Women's shelters reflect on creating the next 150 years together


Media Release

June 14, 2017





Women’s shelters reflect on creating the next 150 years together


EDMONTON, Alberta– Friday, June 16, 2017 marks the Annual General Meeting for members of Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS). Attendees include representatives from 41 Alberta women’s and seniors shelters, as well as Alberta Indigenous elders, Pauline Paulson and Marilyn Buffalo.


The event serves not only as a business meeting for ACWS board elections, but also as a celebration of shelters’ important work in the province and an opportunity to reflect on what Canada’s 150th birthday means for Alberta’s Indigenous population.


Jan Reimer, executive director of ACWS, commented,


“The sheltering network remains at the forefront of recognizing women’s rights as human rights.  In the past year we stood hand-in-hand at the Women’s March; we marched for social justice and for an end to violence against women. I’m hopeful we can ignite public action to bolster the work shelters have been doing for decades and to create a world free from Violence Against Women.”


The AGM and events will include a panel discussion on the theme of ‘Creating the next 150 years together’, a presentation on creating inclusive spaces, a blanket exercise and an Indigenous water ceremony.


“For many people Canada’s 150th birthday is a time for celebration.  For us at ACWS it is a time for reflection on a colonial past full of pain.  We hope that in sharing this pain we can also look ahead to creating a future full of possibility, especially for the Indigenous peoples’ of this land.”


She concluded:


“Alberta’s on-reserve shelters receive less funding than those urban or rural shelters funded Provincially.  The direct consequence of this is to limit the vital services needed to keep women safe.  As the nation celebrates Canada’s 150th birthday we must also pause to consider how our actions will create a Canada rooted in equality, dignity and freedom from violence and abuse.”








Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS) supports member shelters and works together to end domestic violence and abuse. ACWS was incorporated in 1983 and is a registered charity. ACWS has a minimum of two Board positions for On-Reserve Shelter representatives.


In the past year ACWS trained staff and Board members from shelters across the Province on ‘decolonization and inter-generational trauma’.  ACWS continues to work in partnership with on-reserve shelters to develop a Statement of Principles and Values.  ACWS also received permission from Chief Wilton Littlechild to include ‘Treaty 6 Territory’ on our formal address.


ACWS AGM events will be include participation by:

Brenda Brochu (outgoing ACWS President)

Jan Reimer (ED ACWS)

Marilyn Buffalo

Lewis Cardinal

Pauline Paulson

Michelle Nieviadomy



ACWS charitable registration: #118780634RR0001



Eoin Murray

ACWS Communications Advisor