Nominated by: West Central Women’s Resource Centre
Jolene is a strong Indigenous mother and grandmother. She is a water carrier and protector. She is a trauma survivor and has experienced poverty and homelessness first hand. After the loss of her 16-year-old daughter to suicide, Jolene took up the challenge to change her life for the better and found all the strength that she needed inside of herself. She joined a group of other women in a program called Mothers Standing Strong and began to gain confidence in herself. She followed that with a program called Women Empowering Women Into Leadership (WE-WIL) and learned to accept the opportunity that she was being given to be a leader in her community. She threw herself into a number of activities and since then has been coordinating the Dancing Spirit Drum Group and an Indigenous Beading Circle. She is a volunteer in her community at Winnipeg Harvest and sits on Make Poverty History’s Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Committee. She co-facilitates a cross-cultural parenting program that is working to build bridges between the Indigenous and newcomer communities.