthology
    edited by Debbie Keahey of UNBC Unfurled Poetry
    By Northern British Columbia Women (Caitlin Pres,
    2010) to be launched at Art Space at 7 p.m. on
    September 18, 2010. There are 31 Northern B.C.
    women poets in this new collection.
  • The Northern Womens Centre influenced my life
    by never giving up on goals no matter what
    difficulties arose. (Referring, for one example,
    to the temporary closing down of the Centre early
    in its history). By acknowledging and continuing
    to speak out about the realities of womens lives
    rather than the fictions that have been invented
    about women, the Womens Centre reinforces
    courage for others to speak out too. The Centre
    influences and encourages us to investigate and
    re-examine our own personal life experiences
    under a new and more accurate microscope that
    leads to greater understanding through feminist
    theory and practice. The Northern Womens
    Centres activities contribute greatly to human

Jacqueline Baldwin
  • The people who work there have always given me a
    gracious and generous welcome, provided
    opportunities for me to read my work at events or
    on the campus radio, sent me delightful e-mails
    signed -your pals at the Womens Centre? and
    encouraged me in my work as a writer.
  • In addition, my times spent either at the
    Womens Centre or at events they have sponsored
    and to which they invited me as a guest, have
    left me with many fine memories to carry with me.
    Laughter, kindness, understanding, generosity,
    and all that wonderful music and dancing at
    Jezebels Jam over the years. The privilege of
    being a guest reader in the company of all of
    those other performers at various events whether
    memorial or celebratory has added great riches to
    my life.
  • Yes. The work done to build and sustain the
    Northern Womens Centre, and the subsequent
    numerous day to day successes of the Centre
    provide clear evidence of positive change in a
    difficult world, and of the importance and value
    of all effort to advance feminist knowledge and
    awareness. To the Northern Womens Centre on this
    important anniversary, I send my congratulations,
    admiration, respect, and gratitude.

(No Transcript)
Theresa Healy
  • My connection to the Womens Centre has always
    been informal. I came to UNBC in 1994 as a
    faculty member with a brand new teaching load, so
    I didnt have a lot of time to volunteer with the
    Centre, although I always believed in it.
    Whenever there was a need for someone to speak
    for or support in some way I always believed it
    to be my foremost role as a women professor to
    support the Womens Centre.
  • I feel very strongly about this, I do not want
    this history lost. Every fall there was always
    controversy about the Womens Centres very
    existence and the attempt to take away the space
    the Centre occupies. Every year there would be
    something written in the student newspaper or
    some desire to take the space away. After all, we
    didnt have a Mens Centre, so why should we
    privilege female students with a Womens Centre?
    There were women faculty that were prepared to
    speak up very candidly that the University campus
    was not necessarily a safe place for female
    students and we needed the Womens Centre. Women
    on campus have a need to feel safe physically and
    emotionally. In addition, women need something of
    their culture of being women recognized, and this
    was a fierce battle every fall. I remember being
    so frustrated that once again it was the same
    issues. There would be new students coming up
    through the undergrad society and not
    understanding the importance of the Womens
    Centre, so once again it would have to be
    explained all over again, and most often to male
    students. To me, it is a vitally important part
    of history I do not want lost.
  • I also want to acknowledge Dr. Jago, who was the
    President and started at roughly the same time I
    started. He would come and speak at events like
    the December 6th memorial, and other events that
    the Womens Centre organized. I would also like
    to acknowledge Dr. David Delmare, a history
    professor, who produced a book on the history of
    violence against women.

Theresa Healy
  • I am really discouraged that the Womens Centre
    has not grown in the last 15 years and that it is
    exactly the same size as the day I started. I
    find it a bit symbolic of how women are valued in
    our society, not to mention how they are valued
    within a university system.
  • I always participated in the December 6th
    memorial and International Womens Day, and have
    always made it a point to attend the December 6th
    memorial. I was studying at the University of
    Saskatchewan when the attack happened. We held
    vigils very shortly after the massacre happened
    and people said we couldnt speak out, that we
    could get shot because no one knows how many
    other mad men are out there. I remember saying
    that we have to speak up, even though I was
    terrified to speak on the podium. I wondered if
    we too would be attacked and shot at, therefore,
    December 6th has always been important to me.
    Furthermore, one year the Womens Centre put body
    shapes in masking tape (if you only knew the
    trouble we went through with the University), but
    it is important to do these very creative and
    impactful things as a way of reminding people
    about the 14 young women that died when they
    shouldnt have, for the simple reason that they
    wanted to be in a university class room. For many
    years I was a speaker and have written poems,
    each year. I try and do a different poem to speak
    to the importance of taking this time, and that
    he this lunatic, this misogynist - wouldnt

Theresa Healy
  • There are smaller things I have done for the
    Centre over the years, such as donating a
    beautiful piece of art to the Centre. I have
    always collected the toiletries from hotel rooms
    and bring a big bag of those to the Centre. I had
    been told there are some women living in
    residence that do not feel safe, so they spend
    the night in the Womens Centre. I feel that by
    bringing those types of things into the Centre it
    helps support them in having a safe space to go.
    We have held fashion shows, brought books, and
    donated books. A year or two ago we even created
    a pot of money for single moms who could not
    afford to feed their children I would donate
    100 and would challenge my female colleagues to
    donate money. We also did a mentorship project
    where we matched a person that was more
    experienced in issues surrounding feminism with
    someone who was a feminist and eager to learn.
    Overall I did lots of things over the years so
    the Womens Centre could continue to help support

Theresa Healy
  • If I could be a fairy-god-mother there would be
    three wishes I would wish. One, that there would
    be a bigger space and that it would include a
    shower, laundry facilities, lockers, and a quite
    rest room with a comfortable couch and dim
    lighting that any women could access - I feel
    that right now the Womens Centre is a hive of
    energy and ideas. Two, I would like to see the
    University actually make that happen and commit
    publicly and vocally to give those resources, and
    ensure we have paid staff. Also, to make it
    possible for female students to access things
    like an emergency childcare fund, an emergency
    food fund, an emergency book fund, and help
    remove some of those obstacles in order to gain
    an education. Men can go and work a construction
    job all summer and make really good money. What
    options do women have to support themselves? The
    Womens Centre could help reduce some of those
    barriers for women. My third wish would be to see
    the Womens Centre more active in Northern BC
    womens issues. It is called the Northern Womens
    Centre, yet it does a lot more than many other
    Womens Centres in the community, but overall I
    would love to see the Womens Centre be more
    active within the community.

Theresa Healy
  • I am still a very strong feminist, and a lot of
    my work involves ensuring that gender issues are
    addressed. Not just work involving women, but
    complicating gender issues to understand, such
    as, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer,
    questioning, poor, and Aboriginal issues. Women
    suffer double and triple jeopardy because of
    other circumstances in their lives therefore, a
    lot of my work is really focusing on the
    marginalized not just women. I think that I am
    still doing a lot of feminist work, and I have my
    first book of poetry coming out this fall. I have
    always contributed financially, emotionally,
    practically, and in as many ways as I can. I
    always offer mentorship, for example, when I
    teach a class I try to make sure that my feminism
    isnt something that is just a philosophical
    theory, its how we make sure women are given this
    hand to bridge into this world in a good way.
  • I think that the Northern Womens Centre is a
    magnet that seems to draw the feistiest, the most
    interesting, and the most politically aware women
    into its fold, but mostly women that need help.
    It is interesting when women go to the Centre
    because they need assistance, not because of a
    feminist impulse, and then they learn what actual
    sisterhood is about, what being a feminist, and
    being a woman in our society is about, and one of
    those things is learning to help each other out.

(No Transcript)
Tammy Skomorowski
  • I was involved with the Womens Centre between
    the years of 1995 1998. At that time, the buses
    ran once every half hour and it would take me two
    buses to get home. I would stay in the library
    until 1100pm but the last bus left at 900pm, so
    I would sleep in the Womens Centre. The Womens
    Centre is close to security and I knew I could
    lock the door and be safe, as well as heat up my
    lunches, or just hang out. That is mostly how I
    used the Womens Centre while I was a student,
    and later as a referral agency because I wanted
    to do a work placement. I started asking where I
    could locate placements in the community with my
    degree in M.Ed.
  • In 2004, I came back to the University as a
    staff member. I was working in the medical
    program, as the Student Affairs Officer, so I was
    involved with the Womens Centre in terms of
    knowing what the Centre offered and how it could
    benefit students in the medical program. In 2005,
    I started in the Counselling Centre at the
    University and began doing the volunteer training
    for the Womens Centre, this included, creating
    the communication skills and crisis response
    training every semester. I used some of the
    previous material and some material from Sarah
    and combined these along with my own materials to
    create the training program that is still
    currently being used. I am currently involved in
    womens issues through my work as an
    assertiveness workshop facilitator for the Salmon
    Valley Womens Festival and my role as a
    counsellor at the College of New Caledonia

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Kerri Fisher
  • I got involved with the Northern Womens Centre
    in 1995 in order to meet people. I began planning
    and attending events, then joined some of the
    committees. I helped organize International
    Womens Day, Take Back The Night, and the
    December 6th Memorial. For Take Back The Night, I
    acted as an assistant, making posters and getting
    people out to the event. For December 6th, I did
    quite a bit of organizing in 1996 and 1997. We
    did tape outlines of each of the women that had
    been murdered, then put their names inside them
    and put those around campus. That caused quite a
    stir and was one of the more controversial and
    political things the Centre did. I think it
    raised a lot of awareness, but caused a lot of
    problems for us at the same time. I was involved
    with the Womens Centre for three years and still
    have friends that I had made at the Centre. For
    the future of the Womens Centre, I hope that the
    Centre continues to get funding and continues to
    be a social and political voice for not only the
    university but for the community in general. As
    far as how the Centre influenced my life, it was
    my first real exposure to feminism and other
    women with feminist ideas. It was a nice way for
    me to get exposure to other feminists around my
  • It was lots of fun. It wasnt just a political
    Centre for us - it was a really fun, social
    Centre for potlucks and rest. If you didnt feel
    well the couch was there to relax on if you
    couldnt make it all the way home. When we hired
    the first coordinator, we wanted the best person
    for the position. The members of the Centre had
    never hired anyone before so it took us 5 or 6
    hours of communal conversation to reach any kind
    of decision. We had some really good times in
    those early years.
  • I was the supporter to get things moving.

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Tobi Araki
  • I was the Coordinator for most of the Winter
    96/Spring 97 Year, and then was integrally
    involved with various events and activities until
    2000. Take Back The Night, Jezebels,
    International Womens Day, December 6th mourning
    ceremonies, etc. I organized the first major
    International Women's Day fair at UNBC we
    brought in a keynote speaker that year from
    Georgia Tech U to speak on Women's issues in
    Science. Also participation and performance at
    the December 6th Vigil with Elizabeth Fry Society
    and many, many other events such as Violence
    Against Women (VAW) week, as well as organized
    with other women the first annual Jezebel's Jam,
    and integrated work with PGPIRG by starting the
    food co-op, we had a second hand "trade" box to
    help students in need. I was part of starting
    many other programs such as self defense and
    psychological self defense classes, I cannot
    remember everything, but there were fundraisers,
    poetry nights, women's retreats at Purden Lake,
    women's art projects (some of which are still
    hanging on the wall). I am currently a regular
    member with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police,
    posted in Prince George. I continue to do work
    with AWAC (An Association Advocating for Women
    Children), and I am currently work with at risk
    youth and run a program that deters consumers
    involved in the sex trade (johns). I am also a
    member of Community Against Sexual Exploitation
    of Youth (CASEY).

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Alex Vlaszaty-Zaiser
  • I became involved with NWC in 1996, and quickly
    developed -Boost,? a Feminist Zine that we handed
    out throughout the campus. Shortly after I was
    part of the collective but also brought a large
    element of art to the new campus.
  • I named the music festival Jezebel's Jam after
    the same concept of Lilith Fair. We wanted to
    reclaim a name from patriarchal rule and share
    the truth about Jezebel . . . a goddess worshiper
    who was persecuted and misrepresented in the mass
    society. We began Jezebel's Jam in 2000, and I
    helped with all the advertising, door prizes, and
    decorated all the posters. I also participated in
    Take Back The Night in 1996, as a guest speaker.
    My art is on the walls of the Centre, as is the
    belly of my amazing son, Escher Skye, who I
    became pregnant with my last year at UNBC in
  • I hope for a strong future for the NWC and I
    would like to see something done to remember the
    amazing and terribly missed Marika Ainley. Her
    energy and power lives on within those of us
    lucky enough to be her warriors. She was a
    driving force for the NWC and on campus for all
    women - I miss her dearly.
  • I have worked in the transition house system,
    and done my own art shows questioning the image
    of women in society. I continue to create a realm
    of sisterhood in my life, and remind women to
    work together, as so much in society teaches us
    to divide forces. I am an everyday Feminist or
    Feminasty, as Emily Hansen and I call ourselves!
    I currently work with punk and metal bands in
    Victoria and have created a sponsorship program
    to help with merchandise and gigs for local
    Victoria talent.
  • The Centre is where I met the women I call my
    closest friends. It is where I felt safe on
    campus to voice my opinions and question the
    world around me. I would not be who I am today
    without the NWC, the place I called home and the
    women I am still lucky enough to call my sisters.

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Miriam Hughes (Mim)
  • I started my Womens Studies degree in September
    of 1996 at UNBC. I got involved with the Womens
    Centre through the doing of my degree. That was
    the beginning of my involvement with the Centre.
    I was the summer Centre coordinator from May 2000
    to September of 2000. This was during the very
    end of my degree (which I finished at the end of
    August 2000).
  • I participated in Take Back the Night, (Jezebels,
    IWD these two Im fairly sure I was involved in)
    December 6th mourning ceremonies etc. During my
    term as summer coordinator the Centre was going
    through a bit of funding uncertainty as well as
    changes to the demographics of the Centre. UNBC
    was established in 1994 and by 2000 many of the
    founding members of the Centre had graduated or
    left UNBC and the Centre was in need of a new
    influx of incoming women to pick up the mandate
    of the Centre. The Centre had always been
    determinedly feminist in its ideological origins
    and this did not always sit comfortably with some
    members of the student body and some members of
    academic staff as well. Im glad to see that the
    Centre is still active at UNBC and in the North.
    That it remains true to its original origins, a
    centre for women, by women that are primarily
    interested and involved in advancing womens
    goals and interests both at UNBC and in the
    greater Northern community. There is a tendency
    to water down feminism and feminist goals and
    ideals which I think is ultimately detrimental to
    women. One of the reasons the Centre was so
    helpful for me, both as a student and as a woman
    was because of its commitment to the feminist
    ideals of advancement for women first and

Miriam Hughes (Mim)
  • I currently work in disaster management and
    public education research at Massey University in
    New Zealand. Within my research is an implicit
    understanding that womens needs and experiences
    during a disaster are different from those of men
    and that a specific set of resources are needed
    to address those needs. I also lecture in
    sociology. All of my work in teaching and in
    research is woven with, spoken with and written
    with that feminist consciousness that I gained
    through my study and association with the Womens
    Centre at UNBC. It has become my natural way of
    thinking. I am also Vice President of the
    National Council of Women, New Zealand (Wairarapa
  • How did the Centre influence my life? I went to
    the Centre every single day during my time at
    UNBC (1996-2000). It became like a second living
    room in the best sense of the word. I felt
    welcome and supported, I made some very good
    friends as well, that I still keep in touch with.
    At that time, I was married to my first husband
    and had young children. The Womens Centre
    provided me with what was really the first space
    Id ever had in my life to figure out who I was
    and what my place in the world might be, aside
    from my roles as wife and mother.

Miriam Hughes (Mim)
  • The importance of the Centre for me as a woman
    and as a scholar cannot be over-emphasised. Id
    been raised a Jehovahs Witness, gotten married
    quite young (to a non JW) and had four children
    by the time I was 28. I started my degree shortly
    before I turned 31 after leaving the Witness
    faith. It opened up a whole new world for me as a
    person and in particular as a woman. I had a lot
    of ground to make up as there were huge gaps in
    both my formal and life experiences education. I
    did a lot of my studying in the Centre during
    quiet periods and would come up on the weekends
    to use the space as a quiet study area as well.
    My marriage was at times very rocky, particularly
    as my feminist consciousness developed (going
    from zero to 100 very quickly LOL) and the Centre
    provided me with a clear space to think, work and
    just exist in. There were some fantastic women
    involved with the Centre who really helped me on
    the wayIm eternally grateful to them all and I
    now try to return the favour to other women
    whenever I can.
  • The Womens Centre was pivotal in my journey to
    my doctoral degree and the life I live now. Being
    able to meet women who, like me, were pursuing
    degrees with children to care for and other life
    challenges gave me a lot of comfort and
    confidence. It allowed me to develop faith in
    myself and my abilities through the provision of
    a space for women that while not without its
    politics strives to be supportive and inclusive.
  • I worked very hard in my degree to obtain the
    grades I did but just as importantly I had
    phenomenal support from academics working at that
    time in the womens studies program at UNBC. Dr
    Joanne Fiske, Dr Suzanne LeBlanc, and others
    provided me with a really solid foundation (as
    well as a huge pile of written recommendations)
    from which to apply for an international
    scholarship with which to pursue my PhD in
    Australia immediately following the completion of
    my Bachelors degree. I was ultimately successful
    in my scholarship bid and successfully completed
    my PhD in 2006. Having the Centre as a place to
    study, think and talk to other women during this
    journey was hugely important.

Miriam Hughes (Mim)
  • All of these experiences have helped shape the
    academic, feminist and whole person I have
    become. When I look back that -Mim? (which is
    what Im known as to friends and family and
    during my time at UNBC) seems almost like another
    person. I do work that I love, and I am able to
    understand how and why women function and are
    positioned in the world the way they are and I
    incorporate these understandings into my work
    every day. I feel well on my way to becoming the
    most self-actualised individual I can be. Im
    happily remarried (with this marriage bearing no
    resemblance to my first oneit is a very feminist
    marriage and Im learning from my mistakes (LOL),
    and my children are doing well. And I think that
    all of this has been influenced by my time at
    UNBC and by the friendships, learning, thinking,
    and just being that I was able to do within the
    walls of the Northern Womens Centre.
  • In New Zealand there is a Maori saying Kia Kaha
    stay strong. That is what I wish for the
    Centreto stay strong. As long as there are women
    living, working and striving in the North there
    will always be a need for a place like the
    Northern Womens Centre.

(No Transcript)
Emily Hansen
  • While enrolled in the Womens Studies program at
    UNBC, I met a lot of fabulous ladies involved in
    Womens Centre projects. With two of these women,
    Alex Vlaszaty and Jewelles Smith, I helped create
    from the ground-up and distribute for two years,
    what will always be known as Prince Georges most
    entertaining and offensive womens Zine, -Boost.?
  • Every month, Alex, Jewelles and I would get
    together with a huge bottle of wine, gathering
    the many submissions from both university
    students (male and female) and members of the
    Prince George community. We would then cut and
    paste the magazine together and send it to print
    the next day. Boost included -sex poetry?,
    regular poetry (but not much), interviews, random
    rants, paintings, and drawings, which people
    either loved or hated. We were interviewed by the
    newspaper, and people regularly wrote to the
    paper saying that they thought the magazine was a
    fun and interesting expression of womens lives,
    or that it was a complete piece of trash, not fit
    to line a garbage bin with total uproar. At
    times, even the women who put together the
    magazine (Im not going to lie) also got into
    massive squabbles, which contributed to the
    diversity and general flavor of Boost, but also
    led to its demise (however, some of us are still
    friends almost ten years later!).
  • Yes, may it still exist to support the
    empowerment of women, and may it also support the
    energizing level of radicalism, which helped
    Boost to become as popular as it was for two
    years. In my time at UNBC, I think that the
    Womens Centre at times had tried too hard to
    -people please,? either because funding was at
    stake (constantly an issue throughout my time
    there) or because some women wanted the -image?
    of the Womens

Emily Hansen
  • Centre to reflect the principles of liberal
    feminism (which, I have some respect for, but
    lets face it sometimes we need to up the ante a
    bit). As women, we need to understand that no
    peace comes without struggle, and if we have to
    kick, scream, and offend people sometimes, then
    thats fine. Lets keep asking for what we need
    as women.
  • I have been traveling for almost nine years in
    Asia and the Middle East, writing about my
    experiences and womens issues. I have published
    several travel articles on a site called Brave
    New Traveler and have chosen to focus on feminist
    issues for many of them. I also have a piece in a
    book in India about what it was like to live in a
    small town in the Himalayas as a foreign woman
    for nearly two years. Now I am in Turkey and I
    see a lot of similarities between my culture and
    the Turkish culture as it pertains to women. I
    also realized that they suffer certain
    inequities, simply because they are Turkish
    women. I found there to be lots of overlap in
    oppression, as well as differences between the
    two cultures. I also wore an abaya in Saudi, and
    what an experience that was. I liked that my body
    shape was not in constant focus like it was in
    the West, but at the same time, I felt an
    incredible outrage against the whole general
    concept, which is still something I would like to
    write about. The Womens Centre and the Womens
    Studies program at UNBC has definitely helped me
    to integrate the information and experience of
    traveling, and also relating to the problem of
    womens oppression which exists everywhere.

Emily Hansen
  • In the words of filmmaker Trinh Minh-Ha, -The
    world is round and blue, like an orange.? Debate
    and diversity are power. May the Womens Centre
    have the support it needs to exist as a
    multi-layered and functioning network of super
    cool women dedicated to making life more
    interesting and freer for women in the Prince
    George community and beyond.

(No Transcript)
Jenny Biem
  • I think I was on the board for a little while
    it has been a long time, but I might have helped
    with the incorporation of the society. When the
    Centre was first opened, I was pretty involved in
    the debate over whether or not it should be a
    womens only space (hoping it still is a womens
    only!) I participated in Take Back The Night,
    December 6th and International Womens Day (IWD)
    events. When I was pregnant I participated in a
    pretty fun pro-choice rally with a shaved head
    and a huge belly, I also donated some books to
    the library when I left town. I think Jezebels
    Jam was after my time. . .
  • Im raising a girl on my own we talk about
    feminist values, power in society, race and
    sexuality, etc. I have been marginally involved
    with efforts to maintain funding for the girls
    alternative program here in Victoria, which
    provides support for teenage moms to finish high
    school. While doing my law degree at UBC, I would
    hassle pro-life demonstrators at UBC whenever
    they showed up on campus. Now, I am mainly a

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Jessica Madrid
  • I first began to use the services of the NWC in
    my first year of university (1999/2000) and
    shortly thereafter, was recruited onto the
    Collective by Suzie, the coordinator at the time.
    I served as a board member for a one-year term in
    2002 and then resumed my involvement as a
    Collective member until 2006 (when I ceased being
    a student at UNBC). As a PGP!RG board director, I
    also worked closely with the NWC on joint events
    surrounding social justice, feminism, and womens
  • During this time, I participated in the
    organization/implementation of several
    fundraising/awareness events (both on campus and
    off), such as Take Back The Night, International
    Womens Day, the December 6th Vigil, and
    Jezebels Jam. Joint PGP!RG/NWC events included
    workshops on womens health (i.e. Scarlet Tide
    Brigade Menstrual/Reproductive Health Activism)
    and anti-fashion shows. During the early time
    that I was involved with the Centre, there was
    much tension surrounding the funding of the
    Centre by NUGSS. Therefore, a big part of my NWC
    activities involved rallying and lobbying for
    sustainable funding.
  • I wish the Centre were more accessible to the
    community at large (this has evidently been an
    ongoing theme with the NWC). I also wish that the
    Centre had a stronger 3rd wave feminist vibe
    more acceptance of gender fluidity (which I know
    can challenge the concept of -womens only?
    space), sex positivism, DIY culture, etc

Jessica Madrid
  • I am a Public Health Nurse (RN) who works
    primarily with women (i.e. perinatal health,
    womens centered healthcare). Although I havent
    had much involvement with the NWC since leaving
    UNBC, I credit the Centre (and especially its
    early coordinators/Collective members, many of
    whom were amazing hardcore womyn) for
    enlightening me to the feminist movement and
    related activism. I made several long-lasting
    friendships and learned many practical skills in
    working with Not For Profit (NFP) societies (i.e.
    event planning, working on/with a board of
    directors/collective members, etc.).
  • The NWC was a huge part of my early university
    experience. I am eternally thankful to the
    amazing women who fought to keep the Centre alive
    during a time of great uncertainty. I am also
    grateful to the powerful women who mentored me
    during this time and who challenged me to
    critically think about the status of women on
    campus, in our community, in the world at large,
    and historically.

(No Transcript)
Dawn Hemingway
  • I have been a member of and advocate for the
    Northern Womens Centre for the
  • past 15 years in the early days as a student
    and since 2000 as a faculty member. Womens
    roles, situations, and contributions to society
    have always been on my mind as early as I can
    remember. I can still see clear as a bell - the
    debate topic I proposed in elementary school -
    Why a womens place is NOT in the home. The
    Womens Centre, other organizations and work
    relating to womens emancipation are also linked
    in my memory and in herstory to the second wave
    of feminism. In the 1960s, I was involved with
    and started the first Womens Liberation
    organization in Vancouver at SFU the Feminist
    Action League and later the Vancouver Womens
    Caucus and organized the Abortion Caravan
    Across Canada to get abortion out of the criminal
    code. We chained ourselves to the seats in the
    visitors gallery of the federal parliament
    forcing parliament to shut down for the first
    time ever. I also staged sit-ins with women at
    the Raymar housing project in Vancouver who were
    losing their children in the 60s scoop.
  • Working with NWC, Women North Network/Northern
    FIRE, Womens/Gender Studies in a variety of
    capacities, is a natural extension of my
    involvements since childhood. I am an advocate
    for the centrality of/necessity for the
    emancipation of women and for issues facing women
    to be a cornerstone of the work/life at UNBC and
    beyond. For many years, I have worked to bring
    local and regional women and womens
    organizations together in collaboration to
    address issues for women living in poverty, older
    women (were all aging), and women with
    disabilities. Through WNN/Northern FIRE and the
    UNBC School of Social Work, I facilitated
    partnerships with the NWC in addressing womens
    issues in Northern BC conferences, workshops
    and social action. I have supported funding/grant
    initiatives wrote letters of support to the
    university and others as needed. I regularly
    disseminate information about the work of the NWC
    via Social Work networks, WNN/Northern FIRE,
    Stand up for the North and Northern Womens
    Forum/Active Voice Coalition and other
    connections across the North.

Dawn Hemingway
  • I have been involved as an organizer/participant
    in multiple events such as International Womens
    Day/Week. I participated in organizing and
    disseminating information about IWD both on and
    off campus and was also speaker at some of these
    events. I have spoken at several December 6th
    events, specifically regarding poverty and
    violence and encouraging participation in the
    Chili Blanket (anti-poverty) event organized by
    the Northern Womens Forum/Active Voice Boom,
    Bust Beyond- Women and the Mountain Pine Beetle
    Project (2009) I was a member of the organizing
    committee and speaker at the Conference. I was
    also invited to speak about the conference
    proceedings and impacts at public meetings in
    Prince George and Fort St James as well as at a
    provincial rural network meeting in Vancouver.
    The School of Social Work was a co-sponsor as was
    Women North Network, Northern Womens
    Forum/Active Voice and Stand Up for the North. I
    have also been involved with the (In)visibility
    Conference Giving Women a Voice (2007). Through
    my role with various organizations, I have
    assisted in locating resources for the NWC
    e.g., from the School of Social Work, Northern
    Womens Forum/Active Voice Coalition, and Stand
    Up for the North. As well, I always bring baking
    for bake sales (although I dont bake!) and have
    often purchased

Dawn Hemingway
  • tickets for other women to attend Jezebels Jam
    when I couldnt attend myself. I have also helped
    with practicum placements my commitment to the
    value of the learning opportunities provided
    through the Centre and its projects is also
    reflected in advocating/supporting the
    development of social work student practicum
    placements at the NWC.
  • An overarching aspiration I have for the NWC is
    to see an end to short-term, uncertain, limited,
    project-based funding. That the Centre is able
    secure base funding that is adequate and ongoing
    and that reflects the necessity for and quality
    of its work. In a broader, long range sense, in
    partnership with the NWC and other organizations,
    I hope and work toward the day when society
    recognizes womens equality in both words and
    deeds. Such that womens centres become places
    primarily focused on recognizing, strengthening
    and celebrating the role of women in a society.
    In which not only women, but all people facing
    oppression and exploitation, are emancipated and
    conditions are created for all to be full
    contributing members of a new society

Dawn Hemingway
  • In my multiple roles at the university and in
    the community, a central focus of my
  • involvements is to bring women and womens
    organizations together and to inspire
    collaboration to create change. Some examples
    include the following activities. Women North
    Network/Northern FIRE Chaired the leadership
    team and research project that initiated the
    Women North Network a primarily web-based
    network of more than 300 northern women who share
    information undertake community-based research
    and policy development social action campaigns
    (e.g., mobilization against the 2 year rule for
    obtaining welfare benefits cuts to womens
    programs/funding and government -review? of the
    disability benefits process) and work together
    toward social justice for women for our children
    and for our communities. As steering committee
    member, Chair and Centre Director, I worked to
    ensure the sustainability and development of
    Northern FIRE the Centre for Womens Health
    Research at UNBC Northern Womens Forum. One of
    the organizers and founding members of the
    Northern Womens Forum Against Poverty and Social
    Injustice which brought women and womens
    organizations together from across the north and
    resulted in the establishment of Northern Womens
    Forum as part of the Active Voice Community
    Coalition. Most well known ongoing work of the
    Northern Womens Forum is the Chili Blanket
    Anti-Poverty Event held every December, but we
    organized other demonstrations, rallies and
    meetings over the years (e.g., against the cuts
    to womens programming, health care, welfare,

Dawn Hemingway
  • I am also a founding board member of the
    Northern Womens Wellness Information Centre
    (NWWIC). Like the Women North Network, NWWIC grew
    out of a Northern FIRE community-based project
    and the work of a social work practicum student.
    Dancing in the No-Fly Zone A Womens Journey
    Through Iraq and speaking tour of Hadani
    Dittmars. Along with the Northern Womens Forum,
    Active Voice, Womens/Gender Studies, School of
    Social Work and others, initiated an
    International Womens Day 2006 speaking
    engagement for Hadani Dittmars both on and off
    campus. As part of my leadership role with the
    WNN/Northern Fire, examples of other initiatives
    include In partnership with the Canadian
    Research Institute for the Advancement of Women
    (CRIAW), organized and co-facilitated a workshop
    on Participatory Action Research (2003) In
    partnership with CRIAW, organized and facilitated
    the Intersectional Feminist Frameworks for
    Research Workshop (2007). Through collaboration
    with the Quesnel Womens Centre helped organize
    and presented at the Connecting Northern Women
    Northern Womens Conference (2009) in Quesnel
    working with the Prince George and District
    Labour Council Womens organization and community
    womens groups. I have helped to organize and
    have been invited to speak at the annual IWD

Dawn Hemingway
  • I am also a long time member of the board of
    AWAC (Association Advocating for Women and
    Children) and Surpassing our Survival (formerly
    Sexual Assault Centre) working on a whole range
    of projects, actions, funding raising, policy
    issues, etc. with and within these organizations.
    At different times over the years, participant,
    organizer and/or speaker at Take Back the Night
    I was part of the steering committee member and
    organizer with the Community Response Network
    addressing elder abuse issues. I am also a
    Provincial advisory and oversight committee for
    the Womens Health Research Network I have helped
    initiate and provide leadership to multiple
    PAR/community based research studies focused on
    the rights, needs and experiences of women all
    within the framework of Women North
    Network/Northern FIRE. I wrote or co-wrote
    related articles, reports, policy statements,
    leaflets, and organizing, etc.

Dawn Hemingway
  • It was a challenge to try and capture 15 years
    of involvements of necessity, its only a
    partial picture. Although I have focused mostly
    on more recent years, reflecting back on many
    years of work made me realize just how much has
    been accomplished in such a short period of time
    (historically speaking - 15 years is brief) - and
    how much more there is to tell (and still to
    do!). So much collective work is yet to b
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