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Advocacy: Local and Beyond

Katie Sanderson, Elsie Yanik, Nancy Wood Woodward, Bertha Clark-Jones and Dorothy McDonald provided essential programming to the Nistawoyou Association Friendship Centre. They also focused their discussions on the adverse changes affecting Indigenous women at regular meetings.


A black and white portrait of a young Dorothy McDonald with a headband around the top of her forehead with black short hair coming down, wearing a traditional dress looking straight ahead.

Young Dorothy in the mid-1960s, Fort McMurray.


They not only advocated locally but also provincially and rallied support to challenge the negative consequences of changes to their status and their given rights by creating the Alberta Native Women Voices.

Coloured picture of group of women sitting in front of a white table looking straight ahead in front there is a banner that says Financial Education.

Residents gather for a financial literacy workshop for a women’s working group initiative in Fort McMurray, 2017.


Their work continued nationally and eventually turned the provincial organization into a national umbrella organization to further the cause of Indigenous women for equal rights in Canada. These women leaders are pioneers in advancing equal rights for women in Canada.

Six women dressed in traditional clothing smile at the camera.

Indigenous Princess Pageant in Fort McMurray during the Blueberry Festival, Fort McMurray, 1970.


The following images of articles and flyers demonstrate the community engagement for the Women of Nistawoyou showcased through the Wood Buffalo region.

Connect newspaper dated October 28, 2016 with the headline New Virtual Exhibit honours Aboriginal Women through History and black and white photo of a tipi with a womand two men standing in front of it surrounded by local advertisementA coloured flyer of pastel colour of pink, purple, bluish, green, yellowish with the following information Women working group presents Terry Garvin Photography on May 24, 2017.A coloured flyer of light blue, pink, yellowish background and writing that states Women of Nistawoyou Exhibit on April 24, 2017, at Composite High School.



A flyer with red and white color of ribbon that states: Women of Nistawoyou Virtual Exhibit.