Deb Kosteniuk PRC Report (Nov. 2016)

Report of the Southern Alberta Geographical Rep to the Prairie Region Council submitted for the November 2016 meeting. This report covers the period from the last PRC meeting.

Deb Kosteniuk
Southern AB Geographical Rep
Prairie Region Council November 2016

ON June 8, 2016, there was a National Day of Action for Bargaining that I participated in along with other PSAC members working in the Harry Hays Building in Calgary.

ON June 9, 2016, I flew to Winnipeg and attended the Prairies Regional Women’s Conference.   I was part of the steering committee, but I have to say it was one of the best conferences I have been to.  Speakers were excellent, the activities were on point and I was really pleased to see the attendees were really enjoying themselves.

ON June 18, 2016 the Calgary Area Council, Regional Women’s Committee and Human Rights Committee met and discussed a joint project we could do for recruitment purposes for the council and the committees.   The idea was to bring the committees/councils to the people, rather than invite them to join us.

ON June 25, 2016 I volunteered at the PSAC booth for Aboriginal Days located in the Indian Village on the Stampede Grounds.  Victoria Norris of the Human Rights Committee organized this event, which was well attended and our tent was popular.  We had a member of the Area Council volunteer as well as a member from the UTE component.

ON June 28, 2016 I joined the Awo T’aan Healing Lodge Society Sisters in Spirit Vigil planning committee in my role as Chair of the Calgary RWC.              

I participated in a teleconference call the first week of July, 2016 for the ad hoc committee struck at the November 2015 PRC meeting.  

ON August 8, 2016 I participated in the second Day of Action regarding Bargaining; I did not feel this event was as well attended as the June date, but did note that there were a lot of my component’s members on vacation leave or on leave with income averaging that month and figured the same could be true for other components working at the Harry Hays Building.                

On September 5, 2016 Area Council, Human Rights Committee, and RWC participated in the CDLC’s Labour Day BBQ.   We served 200 slices of cake to complement the hamburgers and hotdogs, contributed to the bbq by donating the condiments for the event, operated the tent and “wheel of fortune” game.  We covered a table with craft paper and had people write down why they celebrated Labour Day or what it meant to them.   This generated some conversation on the meaning/history of Labour Day.  There was good attendance for this event.   

I collaborated with Matthew Brett in the Winnipeg office to come up with a sticker that was to be used to seal the lunch bags for the Sisters in Spirit Vigil.  The stickers combine the PSAC logo with the SIS logo and also had the theme “healing through truth and reconciliation” printed on them. 

In conjunction with the Sisters in Spirit Vigil, two indigenous teenaged sisters who have participated in the Vigil for a few years to honour their murdered mother, created FOOTPRINTS:  An Art project.   As the estimate of murdered and missing indigenous woman is currently projected as being around 1200, the girls wanted to create a project with impact:   They wanted one pair of shoes to represent one murdered or missing indigenous woman or child.  The Calgary RWC women blitzed their workplaces and were able to donate 200 pairs of gently used shoes for the project.   We had shoes from Calgary, Red Deer and Bowden members. The girls more than met their target, as of set up on October 4, 2016 they had over 1300 pairs of shoes.  The shoes were on display in a medicine wheel arrangement at Olympic Plaza and will be donated to women and family shelters/organizations at the end of the project. 

We contributed $600 towards the cost of lunches and some supplies.   We contributed the lunch bag stickers, plus brought the Idle No More slap fans which were a huge hit – none were left at the end of the rally.   The rally this year was larger than previous years and garnered much  media interest.   Mayor Nenshi was one of the guest speakers, as well as various Elders, and community leaders in the indigenous community.

I produced my newsletter on October 16, 2016 and sent it out to all locals, the Chairs/Presidents of Area councils, HRC’s and RWC’s in the Southern Alberta area.   The newsletter is attached.          

Respectfully Submitted,

Deb Kosteniuk
Southern Alberta Geographic Representative, PRC, PSAC