More than 500 labour activists, leaders and delegates gathered for the Alberta Federation of Labour Convention to celebrate the achievements of unions, hear from dozens of speakers, and help chart the direction for the future. During Convention, Shannan Little, a PSAC member from Agriculture Local 30048 in Lethbridge, was awarded with the International Women’s Day Award.
This year marked the 9th Biennial Convention of the Alberta Federation of Labour. More than 500 labour activists, leaders and delegates gathered to celebrate the achievements of unions, hear from dozens of speakers, and help chart the direction for the future.
During Convention, Shannan Little, a PSAC member from Agriculture Local 30048 in Lethbridge, was awarded with the International Women’s Day Award, which recognizes a sister in the labour movement for her outstanding commitment and leadership in the trade union movement and community.
According to Little, the award was a special honour that recognized both creativity in action and cooperation with the broader community.
“This award has re-energized the activist spirit inside of me. It is strong motivation to continue to fight for fairness and social justice. It has also generated dialogue with other activists. After the award ceremony, numerous people came to speak to me and there was a great sharing of ideas that I hope will continue.”
For the past five years, Little has served on as the Human Rights Representative on her Local executive, with special consideration for issues regarding women and children, poverty and Indigenous rights. Most recently, she has been working with the local Idle No More movement in their anti-Bill C-45 protests, teach-ins and round dances.
She was also instrumental in launching the anti-poverty and safe food supply initiative, the Lethbridge Research Centre Food Banks’ Garden, by obtaining start-up funding and coordinating the volunteer team. The Food Banks’ Garden commenced in 2010 and has donated $18,000 of fresh, quality produce to the local food bank in three years.
Sherry Hunt was one of the nominators to submit Little’s name for consideration on behalf of Local 30048.
“I do not think that I would be the activist I am without her being the activist she is. She works hard for our membership and our community and that kind of interaction between union and community is essential as we try to reach out to our allies in these difficult times.”
Little was happy to share the spotlight with those that helped her along the way, including members of her Local and her supportive family.
“This award is shared with my Sisters and Brothers in Local 30048, with our labour allies and our community allies as well. It is also acknowledgement of the sacrifice my family makes for my activism. Time spent in activism is time lost for my family. I was able to publicly thank my children Kieran and Cleio, my supportive and generous husband Dave, and my mother and father. No one can do these things without the support of family and allies.”
Looking ahead, Little says she will continue her work to promote social justice issues and political action initiatives in her workplace, around her community and throughout her union.
“I will continue to work on creative methods of engaging our members and to create coalitions within the labour movement and beyond.”