Thursday, February 12, 2009


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


The Vancouver Women's Political Campaign School which will be held from March 27-29 and which Oldtown News promoted has just released its speakers list.

Shocking that even though this is 2009 and we will be inviting the world in 2010 for the Olympic Games and yet the Vancouver Campaign School has for some reason not invited anyone who hails from Vancouver's vibrant multi-cultural communities to speak at the School.

The names are so similar. Davies, Priddy, Reimer, Collins, Young etc etc. These women are all white women yet we have had many successful women who have been elected to political office who hail from Aboriginal, Indigenous and multi-cultural communities.

In fact, many Band Chiefs and Councillors have been elected to their respective political office. Local women leaders include Wendy Grant-John and Gail Sparrow of the Musqueam Band who served as Chiefs and represented their people on the national stage. Joan Phillip has been a longtime Band Councillor of the Pentiction Indian Band and there are many others.

Completely overlooked is Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, an Aboriginal leader who is the appointed child and youth representative of British Columbia and I would think children and youth issues to be at the top of the agenda for many female politicians.

Another woman who would have been a great speakers of course is the beloved Dr Hedy Fry whho is a mentor to many multi-cultural women

Locally, we have elected many respected African American and Canadian women leaders including the late Rosemary Brown, Sadie Kuehn and just last year electing Constance Barnes.

Asian women have been elected and that list includes our first Chinese Canadian Woman Jenny Kwan ever elected to the provincial legislature. Local leader, Shirley Chan served in a prominent position as Chief-of-Staff to Vancouver Mayor Mike Harcourt.

While the names mentioned above are just a small sampling of successful female leaders there are many others and so it seems like a slap-in-the-face that the Women's Campaign School has chosen not to have one speaker presenting at the school on March 27-29 who hails from a multi-cultural community.

It also seems a shame that in this day and age where so many of us are fighting for equality rights and an equality-seeking women's political organization would overlook the necessity of having multi-cultural voices speaking out on political leadership.

Sadly, young women who live in Aboriginal or Indigenous communities if attending the school would see that the door still hasn't opened far enough allowing many very capable female leaders to step through.

Shame on Women's campaign School.

Jamie Lee Hamilton