Local Wolastoq artist Susan Sacobie created a piece of art to represent the Looking Out For Each Other project. She says:“This painting is for the missing and murdered Wolastoqiyik & Mi’kmak women that were almost forgotten. The five women in this piece represent knowledge, faith, wisdom, justice and peace. They are wearing our traditional peaked hats decorated with the double curve motifs. The wampum belt on the bottom is our promise to each woman that their lives will be remembered, celebrated, honoured. The wampum belt is also a promise to each Native woman that we have to rebuild our matriarchal standing within each of our families & communities. We must humble ourselves and learn and teach one another about who we are, where we come from and to not be silent and share our individual stories so we can empower our sisters, stay connected and strong and in turn we keep our families and communities strong. Their connecting shields are protecting us and reminding each of us that it is an obligation and a privilege to guard one another because we are all connected. As mothers and daughters, the living as well as the women who crossed the rainbow bridge we have to tell ourselves and each other our lives matter, we are important and we have to love and respect each other unconditionally and stand together.” These words and the voices of Indigenous women will continue to guide the project.
Barry LaBillois is of Mi’kmaq descent who continues to live on his Traditional and Ancestral homeland outside of the reserve system created by the Indian Act. As a lifetime supporter of the off-reserve Aboriginal peoples, he has dedicated his time and effort in one way or another to the New Brunswick Aboriginal Peoples Council. LaBillois has worked with the New Brunswick Aboriginal Peoples Council at many different levels and capacity. LaBillois has worked at the local level, with the Board of Directors, the Membership Committee and committees at the National level. In spirit of his work and dedication to the Council, LaBillois was given the distinction of being voted in as a Lifetime Member in the summer of 2016. Beyond his work with the council, he was also the Treaty Implementation Management Beneficiary Entitlement Regime Program manager (TIMBER), and worked alongside the Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy Program. Barry LaBillois is looking forward to working for the off-reserve Aboriginal Peoples, and will bring your issues and concerns forward to all levels of government.
My name is Elizabeth Blaney. I live in Wolastoqiyik Territory, along the beautiful Wolastoq on the East coast. I am currently the senior advisor on MMIWG with the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples. Before coming to CAP, I was the Director of Administration & Program Development at the New Brunswick Aboriginal Peoples Council, a CAP PTO. My work to address violence against Indigenous women and girls includes participating in the institutional hearings of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, sitting on the New Brunswick Advisory Committee on Violence against Wabanaki Women, and co-developing the Looking Out for Each Other project. Through my work and personal endeavours, I strive to help and effect change and honour the responsibilities I have been given.
Dr. Jula Hughes
Dr. Jula Hughes is the Dean of Law at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University. She is the recipient of multiple research grants, has published extensively in Canadian and international journals, has contributed chapters to various selections of essays and is a regular speaker at international, national and regional conferences. Her research focuses on judicial ethics, particularly the law and practice of judicial disqualification, criminal law, particularly the application of criminal law to marginalized populations, and Aboriginal law, particularly the legal recognition of and provision of services to off-reserve and non-status Indigenous People. She is the principal investigator of the “Looking out for each other” project.
Michelle is the Project Manager on the Looking Out For Each Other project. She is a proud Aboriginal woman of Maliseet decent from the Wolastoqiyik Nation at Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation, NB). As a graduate from UNB Fredericton, Michelle has been involved with several Aboriginal organizations in various capacities and has served on the Board of Directors for some of these organizations, including the Atlantic Aboriginal Health Research Program and currently with Under One Sky Friendship Center.
As a mother of a young daughter herself, Michelle has a strong passion and deep commitment in advocating for women’s rights and equality, including being an active supporter of the Sisters in Spirit Movement. Through her endeavours Michelle strives to be an inspiration and positive role model for other minority women and youth.
“I am very honoured to be part of such a significant and vital project that will undoubtedly have a fundamental impact on several of the lives of the families, friends and communities of MMIWG2S.”