Women of courage gather in the Philippines to discuss mining and its impacts
KAIROS is excited to support the participation of Indigenous women from Canada and Ecuador in the International People’s Conference on Mining in the Philippines, July 30-August 1, as well as in solidarity visits to mining affected communities before and after the gathering.
Gloria Chicaiza, Mining Justice coordinator of Accion Ecologica, a KAIROS partner in Ecuador, and Meeka Otway, a member of the Executive on the Board of Pauktuutit, a national organization representing all Inuit women in Canada , will be panelists and presenters at the conference. They will also take part in a two-day workshop on women and mining.
Coordinated by KAIROS, its Philippine partners Cordillera Women’s Education, Action and Research Centre (CWEARC) and KARAPATAN, and the international women’s rights organization AWID, the workshop will bring together women from Asia, Latin America and Canada who are impacted by mining to deepen understanding of the gendered impacts of resource extraction as well as the important role that women play in protecting community rights and the environment. This is part of KAIROS’ ongoing work on the gendered impacts of resource extraction on Indigenous women within the Women of Courage program.
Gloria and Meeka are accompanied by Connie Sorio, KAIROS’ Asia-Pacific partnerships and mining justice program coordinator.
We will post their photos and reflections on the Women of Courage blog. Stay tuned!
Gloria Chicaiza Aguilar has a degree in clinical psychology from the Central University of Ecuador. She is a defender of the rights of nature. She is past President of Acción Ecológica, and is currently the Mining Justice Coordinator. http://www.accionecologica.org/. She is on the Board of the Observatory of Mining Conflicts of Latin America (OCMAL) http://www.conflictosmineros.net/. She is also a member of the Latin American network of women Defenders of the Social and Environmental Rights http://www.redlatinoamericanademujeres.org/.
An Inuit woman, Meeka Otway (nee Enuaraq) was born and raised in the Canadian high arctic in the town of Clyde River (Kanngiqtugaapik), Baffin Island, Nunavut. At that time Nunavut was still known as the Northwest Territories. As a young adult, Meeka moved to Iqaluit, Nunavut.
With her husband Andrew, Meeka moved her young family to Sherwood Park, Alberta, near the provincial capital of Edmonton, where she continues to reside. Meeka acts as an English/Inuktitut translator for many local and national organizations.
Meeka is an active member of her community. She volunteers in Girl Guides Canada and the Heart & Stroke Foundation, and is a member of the Women’s Auxiliary for the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation in Edmonton.
In an effort to help southern Canadians understand the Inuit culture, Meeka has volunteered for over a decade in the public and separate school systems in the Edmonton area helping to educate and inspire young Canadians about the culture, language and traditions of the Inuit people.
Recognizing the isolation and disconnectedness that many Inuit feel in a large urban setting, Meeka was a founding member of the Edmonton Inuit Cultural Society in 2007. As a member of the Board for the Edmonton Inuit Cultural Society, Meeka provided leadership in language lessons, cultural celebrations, and educational outreach.
In 2009 Meeka joined the Board of the Canadian national Inuit Women’s Association, Pauktuutit, where she participated in a governance role as Treasurer and as a representative for Pauktuutit in HIV/AIDS education programs across Canada. Meeka was re-elected to the Board of Pauktuutit in 2014 and was re-appointed to the Executive Officer team as Treasurer. Her areas of focus include addressing the challenges of homelessness and access for healthcare for urban Inuit.