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Bibiane Courtois

Bibiane Courtois
Roberval, QC
Nominated by: Récif 02 – Table de concertation des groupes de femmes Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean

This remarkable and warm woman distinguished herself in the nursing profession by developing and applying health programs adapted to the needs of indigenous communities. In 1998, the Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec honoured her with its highest honour, the Insigne du mérite. Bibiane was the first indigenous woman to hold a seat on the Human Rights Commission and on the Conseil du statut de la femme (council on the status of women). Her determination and leadership as president of Quebec Native Women Inc drove the actions that led to the amendment of the Indian Act (Bill C-31). Over the following two years, she continued to make the voices of indigenous women heard at Constitutional Conferences of First Ministers, seeking a guarantee of gender equality in future indigenous governments. In 2003, Bibiane changed career paths, becoming the director of the Musée amérindien de Mashteuiatsh, in her hometown. She has been retired since 2007, but continues to work with her Nation to reappropriate cultural objects that are presently owned by museums across the world. She is also part of a team of experts working with the Chicago Museum.