Portrait of a leader: Edith Cloutier invited by “En Terre Indigène” in Paris
Val-d’Or and Wendake, December 11, 2019 – Edith Cloutier, executive director of the Val-d’Or Native Friendship Centre (VDNFC), has been invited by “En Terre Indigène” in Paris and will participate in a conference with “La voix des femmes autochtones”, this Wednesday, December 11.
Yesterday, for International Human Rights Day, the Fondation CHANEL organized an international conference on Indigenous Peoples, giving voice to three women leaders in their respective countries: Minarii Chantal Galenon (French Polynesia), Godeliève Mukasarei (Rwanda), and Edith Cloutier (Quebec). These three exceptional women were invited for their leadership and dedication in fundamental social and human battles that they represent.
Interviewed by French reporter Anne Pastor who was in Val-d’Or in August 2018, Edith Cloutier was chosen to be a part of a series of 10 video portraits about Indigenous women who make a difference in their sisters’ lives and who act as leaders in their communities. The video portraits recorded are in the form of an exhibition on a virtual platform presented by “La voix des femmes autochtones”. Mrs. Cloutier’s portrait, unveiled today, will soon be available online at http://femmesautochtones.com/ In the meantime, a foretaste is already available on the organization’s Facebook page: En Terre Indigène.
Tanya Sirois, executive director of the Regroupement des Centres d’amitié autochtone du Québec (RCAAQ) is also attending these conferences. “Edith is an authentic feminine Indigenous model in Quebec society. The invitation she received to discuss various aspects of Indigenous realities is an acknowledgement of her expertise and all the work accomplished during the course of her career in defending the rights of Indigenous women, as well as her contribution to the Native Friendship Centre Movement”, states the RCAAQ executive director.
Oscar Kistabish, president of the Val-d’Or Native Friendship Centre, says he is “very proud to see their director’s work being recognized internationally, and especially her dedication and solidarity for the well-being of our Indigenous sisters and the defence of their rights.” The president also wanted to mention “the director’s courage, much like that of the Indigenous women in Val-d’Or, in remaining steadfast against the odds to build a better future for Indigenous women and girls”.
Edith Cloutier and Tanya Sirois also participated in various events and meetings between 9 and 11 December as part of their official visit to France.
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