Earlier this week Leslee White-Eye became chief of the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, the first female chief of the band in more than 60 years.
“Her success is our success,” says Isadore Day, Ontario regional chief. He cites the Indian Act laws, which prohibited women from voting or running in elections until 1951, as a digression for the First Nations community.
It wasn’t until Bill C-31, which amended the Indian Act in 1985, that things started to noticeably change.
“It’s taken us a few years to get us here,” he says. “We’re now seeing not just more women in leadership roles, but the quality women bring to the First Nations is quite evident across the country.”
White-Eye agrees. She says she wonders about “what’s in the water” when it comes to women in political leadership roles in the First Nations community. There are about 130 female chiefs across the country, compared to 10 in 1960.
“Our women have always been leaders,” she says.
When it comes to addressing her platform,Read More »from Leslee White-Eye joins growing roster of female First Nations chiefs