Our Mission is to catalyze opportunities and safe spaces for Wabanaki and Aboriginal
women to become lifelong learners in a non-political environment so that we can achieve our potential
in all our roles and relationships and in our chosen careers.
CAAW’s projects and work involve modeling, mentoring, research, learning processes and opportunities, such as workshops.
CAAW has worked with multiple funding partners, corporate sponsors and stakeholders to carry out its projects, and implements them using participatory approaches.
CAAW has also incorporated succession planning and inter-generational continuity into its approach with CAAW’s current leadership coming from younger women
who first participated in CAAW’s Clan Mothers of the Future project in 2000.
Past CAAW Projects
• Aboriginal Career Expo ’98 – CAAW was a member of the Expo’s organization committee and ensured the full participation of Aboriginal women at the Expo, held at the Wu Conference Centre at the University of New Brunswick. CAAW also ensured the recognition of Aboriginal women as equal partners in the ceremonial aspects of the Expo and encouraged Aboriginal young women to consider leadership, entrepreneurship and non-traditional careers.
• Voices/Choices, 1999 – CAAW delivered workshops to Aboriginal mothers and daughters in New Brunswick First Nation communities to increase a sense of “self”; look at issues related to life/education/career choices; and improve the quality of communication and sense of community and support among and between mothers and daughters. These activity based workshops were developed out of the national Stay in School initiative.
• Clan Mothers of the Future, 2000-2001 – CAAW brought young Aboriginal women from around the province together to share information on current issues in their lives and in the lives of their communities; determine the role they would play as Aboriginal leaders in the future; learn about Aboriginal women’s roles in Aboriginal societies in the past; and, develop strategies capacity building in the areas of leadership and policy development in First Nation communities and mainstream society in the long term.
• Aboriginal Women’s Gatherings, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2007 – based on the recommendation of the young women leaders in Clan Mothers of the Future, CAAW designed a series of Aboriginal women’s gatherings that incorporated culture, traditional teachings and contemporary knowledge and skills. Each gathering built upon the last, with repeat participants deepening their understanding and learning of options and possibilities for their own lives.
The longer term impacts and benefits of these gatherings continue to be witnessed in First Nation communities in New Brunswick, e.g.:
• Several women participants who attended these gatherings continue to use them as a model to organize similar local gatherings in their communities to support women
• Participants reported that they have used the professional skills gained at these gatherings in their communities to network more effectively, collaborate with others, prepare grant proposals, develop more focused personal and professional goals. Some have continued on to become Directors of various departments in their own communities or play informal and formal leadership roles.
• Gathering Voices, 2004 – 2008 – this project was a multi-year, participatory action research process with Wabanaki and Aboriginal women in New Brunswick to identify:
•Needs and priorities;
•Successful strategies and lessons learned to date;
•Future strategies to build leadership and collective skills for improving the social, cultural and economic conditions of their communities.
• Sharing Strengths, 2010-2012 – the project further developed leadership skills among Aboriginal women so they can catalyze and stimulate community based projects. These community women organized sessions in three different locations in New Brunswick, including one for young Aboriginal women attending post-secondary education. During these sessions, strategies identified through Gathering Voices and for developing healthy relationships were shared and discussed.
Since Inception CAAW has had a successful track record of completing several projects to benefit Aboriginal women and girls and achieving the objectives of its projects. These projects often involved multiple funding sources and stakeholders. In carrying out our projects, CAAW has received funding from:
•Federal government departments such as Canadian Heritage, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (formerly Indian and Northern Affairs Canada) and Human Resources Development Canada;
•Provincial government departments such as the Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat and the Department of Post-Secondary Education and Training;
•Corporate sponsors such as NB Power.