Kinesis, July/August 1998 Jul 1, 1998

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 S^   JUL/AUG 1998 ^"^ftgppfflfefestam 10        CMPA$2.25 KINESIS  #309-877 E. Hastings St.,  Vancouver, BC V6A 3Y1  Tel: (604)255-5499  Fax: (604)255-7508  Kinesis welcomes volunteers to work  on all aspects of the paper. Our next  Story Meetings are on Tues Aug 4  and Tues Sep 1 at our office, 309-877  E. Hastings St. Production for the  September issue is from Aug 19-25.  All women welcome even if you don't  have experience. Childcare and travel  subsidies available.  Kinesis is published ten times a year  by the Vancouver Status of Women.  Its objectives are to be a non-  sectarian feminist voice for women  and to work actively for social change,  specifically combatting sexism,  racism.classism, homophobia,  ableism, and imperialism. Views  expressed in Kinesis are those of the  writer and do not necessarily reflect  VSW policy. All unsigned material is  the responsibility of the Kinesis  Editorial Board.  EDITORIAL BOARD  Lissa Geller, Kelly Haydon  Agnes Huang, Fatima Jaffer  Laura Quilici, Colleen Sheridan  Ellen Woodsworth  PRODUCTION THIS ISSUE  Dorcas Wilkins, Janet Mou  Fatima Jaffer, Faith Jones  Leanne Keltie, leanne Johnson  Neva Gane, Michele McCabe  Gloria Orangina, Michelle Sylliboy  Kathe Lemon  Advertising: Sur Mehat  Circulation: Audrey Johnson,  Chrystal Fowler  Distribution: Yee Jim  Production Coordinator: marilyn lemon  Typesetter: Sur Mehat  FRONT COVER  Vandana Shiva  photo by Colleen Sheridan  PRESS DATE  June 24, 1998  SUBSCRIPTIONS  Individual: $20 per year (+$1.40 GST)  or what you can afford  Institutions/Groups:  $45 per year (+$3.1.5  VSW Membership (includi  Kinesis subscripts  $30 per year (+$1.40  >ups:  15 GST)  ludes 1 year  jtion):  40 GST)  SUBMISSIONS  Women and girls are welcome to  make submissions. We reserve the  right to edit and submission does not  guarantee publication. If possible,  submissions should be typed, double  spaced and must be signed and  include an address, telephone number  and SASE. Kinesis does not accept  poetry or fiction. Editorial guidelines  are available upon request.  DEADLINES  All submissions must be received in  the month preceding publication.  Note: Jul/Aug and Dec/Jan are double  issues.  Features and reviews: 10th  News: 15th  Letters and Bulletin Board: 18th  Display advertising  (camera ready): 18th  (design required): 16th  Inside  News  Membership gives NAC its full support 3  by Agnes Huang  New discussion paper on voluntary sector 3  by Agnes Huang  Hooters comes to Vancouver 4  by Rebecca Murdock  Aboriginal women challenge O'Connor healing circle 5     Solidarity at the NAC AGM  by Wei Yuen Fong  Features  Viola Thomas, president of the United Native Nations 8  as told to Carole Dawson  Apocalyptic demography and the cuts to social programs 10  by Ellen Gee  Ensuring Divorce Act reflects women's realities 11  by Lynn Alexander  Lesbians on drug trials: the story of an asthmatic 15  by Erin Graham  Overcoming fear, guilt, denial and a stalker 16  by Sharon Velisek  Centrespread  Vandana Shiva takes on the biopirates   as told to Gitanjali Lena and Marian Gracias  12    Viola Thomas..  Arts  Thalia Campell: fabric artist and political activist 17  by Jeannie Kamins  Some women coming down for the Vancouver Folk Fest 18  by leanne Johnson  Interview with poet and musician Joy Harjo 19  as told to Gina Gasongi Simon  Regulars  As Kinesis Goes to Press 2  Inside Kinesis 2  Movement Matters 6  compiled by Michele McCabe and Leanne Keltie  What's News 7  compiled by Rita Wong and Leanne Keltie  Letters 20  Bulletin Board 21  compiled by Rita Wong and Faith Jones  Surviving a stalker 16  Oh -Mi lA/rvty 'S^eo/'crwJcUi^m'  Joy Harjo 19  JULY/AUGUST 1998 As Kinesis goes to press, individual  feminists and feminist organizations across  the country are taking action to confront the  increasing backlash against women. The  backlash is coming from all over the place,  and on all kinds of issues.  Take our favourite topic of the past few  months: custody and access. As the Joint  Committee on Custody and Access Issues  wound up its "public hearings," the attacks  on women presenting before the Committee did not let up. (As an interesting aside,  the Committee refused to let Hedy Fry, the  secretary of state for the status of women,  make a presentation before it.)  Women who have gone through or are  dealing with custody and access disputes,  women's groups who advocate on behalf  of women and children, feminist lawyers  and legal one is taking the  Committee's attempt to discredit the reali  ties of women's lives lightly. Over the past  month, in particular, women have been firing off letters to the Minister of Justice Anne  McLellan and to other Liberal government  higher-ups. Women have focused their criticisms on the clear bias exhibited towards  fathers' rights groups by Committee members, the Committee's inappropriate and  abusive behaviour towards women survivors and advocates, and its dismissing of  the decades of experience and knowledge  of front-line workers, academics, researchers, and mothers and children themselves.  Women are also making it very clear  to the Liberals that they see this Joint Committee as an initiative of the Liberal government, and not just the product of one  lone Senator. The behaviour of the Committee is totally unacceptable, and the Liberal government should be held accountable.  Corrections  Oops! In our last issue, we made some  boo-boo's that we are quite embarrassed  about.  First of all, major apologies to Rita  Coolidge and Priscilla Coolidge—we  mixed them up in two places. On the table  of contents page, the woman we identified  as "Rita" is in fact, Priscilla. And under the  photo of Walela and Gina Gasongi Simon  that accompanied the review ot Singing Our  Stories on page 17, we did the sister switch  again. Sorry to everyone involved.  Also in that review, we lost some text  in the bottom half of the last column—one  letter each line. We apologize to the writer  and our readers for our layout mistake.  We also got caught in another unfortunate switch—this time, between our  Movement Matters and What's News sec  tions. Yes, you see, the articles on page 6  should have been on page 7, and the articles on page 7 (with the exception of the  piece on Vancouver's anti-postering bylaw) should have been on page 6. Confused? Well, we just hope we didn't leave  you wondering ii Kinesis really thinks that  Conrad Black is part of our "movement."  We still encourage women's groups to send  us your stuff that really matters.  And in our last minute scramble to relay out pages, we lost something, something very important in the review of the  "360 degrees women" programming at the  Images Festival. At the top of the first column on page 19, we left out the film title  and director, preceeding the review. What  should have been there is: "Stretchmarks,  Veena Cabreras-Sud, USA" Our apologies.  Our appreciation to the following supporters who became members, renewed their  memberships or subscriptions to Kinesis, or made donations during the month of June:  Susan Adams * Patricia Albright * Carolyn Askew * Mary Babalos * Sally  Babalos * Roweena Bacchus * Anita Braha * Jane Bouey * Sharon Brain * Shauna  Butterwick * Karen Clark * Margaret Coates * Melanie Conn * Jean Elder * Abegael  Fisher-Long * Brenda Findlay * Sydney Foran * Stan Gabriel * Lynn Giraud * Leona  Gom * Brian Gross * Tracy Haydon * Mary Henderson * Tekla Hendrickson * Agnes  Huang * Joane Humphrey * Ronaye Ireland * Deirdre Kelly * I. & W. Krayenhof *  Fiona Lam * Bronwyn Lange * Bernadette Lalor-Morton * Alma Lee * Heather  Leighton * Patsi Longmire * Leslie Martin * Kathy McGrenera * Valerie Mignault *  Sandra Moe * Patricia Neufeld * Rhodea Omler * Marion Pollack * Marion  Poggemiller * Valerie Raoul * M.A. Read * Judith Roach-Pierson * Catherine Russell  * Mabel Seggie * Mary Selman * Donna Senniw * Helen Shore * C. Sturdy * Penelope  Tilby!»Wendalyn Von Meyenf eldt * Judith Walker * Monique Walsh * Kathy Ward *  Alison Waters * Gladys We * Celeste Wincapaw * Deborah Yaffe * VanCity Credit  Union  A special thanks to our donors who give every month. Monthly donations assist  VSW in establishing a reliable funding base to carry out our programs, services and Kinesis throughout the year. Thanks to:  Mary Frey * Elisabeth Geller * Jody Gordon * Erin Graham * Barbara  Lebrasseur * Eha Onna * Valerie Raoul  At NAC's annual lobby of federal politicians on June 8, women took their criticisms of the Committee to each of the parties. The NDP said they would raise the  question in the House of Commons, which  they did the next day. Paul Forseth of the  Reform Party, who is a member of the Committee, denied that women were treated  badly in any way. And the one Conservative MP who showed up for the lobby had  no clue what the question was all about.  As for the Liberals...Senator Landon  Pearson, one of the co-chairs of the Joint  Committee and a member of the Liberal  caucus, was present at the lobby. (The justice minister herself was notably missing.)  Pearson apologized for any mistreatment  women faced, but then she backed the Liberals out of any responsibility for the actions of the Committee. Women are not  buying that.  Different groups of women are still  working on strategies for dealing with the  damage caused by the Committee and its  promoters to women and children involved  in custody and access disputes. Women are  encouraged to continue sending letters to  the Minister of Justice and to their local  MPs. The National Association of Women  and the Law are collecting letters and submissions, and the Vancouver Custody and  Access Advisory and Support Association  is thinking through some sort of public  education campaign for the Fall.  It's critical that the mistruths about custody and access are dispelled because it is  very dangerous for women and their children. Women are getting set up, in a big  way.  A lot of women are being sold on the  lie that the courts are biased in their favour.  They go into court thinking that all they  have to do is tell their story and they will  be believed. What they aren't prepared for  is the barrage of attacks against their credibility as caregivers. This has led to many a  court order that is not in the "best interests" of the child or the mother.  Elsewhere on the backlash  trail...Headline in the Province newspaper  the other day: "Should 50 men go free?  Experts: Recovered-memory evidence  could be putting innocent men behind  bars." The "experts" in this story is the Canadian Psychologists Association. The CPA  has joined the Criminal Lawyers Association in calling for a public inquiry into  "sexual abuse convictions based solely on  recovered memory (or as they'd probably  like to call it, "false memory") evidence."  Okay, given the history (and the  present) of the judicial system's response  to female sexual assault complainants... the  first question that must be asked is: How  many men are actually being convicted of  sexual assault just because a woman says  she remembers he abused her?  In BC, both the RCMP and the Attorney  General are saying they will conduct reviews  into their policies for dealing with "recovered-memory syndrome." So then, another  question: When will the RCMP and the AG  conduct reviews into why so many men who  kill their female partners are getting out of  jail in less than five years, and are even being awarded access to their children?  On that note, we sign off as Kinesis goes  to press. Have a great read.  We were inside Kinesis getting this issue out when the Summer Solstice came to  town. It's was great knowing the days were  now longer, even though we could hardly  tell with all the rain we've been having.  Rain, though, was not in the forecast  inside Kinesis. In fact, there's been a lot of  sunshine around here as we busily plan for  our 25th anniversary campaign. Last  month, the Editorial Board met and met  and met to brainstorm ideas—special supplements, anniversary logos, subscription  drive campaigns, promotional posters,  fridge magnets, anniversary celebration,  full colour... We're planning to launch some  of the ideas in our September issue, so stay  tuned.  We're all very excited about the possibilities, but we're also very aware of all the  work it will involve. Again, as mentioned  last issue, we are still planning to have a  weekend retreat so we can talk about all  kinds of things from the vision of Kinesis,  to content ideas, to a new banner, to redesign of the "look" of Kinesis, and on and  on. And of course, we'll need to talk about  how ensure we can make things happen.  We look forward to having these much  awaited conversations. We invite women  interested in joining us in taking Kinesis  through our 25th year and into the new  millennium to give us a call at 255-5499.  What else if new? Well, we now have  a new fax number. Here it is: (604) 255-7508.  (But don't toss away that (604) 255-5511  because it still remains the public telephone  number for the Vancouver Status of  Women.)  During the past few months, we discovered some disturbing glitches in our  database, so we're trying to do a check to  make sure readers who are supposed to be  receiving Kinesis, are getting their subscriptions. Ii Kinesis hasn't been arriving in your  mailbox lately and you're not sure the status of your sub, then please contact us. We  wouldn't want you to miss another issue  of Kinesis and we certainly don't want to  be missing you.  This month, we have a lot of welcomes  and thanks. "Hi's" to the women who  made their debut in Kinesis this issue:  Rebecca Murdock, Michele McCabe, Ellen  Gee, Lynn Alexander, Vandana Shiva,  Gitanjali Lena, Marian Gracias, Sharon  Velisek, Jeannie Kamins and Joy Harjo.  We'd also like to welcome new production volunteers Michele McCabe and  Michelle Sylliboy for coming in to do the  proofing and paste-up thing, just as Kinesis was going to press.  Just a reminder that Kinesis will be  closed for the month of July. We'll be back  in full swing again in August, and invite  women who have ideas of things they want  to see in upcoming issues to come to our  next Story Meeting on Tuesday, August 4th.  We'll also be in production from August 19-  25, so we hope you'll drop by then too.  In the meantime, that's it for this month  (and next), inside Kinesis. Have a great  Summer!  JULY/AUGUST 1998 News  National Action Committee on the Status of Women annual general meeting:  Membership support  overwhelming  by Agnes Huang   Member groups of the National Action  Committee on the Status of Women (NAC)  gave the organization an unanimous endorsement for taking a strong stand against  the federal government's regressive turn in  its support for women's equality.  At the national umbrella group's annual general meeting in early June, the  membership applauded the work of the  Executive in resisting the imposition of Status of Women Canada's (SWC) new funding criteria. NAC filed for its annual grant  under the old Women's Program guidelines, and as a result, its application was  rejected. The ongoing viability of the organization is now in jeopardy [see Kinesis  June 1998.]  "Ii we lose an organization such as  NAC, it will mean that the voices of women  won't be heard, and women will have more  difficulty connecting up our issues and  strategies across the country," says Ema  Oropeza of the Vancouver Status of Women.  "The membership gave all our support  at the AGM because we believe strongly  that the women's movement must remain  independent," Oropeza added. "Giving in  to Status of Women Canada's new Women's Program funding criteria only threatens the autonomy and survival of the grassroots women's movement. It compromises  our goals and our work."  What inspired a lot of participants at  the weekend-long AGM was the incredible  expression of commitment by women's  organizations from across the country. One  by one, women said they'd take on the  work of pressing their own members of  parliament to support the demand for increased core funding to women's groups,  without all kinds of strings attached.  Another resolution passed at the AGM  was that NAC apply for two-year project  grant funding to study the effect of the new  funding criteria on NAC member organizations. In a way, this was done rather fa  cetiously, as most of the groups present  were already all too aware of the detrimental impact of the new funding criteria on  the work they do and the women they advocate on behalf of.  Oropeza says that because of a lack or  resources and increased restrictions on  what work can be "funded," women's  groups are finding themselves less able to  mobilize around concerns being brought to  them each and every day by women in their  communities. "Without adequate funding  support, women in Canada won't be able  to address the 'hot' issues of the day, such  as custody and access, or respond to the  backlash in the media and the public concerning sexual harassment and "recovered  memories."  As well, over the course of the AGM,  it became known that a number of women's groups, which previously received  program funding from SWC, were turned  down this year. One notable example is L'R  ('Regroupement des centres de femmes),  the provincial coalition of women's centres  in Quebec. L'R is politically one of the best  organized women's groups in the province,  but it is now without federal program funding to support its work.  NAC Executive member and AGM  Coordinator Jennifer Chew also says that  because of funding constraints, NAC was  unable to extend travel subsidies to its  membership, which meant that many  women's groups were unable to attend this  year's AGM. "The AGM is such an important time for NAC, and for us not to be able  to offer subsidies for women to attend is  quite tragic," says Chew.  However, the fact that more than 200  women—representing a good cross-section  of groups—participated in the AGM shows  the will and determination of so many  women to safeguard and build up a national women's movement.  "It was wonderful to see women sitting around working out resolutions to  ward NAC's 1998-99 Priority Campaign,"  says Chew. "The solidarity and strength of  women working together was very evident."  That vision was highlighted at the  AGM by the panel presentations given by  several young women. "Having these  young women at the AGM with such presence broke new ground. We hope to see  them participating fully in NAC for years  to come."  NAC member groups aren't planning  to sit idly by as the federal Liberals chip  away at all the work and energies contributed by hundreds of organizations towards  the liberation of women. At the national  level, the membership directed the NAC  Executive to develop effective strategies to  implement the toonie postcard campaign  ("Women are worth more than a cup of  coffee"), conduct public education activities, fundraise, and lobby federal politicians.  Since returning from the AGM, many  member groups have been gathering in  their own communities and strategizing  campaigns and actions to raise awareness  about the impact of the federal government's refusal to adequately support the  work of grassroots women's organizations.  Says Oropeza: "Expect something to  happen over the summer!"  Accountability and governance in the voluntary sector:  More regulations  possible  by Agnes Huang   In October 1997, a Blue Ribbon Panel  was struck by the Voluntary Roundtable  Sector (a coalition of larger umbrella organizations from various sectors) to review current accountability and governance practices. Chaired by Ed Broadbent, the Panel  on Accountability and Governance in the  Voluntary Sector (PAGVS) says its goal is  to "help enhance the effectiveness and credibility of the voluntary sector in its ongoing role of strengthening civil society."  The panel released its discussion paper, "Helping Canadians Help Canadians:  Improving Governance and Accountability  in the Voluntary Sector," on May 4th, and  is now in the process of gathering input on  its proposals from grassroots and umbrella  organizations. The panel intends to complete consultations by October, and table a  final report in November.  Jennifer Johnstone of the Battered  Women's Support Services in Vancouver  says it is critical that women's organizations  review the discussion paper. "The outcome  of the panel's work will have far reaching  implications for women's groups in terms  of how we operate our organizations," says  Johnstone.  However, one key barrier to that happening is that very few grassroots women's  seeVOLUNTARY page 5  JULY/AUGUST 1998 News  Women, sex and sexploitation:  Hooters hits Vancouver  by Rebecca Murdock  A recent ad for Hooters Restaurant in  a Vancouver newspapers invited applicants  to "Apply in person on Bute Street" for positions as "wait, bar, kitchen and management staff."  Just a stone's throw from Robson  Street, the Vancouver outlet opened its  doors for the first time on June 9. It's the  fifth to open in Canada following outlets  in Surrey, Edmonton and two in Toronto.  Worldwide outlets total more than 200.  The company, which hails from  Clearwater, Florida, is a rapidly expanding  restaurant chain known for its soft porn approach to selling burgers and fries. The  early 20s female wait staff deliver food orders in orange short shorts and tight t-  shirts—a uniform designed to emphasize  female body parts, particularly breast contours and cleavage.  To complete the marketing package,  the Hooters' logo—an owl—is emblazoned  on the women's chests. If s an effete attempt  at word play—a double entendre between  the hooter owl and what frat boys call  women's breasts.  Sex and consumer goods—it's hardly  an original concept, especially for an ail-  American company whose compatriots-in-  commerce wrote the book on how to market every product under the sun on the  backs of women's sex appeal. With annual  sales of $450 million, Hooters has parlayed  its bosoms-and-fries-combo into a highly  lucrative retail venture.  At least the venture is lucrative for  owner and company director William  Hysinger who takes home pots of gold each  year. For Hooters' wait staff, it's a different  story So-called "Hooters Girls" in Atlanta,  Georgia make $2.13 an hour—that's a staggering $4,000 a year per full-time worker.  It's been said that the fast food industry is the "sweatshop" of the western  world—long hours, low pay, and plenty of  harassment to go around.  But dirt poor wages is only one of numerous scandals to plague the Hooters  chain. Late last year in Mexico, Hooters advertised for attractive chicas, ages 18 to 25  years old, to apply for waitress jobs in  Puerto Vallarta and Mexico City.  Mexico has no laws to prohibit hiring  on the basis of appearance, age or marital  status, so the company's Mexico outlet is  free to promote the employment of single,  attractive young women.  In other words, if you're 26 or older,  you're about as useful as an old shoe. If  you're married, you might as well throw  yourself into the Gulf of Mexico. And if,  god forbid, you're not well endowed, you  might as well tie yourself naked to a herd  of wildebeests.  When informed that "hooters" is a derisive term for female breasts, Mexicans  were not impressed. Although most indigenous Mexicans can't afford to eat in such  restaurants, Hooters Inc. has seen a steady  trade of tourist dollars in Mexico as well as  in other vacation hotspots such as Taiwan,  Aruba, Bahamas and Singapore.  A reporter covering the Mexico City  opening for the Chicago Tribune noted that  "when folks first walked into the restaurant, one of the first pictures they will see  is of a blonde Hooters girl, bending toward  the camera, showing ample cleavage." The  sign "Caution, blondes thinking," greets patrons as they enter American outlets.  In the US where hiring laws prohibit  many types of discrimination, Hooters has  attracted controversy for its refusal to hire  male wait staff. In 1995, Hooters US ran  afoul of the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission when several males filed  complaints alleging they were turned down  for jobs on the basis of sex.  Initially the EEOC demanded that Hooters contribute $22 million to the fund used  to pay out damages to the claimants, and to  finance gender sensitivity training for staff.  However, as reported in the St. Petersburg  Times, the EEOC eventually backed off the  strategy due to "a wave of negative public  opinion and backlog of cases."  According to spokeswoman Kelly  Griggs, the only requirement imposed by  Hooters US is that the applicant be female:  "the concept [of Hooters] is based on female  sex appeal. That is the only requirement that  we have, that the server be female."  In another case, Hooters US did ante  up to a group of men who sued civilly in  1993 over sex discrimination. An out of  court settlement was reached in 1997 that  gave the men $3.75 million in damages and  attorneys' fees.  It's a good thing Hooters has deep  pockets. In 1997, the chain was fined  $150,000 by the Indiana Alcohol Beverage  Company for lying on its liquor license application for almost a decade. According to  the Indianapolis Star, Hooters repeatedly  answered "no" when asked whether any  company officer or director had been convicted of a misdemeanour or felony.  In 1987, head honcho Hysinger was convicted of manslaughter in a drunk driving incident in Louisville, Kentucky Indiana authorities were not impressed with the little slip and  ordered Hysinger to divest himself of all interest in Hooters restaurants in the state.  Despite all this, the beleaguered company has not lost its "heart" in its campaign  to help attractive, under-employed, young  women. In 1997, the chain agreed to fund  Gabrielle Petivoky's lawsuit after she was  dethroned by organizers of the Miss Canadian International Pageant.  The scandal and dethroning resulted  when Petivoky, a Hooters waitress, appeared as a model in the company's promotional materials. Of the beauty pageant's  decision to turf Petivoky, organizer  Michelle Jacobson stated: "We wanted a  young lady people can look up to and to  be proud of." Oh yes indeed, the Queen of  Swimwear must not go slumming as the  Hostess of Short Shorts and Tight T's.  Inevitably, Hooters' Vancouver debut has  sparked a new debate over the "sexploitation"of  women. Many feminists view Hooters waitresses as being exploited by a male-dominated  retail industry only too willing to make a fast  buck off of women's bodies.  The relentless marketing of women as  sex objects reduces women to the role of sex  vixen. And while it may be uproariously fun  to play that role some of the time, what  woman wants to have her whole life defined  by breast-heavin' bed bondage routine? I, for  one, am more than the sum of my breasts.  This group of feminists emphasizes the  connection between the relentless sexualization of women and the harm it produces to  women collectively. The stereotype that  women are always sexually "ready" contrib  utes to women's social and economic subordination and their greater risk of violence.  A second group, the pro-porn feminist  scholars and their younger "girl power" sisters, embrace and celebrate female sexuality  and decry those who view Hooters waitresses  as victims in any way. These feminists are inclined to see the agency in every female act  and emphasize that it's patronizing to call  Hooters waitresses exploited when the women  likely don't view themselves that way. For this  group, sex is empowering to the extent women  can trade it for jobs, security, and other good  things.  A third group—labour activists—are  inclined to view the Hooters waitresses as a  part of a broader phenomenon of exploited  service industry workers. It's not so much  that the women are trading sex appeal for  jobs—it's that the employment relationship  is set up in such a way that a few people get  very, very rich, and the women with the actual assets live on poverty row. Hooters waitresses trade their sex in the same way that  many waged workers trade their labour, for  far less than their fair share in return.  Finally, cultural analysts lament the fact  that so much of modern culture is reduced  to what is available on a quick-fix, eye candy,  level of engagement. Sex sells and no one  knows it better than the mammoth American entertainment industry which has swept  the globe eradicating all that is non-American in its wake.  Increasingly, global culture is the singular American vision—bouncing babes on a  beach. Baywatch is syndicated in 140 countries worldwide, and its presence has made  it possible for a legion of Hooters girls to follow up with breasts and platters of fries. It's  the hook, it's the eye candy, that reels consumers in.  Obviously, each of these views contributes something to our understanding of how  female sexuality is packaged and re-packaged in a profit driven world. Whichever  way you dice it, Hooters is all about sex, scandal and profiteering. It's the new American  Dream—now available on Bute Street.  Rebecca Murdock is a lawyer who writes on  women and labour issues.  PROUDLY ANNOUNCING  the Opening of  DR. PENNY THOMPSON'S  DENTAL PRACTICE  Dentistry in the Heart of the Community  Phone:251-1322 Fax:251-1232  Call Ut... Be a Special Patient  Or drop by at 1 - 1701 Grant Street (at Commercial Drive), Vancouver  Advertisement paid by Dr. Penny J. Thompson, Inc.  The law firm of  STOWE ELLIS  is pleased to announce that  Shannon Aldinger  has joined the firm  Practise restricted to:  - civil suits for sexual abuse and assault  - family law  - personal injury and ICBC claims  — Theresa L. Stowe — Megan R. Ellis — Shannon Aldinger —  Suite 310 - 111 Water Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 1A7  Telephone: 604-683-7144  JULY/AUGUST 1998 News  Violence against Aboriginal women:  Healing circle not  appropriate for O'Connor  by Wei Yuen Fong   A coalition of Aboriginal and women's  groups held a press conference on June 18 outside the BC Supreme Court in Vancouver to  criticize the provincial Attorney General for allowing Bishop Hubert O'Connor to participate  in a healing circle, rather than sending him back  to court to face a rape charge.  In 1991, O'Connor was charged with  raping and indecently assaulting four Aboriginal women while he was the principal  at St Joseph's Mission School, a residential  school in Williams Lake. The four women  were employees and former students at the  school in the 1960s.  After several years of court hearings  up and down the judicial ladder—including a trip to the Supreme Court of Canada  to decide on the issue of disclosure of complainants' personal records—O'Connor  was convicted on only one count of rape  and one count of indecent assault, both  against one complainant. He was sentenced  to two years in prison.  O'Connor appealed and last March,  the BC Court of Appeal acquitted him on  the indecent assault charge. The Appeal  Court also ordered a new trial for the rape  charge, saying that the trial judge erred in  his analysis of the power imbalance between O'Connor and the complainant.  Debra Bell Seysener  Rather than pursuing the rape charge,  the Crown agreed to a three-part healing circle in Canim Lake, with O'Connor and the  complainant, Marilyn Belleau. Belleau said  she chose to use a healing circle to confront  O'Connor with the hurts and pains he caused  her by his actions. "I have had to live with  this pain for over 30 years. The healing circle was an opportunity for me to express this  pain and to empower myself."  In its press statements, the coalition  made it very clear that they did not fault  Belleau for agreeing to participate in the  healing circle. In fact, they  praised all the women for their  strength in coming forward with  ~ their stories of abuse, and for  | enduring years and years of hav-  ^ ing their lives exposed in the  £? courts and publicly.  g "We recognize and honour  ^      the First Nations women who  .5      had the courage to report the  9      actions of a prominent and pow-  -°      erful Catholic bishop," says De-  o     bra Bell Seysener, coordinator of  a.     the Women of our People Society/Slanis Fe Wilnew, the only  Native women's sexual assault  centre in BC. O'Connor is the  highest ranking church official ever to face  sex offense charges.  Instead, the coalition has turned its attention to the betrayal by the Ministry of  Attorney General. Coalition members say  the AG violated his promise not to use  forms of "restorative justice" in cases of  violence against women.  Since 1994, the Ministry of Attorney  General has been developing a Sexual Assault Policy. As part of this process, the  ministry has been consulting with key  stakeholders, including Aboriginal women.  In a report on highlights from that consultation conducted in July 1995, most of  the respondents made it clear that "traditional practices, as an alternative to the  criminal justice system, were not appropriate for sexual assault cases." Many also  pointed out that "any traditional practices  which may have existed had been lost," and  that "the term 'traditional' was an oversimplification and misunderstood by many."  The Aboriginal women consulted also  added that "...especially in sexual assault  cases, offenders must take full responsibility for their crimes." This certainly is not  the case with Hubert O'Connor. In fact,  O'Connor has never acknowledged any  wrong-doing towards the women who filed  complaints against him.  Instead in the healing circle, he said,  as he has said all along, that he and the complainants just have different views on what  happened. O'Connor did noi apologize for  abusing the women; he only expressed remorse for breaking his vow of chastity.  The coalition is now calling for a meeting with the Attorney General and the Minister of Women's Equality to question them  on the use of "alternative measures" in resolving sexual abuse cases.  from VOLUNTARY page 3  groups have heard of the panel, let alone  even seen the discussion paper. [To obtain a  copy, see information at the end of this article.]  Among the women who have read or  at least glanced through the discussion paper, they give it mixed reviews. One positive aspect of the discussion paper is that  the panel acknowledges the need to "enhance the capacity" of organizations to do  their work. Among the strategies for doing  this suggested by the panel is for the federal government to restore or provide core  funding to "intermediary associations" to  build up their infrastructure.  This is an important recommendation,  says Johnstone, but she adds that the panel  doesn't go far enough, as intermediary associations refers only to "umbrella organizations whose members are organizations  engaged in direct service delivery."  Still, she sees this as an opportunity for  women's groups to bolster their ongoing demand for core funding for grassroots, community-based feminist groups [see story page 1.]  Denise Hildebrand lives in Regina and has  volunteered and worked witha number of registered charitable organizations, particularly  local, national and international women's and  international development organizations. Last  month, she attended the roundtable session in  Regina to give her comment1? and criticisms  about the discussion paper.  Hildebrand says she is concerned that the  pand'spropc6alsconcerning''gowrnance"will  lead to a further "bureaucratizing" of the  voluntary sector. This, she says, will add  more to the work of already taxed staff and  volunteers. She adds it's ironic that the  panel is recommending increased regulation of the non-profit, voluntary sector at  the same time that the private sector is being deregulated.  "A lot of non-profit groups have annual  budgets of less than $50,000, which means  they rely on a large volunteer contingent to  carry out their activities," says Hildebrand.  "Any further demands on volunteers caused  by increased accountability and governance  criteria placed on organizations could result  in potential disasters."  There needs to be different approaches  taken to organizations, depending on how  much they depend on volunteers,  Hildebrand suggests. As well, the difference  in the structure and operations between organizations involved in service delivery and  those involved in advocacy, lobbying and  education work must be taken into account.  And of course, it must be noted that many  women's groups provide both direct services and advocacy support.  Another concern with the panel's proposals on accountability is that they play  into a trend of requiring non-profit organizations to evaluate their work on the basis  of "measurable outcomes." One only has  to witness the new Women's Program funding criteria of Status of Women Canada and  the shift to a funding contract (versus grant)  model by BC's ministry of women's equality to see this trend in action.  Hildebrand says this "results-based management approach" is a very corporate model,  one which is being used to guide a lot of the big  non-governmental organizations. Calculating  the outcomes is much more difficult for women's organizations than for most other voluntary sector organizations.  "Long-term social and political change  is very difficult to measure on an annual  basis," says Johnstone. "It's easy to count  the band-aids; it's much harder to count  real systemic change."  Another key area in the discussion paper that women's groups need to pay attention to is the section on the charitable  tax system. For many years, feminists have  been in a battle over the protection and extension of charitable tax status to a broader  range of women's groups. "This is an opportunity to take the fight to a much bigger arena," says Johnstone.  One positive proposal from the panel  is that activist groups, such as environmental groups, should be considered eligible for  charitable tax status, says Hildebrand. This  was previously denied to them because  they are considered "advocacy" groups;  that is, involved in "political" work.  Not lost on most feminist activists involved in "political" work is the fact that,  while a number of progressive organizations have been stripped of their charitable  tax status—such as Briarpatch, the nonprofit organization which publishes an independent newsmagazine in Saskatchewan—right-wing groups like the Fraser  Institute have not been blocked from handing out charitable tax receipts to those who  subscribe to its own very political views.  The key concern for women's groups  is how the "guidelines" for governance and  accountability recommended by the panel  will be implemented and enforced. There  has already been increased scrutiny of the  activities of women's groups, and Denise  Hildebrand says she is concerned the panel's final recommendations could have the  potential of opening women's groups up  to even more scrutiny.  Jennifer Johnstone concurs: "It's not  that big a step to move from guidelines to  regulations."  Roundtable sessions have already been  held inAlberta and Saskatchewan, and will  be held in other cities across the country in  the Fall. [The panel will be in Vancouver September 9th and 10th.]  Given that each session will be limited  to only 15 participants covering a cross-section of the voluntary sector, women's  groups need to ensure other ways our  voices will be heard by the panel. Some suggestions include holding our own focus  groups using the facilitators' guide materials prepared by the panel, or filling in the  evaluation questionnaires.  However these conversations happen,  what is important is that the realities of  grassroots women's groups are well represented in any recommendations passed on  to the federal government.  The 71-page discussion paper, facilitator's  guide, and response questionnaire are available,  in French or English. For copies of any of the  documents, call the panel secretariat toll free  at 1-800-670-0401, or download them from the  panel's website at  JULY/AUGUST 1998 Movement Matters  listings information  Movement Matters is designed to  be a network of news, updates and  information of special interest to the  women's movement.  Submissions to Movement Matters  should be no more than 500 words,  typed, double spaced and may be edited  for length. Deadline is the 18th of the  month preceding publication.  compiled by Michele McCabe and  Leanne Keltie  Participatory research on Bill C-31  AWAN (the Aboriginal Women's Action Network) in Vancouver has undertaken a participatory research project on Bill  C-31. Bill C-31 was an amendment to the  Indian Act in 1985, which reinstated "status" to Aboriginal women who had married non-Aboriginal men. However, status  was not passed on to the grandchildren of  these women.  AWAN's project will begin in October,  with the final analysis completed by Fall  1999. The first phase will involve a weekend consultation with 20 women from different regions around BC to dialogue about  Bill C-31, develop an interview process, and  train the participants in conducting interviews.  For Phase Two, the women will interview five other women in their communities, whose stories will be taped and later  transcribed. As well, a focus group will be  held in each community. Phase Three will  involve the creation of a questionnaire on  Bill C-31 to be distributed throughout BC.  The final phase will be the documenting of the research findings. The outcome  will take shape in two forms: a policy document and a report on the stories of the  women interviewed.  The two reports will enable AWAN to  more effectively lobby governments at the  municipal, provincial and federal levels,  and could also be used to design educational curriculum for cross-cultural awareness workshops and/or a host of other  grassroots initiatives.  For more information about the project,  contact AWAN at (604) 879-8094, (604) 435-  5499, or write to AWAN, c/o 309-877 E. Hastings St, Vancouver, BC, V6A 3Y1.  Women connecting  on-line  Interested in taking your feminist activism on-line, then check out Virtual Organizing, Real Change: Women's Groups Using the Internet for tips about the world of  electronic communications. Edited by  Scarlett Pollock and Jo Sutton of  Women'space, which publishes a quarterly  magazine on women and the Internet, this  book is a collection of stories from women's groups using the new communication  technologies to build larger networks for  women's equality work.  Some of the groups that contributed  their 'on-line' experiences include:  Canadian Women's Health Network,  Victoria Women's Sexual Assault Centre,  Sunshine Coast Women's Centre,  Pauktuutit Inuit Women's Association,  and Lesbian Mothers Support Society  For women living outside urban areas,  and disabled women, convenience and ac  cess are an important part of staying connected. "The web site offered us a very cost-  effective way of reaching disabled women  across the world," writes Kristin Punkari,  the administrator for DAWN (DisAbled  Women's Network) Ontario.  "It is really important that [women's]  organizations have the ability to forge constructive relations with other important  players in the community, especially with  government and other women's groups",  and developing a website has been one of  the ways Women and Rural Economic Development (WRED) says they have  achieved this.  For a copy of Virtual Organizing, Real  Change contact Women'space: tel/fax: (902)  351-2283; email:;  website:  BCTF vote a step  backward  As reported in the March 1998 issue of  Kinesis, the executive of the British Columbia Teachers' Federation (BCTF) brought  forward a resolution at its annual general  meeting to amalgamate the Status of  Women Committee (SWC) into a larger  Social Justice Committee.  The SWC, which has representatives in  all teacher locals around the province, has  provided a voice for the unique concerns  of women teachers. The resolution called  for setting up a nine-member panel which  would be responsible for all social issues—  homophobia, violence, poverty, racism,  children's rights, and women's equality.  The resolution was passed, but barely:  334 for it; 322 against.  Women members of the BCTF argue  that if this integration is allowed to happen, it will dilute and make invisible the  voices of women in the provincial union  structure.  Louise de Bruijne says the decision is  not a done deal, and is calling on feminist  teachers and other feminist activists to  lobby the BCTF to ensure the continuation  of the SWC. "We teacher-feminists are committed to raising our voices to protest this  closing out of women in our teacher union."  To voice your comments or for further information contact Louise de Bruijne at telephone: (604) 321-1470; or email:  Breaking the silence  against violence  "Women Break the Silence By Speaking Out" is a campaign for women who live  or work in the Vancouver's Downtown  Eastside. The goal is to build community,  to speak out, and to develop a response to  the many aspects of violence experienced  by women in the area.  Co-sponsored by the Carnegie Centre,  the Senior's Centre and the Downtown  Eastside Women's Centre, the project will  involve a series of workshops, theatre, and  talks by and for women throughout the  Summer and Fall.  Some of the workshops being planned  include violence against First Nations  women, violence against seniors, violence  against lesbians, violence against sex trade  workers, racism as a form of violence, poverty as a form of violence. Other possible  themes that may be developed are violence  against women with disabilities, violence  against young women, violence against  women who experience substance misuse.  The event will culminate in October with a  three-day retreat for participants.  Women interested in joining or developing more event ideas around the theme of violence against women should contact Deepa at  (604) 682-3269, mailbox #8319.  Indigenous women  in the arts  Planning is well under way for a three-  day gathering of indigenous women artists.  Coordinated by the Indigenous Women in  the Arts Collective, and co-sponsored by the  Roundhouse Community Centre and the  Vancouver Status of Women, Ancient Memories Thru Women's Art will be held November 6 to 8 in Vancouver.  Indigenous women have played, and  continue to play, a major role in the healing,  political and creative processes of their communities worldwide. The Collective wishes  to acknowledge the creative woman  through the gathering, which will be devoted to her handiwork, words, dance and  music.  The gathering will provide indigenous  women with an opportunity to share their  accomplishments, ideas and skills, thereby  fostering a sense of cultural pride and community solidarity. The event will also help  bridge a widening gap between young people and older people, heal and unite women  in leadership roles, and foster a sense of historical and political continuity in the indigenous community.  The Collective is inviting indigenous  women from a broad range of artistic expression to participate in organizing different aspects of the gathering, and, of course,  to attend. Specifically, organizers are looking for women to facilitate artist workshops,  the cultural night, various exhibitions, panel  discussions, healing circles, and the satellite video conference, and to volunteer.  For more information about the gathering,  contact Michelle Sylliboy at (604) 251-4621,  ext. 1; email:; or write to: 307-  1710 E. Pender St, Vancouver, BC, V5L1W4.  Conference on  women and co-ops  WomenFutures CED Society, DevCo  and Oxfam-BC are planning a day-and-a-  half long conference in the Fall for individuals and organizations from the co-op sector,  or those interested in becoming involved in  or developing a co-op.  Through panels, workshops and  plenaries, women will collectively generate  ideas for increasing co-op participation, and  creating new opportunities for co-op development. The organizers welcome participants from credit unions, worker, marketing, housing, consumer and service co-ops  throughout BC.  Registration is $75, which includes a  first evening reception, as well as lunch and  coffee. Subsidies are available for individuals not sent by an organization.  For conference dates and venue details, or  for more information, contact Melanie Conn or  Kaela Jubas at (604) 737-1338.  First national survey  of L/G/Bs  EGALE (Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere) launched the first-ever  national survey of lesbians, gays and bisexuals in Canada last May. Co-sponsored by  several federal ministries and the Canadian  Human Rights Commission, the survey is  intended to gather data about L/G/B Canadians at the national level.  "For many years, gay and lesbian experiences have been largely overlooked,"  says EGALE President Carmen Paquette.  "Obtaining this information is vital to  shedding much-needed light on these diverse experiences."  The survey covers a range of topics  including: demographics, how "out" you  are, sexual orientation, discrimination and  violence issues, same sex relationship, children and parenting issues. "The information generated by this research project will  enable governments, decision-makers and  community stakeholders to make more  informed policy choices based upon more  accurate data than has previously been  available," says co-researcher Sandra  Goundry  For more information or to receive a copy  of this completely confidential survey, in English or French, contact EGALE toll-free at 1-  888-204-7777.  Jubilee Action and  the Year 2000  The Jubilee Action Group (JAG) recently formed in Vancouver to promote  and act on the vision of Jubilee for the Year  2000. Internationally groups are supporting the Jubilee 2000, demanding the cancellation of Third World debt. Jubilee is an  ancient tradition that calls for the redistribution of wealth and land, release from all  types of slavery, and renewal of the earth.  It first appeared in the Jewish and Christian scriptures and then was later used by  revolutionary and anti-slavery movements  in England, NorthAmerica and the Caribbean.  JAG's Women Against Poverty and  Violence Committee is supporting the  World March of Women 2000 as an international campaign that is specifically calling for the just redistribution of the world's  wealth and work for women [see Kinesis,  May 1998].  The committee is inviting Vancouver  women's organizations to come together on  September 27th to raise and discuss demands that will be used by the World March  2000. The results of these local discussions  will be taken to the March 2000 Canadian  joint working committee and then to the  October International Preparatory Meeting  in Montreal in October.  For more information on the Jubilee Action Group and the September meeting contact Linda Moreau at (604) 879-1209 or  Denise Nadeau at (604) 876-6744.  Mediation is a way of  finding solutions to conflict  which preserve rights,  dignity and the future  ability to work together.  MELINDA MUNRO  MEDIATOR/LAWYER  401-825 granville street,  Vancouver, b.c. v6z lk9  689-7778(ph)     689-5572 (fax)  seeking peaceful solutions  -which respect difference,  equality and justice  labour/employment, human rights,  civil disputes and conflicts within  community organizations.  JULY/AUGUST 1998 What's News  compiled by Rita Wong and Leanne  Keltie    Racist population  control method  Over the past 10 years, more than  100,000 women living in countries in the  South have been sterilized with the chemical quinacrine, according to a report in the  Wall Street Journal.  This highly experimental and dangerous form of sterilization is being promoted  by two Americans, Stephen Mumford and  Dr. Elton Kessel, whose promotion of  quinacrine has racist overtones. The two  pay for the manufacture of the drug in  Switzerland and arrange for its free distribution in 20 countries around the world.  Mumford and Kessel, whose nonprofit organization, the Center for Research  on Population and Security, relies on financial backing from anti-immigrant forces, see  quinacrine as a means of curbing world  population and reducing the potential  number of immigrants to the US. "This explosion in human numbers, which after  2050 will come entirely from immigrants  and the offspring of immigrants, will dominate our lives. There will be chaos and anarchy," states Mumford.  Because of questions about safety and  effectiveness, including possible cancer  risks, quinacrine sterilizations are opposed  by the World Health Organization, and are  not permitted in the US. By inserting the  chemical directly into the uterus, this type  of sterilization prevents pregnancy by scar-  WORKSHOPS  ring the fallopian tubes. Many women faint  from the pain of the procedure which is not  accompanied by any anaesthesia. Side effects include abnormal menstrual bleeding,  fever, backaches, headaches, and lower abdominal pain.  In addition to concerns about the  health hazards, the president of the International Women's Health Coalition in New  York, Adrienne Germain, says there is also  too much potential for serious abuse because of quinacrine's inexpensiveness,  portability and simplicity. Germain states  unequivocally: "there is no murky middle.  It shouldn't be used, period."  Chinese Indonesians  targeted during riots  Human rights and women's aid  groups in Indonesia have begun to document what they believe is an organized  campaign of assaults, gang rapes and killings of ethnic Chinese women and girls  during the three days of rioting last May.  The aid workers, who have talked with  dozens of victims, estimate that over 100  women and girls were attacked and raped  in Jakarta alone, between May 13th and  15th. Reports of similar attacks in other cities, in the days preceding the fall of President Suharto, have also come in.  Police in Jakarta say they have received  no reports of attacks on women and girls  during the riots. However, the volunteer  coordinator at the only organization in Indonesia supporting abused women, Mitra  Perempuan Centre, says it's not surprising  VACATIONS  Make This The Year  You Come To Hollyhock!  Live and work with your favourite  teachers on beautiful Cortes Island.  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Nadia, a worker  at another women's aid centre, a number  of women have committed suicide following the assaults.  Dhanie says the incidents ranged from  "mild" cases of sexual harassment, such as  10 women being taken from a bus, stripped  and forced to bathe in a stagnant roadside  pond, to extreme cases, including a pregnant woman and her three daughters being raped and molested in front of a cheering crowd.  Increasing evidence suggests that incidents of arson, vandalism, rape and assault during the May riots were planned  and aimed directly at particular ethnic Chinese neighbourhoods. Because of the organized nature of many of the assaults, and  because of some physical descriptions of  the attackers, human rights workers say  they suspect that some elements of the  armed forces may have been involved. One  woman said she was raped by men who  had a military uniform in their car.  The Mitra Perempuan Centre says it  will launch its own inquiry into cases of  sexual abuse during the riots.  Biggest sex harassment suit settled  On June 10, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation agreed to distribute $34 million  among 300 women who claimed they had  been sexually harassed while working at  the Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Illinois.  The settlement is the highest dollar  amount ever granted in a sexual harassment case. The money will be distributed  in varying amounts, depending on the severity of the harassment.  The class action law suit was brought  against Mitsubishi by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 1996 on  behalf of women who claimed their male  fellow employees had groped them,  touched them, and in some cases threatened them with the loss of their jobs if the  women didn't agree to have sex.  The settlement also required Mitsubishi  to establish a three-person panel of people  outside the company to monitor the company's efficiency in preventing and dealing  with sexual harassment in the future.  Women charged  with harming fetus  In an unprecedented decision, the  South Carolina Supreme Court ruled last  Fall that a "viable" fetus is legally a human  being. Given this ruling, pregnant women  who engage in behaviour deemed "harmful" to a fetus can and have been charged  with child abuse.  The law has even been applied in cases  where no actual harm was done to the fetus. For example, Malissa Ann Crawley lost  custody of her six-year-old for smoking  cocaine while she was pregnant. She overcame her addiction, found a job and was  successfully raising three children when  law enforcement officials imprisoned her  and sent her children to live with relatives.  One South Carolina Supreme Court  judge stated that the social dysfunction of  "girls having bastard babies on crack cocaine" outweighs the fact that drug addiction is a health problem. He added that "the  law they gave me...said I could put them  in jail." So he did.  Not coincidentally most of the women  who have been arrested under this law are  African American women who tested positive for drug use while in hospital for prenatal care or delivery.  Earlier in a raid on a hospital in  Charleston, police arrested 30 women on  charges of endangering the fetus. Many of  the women arrested were "taken away in  chains and shackles, still bleeding from  delivery," reported the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York.  The US Department of Health and  Human Services conducted an investigation and stopped this practice. However,  women in South Carolina may still be arrested under the recently upheld law.  Program set up to  protect privacy  The fight to make it safer for women to  report sexual abuse and assault got a little  bit of support in Nova Scotia last month. Last  month, the government in that province instituted a program to help women keep personal records out of the hands of the men  charged with sexually assaulting them.  The year-long, $100,000 project will  offer free legal support and counselling to  victims of sexual assault who otherwise  could not afford to hire a private lawyer or  defend themselves to ensure their personal  records are not disclosed. Nova Scotia is the  third province in Canada to offer this kind  of support.  Many women, under the threat of having their personal, medical and counselling  records on public display, drop their cases.  This is a process that, according to Irene  Smith, director of the Avalon Sexual Assault  Center in Halifax, is designed to "discredit  the witness" and "put the victim on trial."  Feminist activists in the violence  against women movement have long been  fighting to ensure strong legislation to prevent the accused's defence counsel from  going on fishing expeditions after women's  counselling, medical, school and other personal records. This fight became even more  critical after the Supreme Court of Canada  in the O'Connor case set out very broad  guidelines for disclosure.  Partly in response to pressure from  feminists, the Liberal government brought  in Bill C-46, which is intended to set out  more restrictive guidelines on what information can be requested for disclosure and  under what circumstances. However, last  year, courts in both Alberta and Ontario  ruled the legislation is unconstitutional,  violating the accused's right to a fair trial  [see Kinesis February 1998.]  Anne Derrick, a Halifax-based lawyer  representing a woman in a sexual assault  case, says that complainants should not be  re-victimized by forcing disclosure of their  personal records: "We don't produce the  private records of bank tellers in cases of  bank robbery," says Derrick. "I think it really plays into the kinds of myths that have  swirled around sexual-assault cases for a  long time."  [Sources: Feminist News (http:/, the Globe and Mail, and various sites on the Internet.]  JULY/AUGUST 1998 Feature  Feature  Interview with United Native Nations president Viola Thomas:  Leading with integrity   and honour  as told to Carole Dawson   Viola Thomas is from the Secwepemc Nation and grew up on the Kamloops reserve. She  has been a long-time advocate for the rights of  Aboriginal peoples in all areas of their lives. In  1996, Thomas was elected to the presidency of  the United Native Nations, a provincial organization representing off-reserve Aboriginal peoples in British Columbia. She is the first woman  to hold that position. For those who've had the  honour to work with her, they know Thomas  has been fearless and tireless in the fight against  the unjustices, past and present, done to the  First Peoples of Canada.  Carole Dawson recently had the opportunity to talk with Viola Thomas about the critical issues and challenges facing off-reserve  Aboriginal peoples today, and her vision for  the future. Dawson is a member of  Musgamagw Tsawataineuk which is located at  Kingcome Inlet. For many years, she worked  as a sex abuse and alcohol and drug abuse counsellor. Dawson is currently working on a six-  month project with the Association of First  Nations Women on violence against women.  Carole Dawson: What are some of the  milestones during your term as president  of the UNN?  Viola Thomas: One of the key issues that  affects our people is the right of our children to be with their families, and to have  a connection to, not only their cultural heritage but also, their extended family. What  I witness almost every day in this city is  our children being abducted [apprehended  by the provincial government] from their  Nations, their families, and placed with  non-indigenous families.  One of my crusades during the past  two years has been to lend support to  Hubert Morriseau, who is originally from  Manitoba but now resides in BC. He's the  biological grandfather of Ishmael  Morriseau. He recently reunited with his  grandchild and has been in a custody dispute [with Duncan and Nancy Haimerl, the  non-Aboriginal couple who adopted  Ishmael's mother Melissa.]  The UNN has made a formal complaint to the Children's Commissioner of  BC [Cynthia Morton] with the hope that she  will refer this complaint to the Indigenous  Tribunal, established about a year ago.  I was horrified to hear that the  Haimerls have been granted a hearing at  the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC).  [Hubert Morrisseau was awarded custody of  Ishmael by the BC Court of Appeal] Now, we  have to muster up our strength to take it to  the national level. I feel strongly we must  continue to fight for that little person. I'm  hopeful justice will prevail.  Dawson: I can't go on without noting  that you work with integrity and honesty,  and that you have contributed a lot of  things to First Nations politics. What are  your thoughts on the political situation in  our communities?  Thomas: It's an issue of becoming pro-  actively involved politically. Part of that is  having a critical mind around the impact  of colonialism on the First Peoples of this  country, especially on our women.  The challenge we have as First Peoples  is to deconstruct the colonial process of  mainstream politics. It's not a democratic  process at all. What level of government has  ever appointed an indigenous person to be  the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs? The governments would never say, "We can't appoint this white person because this white  person might be biased to the white people of this land."  a good role model for our people. Many  feel more freedom to speak out, and I see  the UNN encouraging youth in a variety  of capacities, something which is needed  but has been lacking. Those are also some  of the milestones you've achieved.  Can you tell us about your future plans?  Viola Thomas and Carole Dawson  Many of our indigenous leaders have  adopted the mainstream torm ot politics.  We must not imitate that style of politics,  but rather emulate the values in our own  forms of self-governance—ones that honour the input of all people.  I get tired of hearing people say we already have self-governance. I want to know  what their definition of self-governance  is—there's a huge myth being put out to  Thomas: I'm really humbled by the people who've come before me; the people who  have sacrificed to allow us to be where we  are today as a people. There have been  many people who have given up time with  their families and their own personal goals  to fight for the rights of the First Peoples of  this land. Their sharing of their teachings  really influenced me to want to contribute  in any little way I can.  "I find it disgusting  and outrageous that the national  indigenous leadership has never  pursued a class action suit  against the Pope."  the Canadian public that the "Indian Act  Chiefs and Council" is self-governance.  What Canadians don't understand is that  system was imposed on us to erode our true  forms of governance.  We need to inform our people so  they're not intimidated by mainstream politics, but at the same time, we also need to  democratize mainstream politics to ensure  our people's voices are meaningfully respected and reflected in the partisan politics of this country.  The other important factor to recognize, especially for our women and children, is the continued loss of dignity caused  by colonial policies that deny us our civil,  political, economic and cultural rights.  Dawson: Viola, I want to revisit a philosophy of yours that stands out, which has  given me hope as someone who has been  active in First Nations organizations for  over 30 years—that is, your philosophy of  "power with" versus "power over." You are  I grew up around politics. My grandfather on my father's side was the last hereditary leader for my Nation, and my  grandfather on my mother's side was the  first Indian cowboy to win at the Calgary  Stampede [in 1923].  The late great George Manuel was a relative of mine, and he was a champion in advocating for the rights and dignities of the  indigenous peoples internationally. My  mother's sister, the late Mildred  Gottfriedson, was a founding member of the  BC Native Women's Society Throughout my  life, I have been impacted by witnessing the  advocacy of different people in my family.  I guess thaf s what inspired me to get and  remain involved in trying to find ways and  means to challenge the stereotypes and myths  about our people, systemic racism, and the failure of Canadian people to live up to their so-  called commitment to human rights.  For me, the future holds an opportunity to work with our people in a good  way—one that honours and empowers.  People become leaders because of the people; it's the people who elect them and put  them in power. If I can't listen to the people, if I lose touch with the pain and suffering of our women and children on the  streets, then what's the point of me trying  to be a leader.  That's where I get my inspiration to  have elephant ears and try my best to ensure I operate in a manner that reflects the  dignity of our people.  Dawson: Elephant ears and a very large  heart too, Viola. It's really interesting that you  say that politics is in your blood. I think you've  also contributed greatly to your own  politicization You've made your own sacrifices  and have worked in a variety of capacities, including as a paralegal with the Vancouver Aboriginal Justice Centre. Since you left that position, do you feel the judicial system has progressed in relation to our people?  Thomas: No, not at all. I think the recent case of Bishop Hubert O'Connor certainly reflects the inability of the judicial  system to fully appreciate the impact of  physical and sexual abuse on our people  [see page 3.] There are still a lot of biases  within the whole legal infrastructure.  The biggest problem is that the justice  system is not about justice; it is about procedure and precedence. It is based on how  good your legal counsel is or what judge  you get. That's not justice.  Dawson: You've followed the residential  school "process," for lack of a better word.  What are your thoughts about how governments and the First Nations leadership are  handling this whole nightmare that's constantly being revisited on our people?  Thomas: In BC, there is a Residential  Schools Task Force as well as a Residential  Schools Project. Their mandate is to provide workshops, support and counselling  to survivors of residential schools. However, their inability to reach out to survivors, particularly those in institutions (such  as prison or mental health facilities) and  those living on the streets, is a huge barrie'-  to healing.  We know that the majority of Aboriginal sex offenders in prison were victims of  residential school abuse. We also recognize  that many of the life difficulties our brothers and sisters on the street have is their  form of resistance to the pain they've had  to burden. BC had more residential schools  than any other province, but there's been  little effort to ensure the people who are in  most need of the support are accessing it.  Another dichotomy is that the majority of those residential schools were operated by the Roman Catholic Church. Well,  the Catholic Church is the richest church  in the world; they have their own autonomous state government: the Vatican. I find  it disgusting and outrageous that the national indigenous leadership has never  pursued a class action suit against the Pope.  I think those are the kind of actions we  should be taking internationally.  Dawson: Could you share with us some  of your reflections on the healing circle recently held in Canim Lake area with Bishop  O'Connor and one of the women he abused.  Thomas: It makes me wonder how  much that woman was coerced into par  ticipating in the healing circle through pressure from both Crown Counsel and her  community.  Another thing that bothers me is that  previously there was a circle sentencing  model implemented in Hollow Water, Manitoba to deal with sex offenders. However,  there's been no conclusive evidence whatsoever that this model has been effective in  addressing the healing of those sex offenders or has actually helped the victims.  To me, all this model does is perpetrate  more trauma for the victims, and particularly for indigenous people who have to  live on reserve. The offenders get to remain  in the community. What oftens happens is  that for indigenous people on reserve  there's greater ostracization because of the  way reserves are structured. There's very  little room for true confidentiality to allow  victims to be able to disclose the abuse in a  safe environment.  The other issue around the [O'Connor  healing circle] is the failure of the Attorney  General of BC to honour his promise not to  utilize restorative justice models or healing  circles when it comes to victims of physical or sexual abuse.  Dawson: What are your thoughts about  the role of the women's movement, or other  allies in supporting the rights of Aboriginal people, and in particular, Aboriginal  women?  Thomas: I think the women's movement  has to deal with the cultural biases in their  feminist ideas. Indigenous women don't  separate their issues from land, cultural  rights, or the concerns of indigenous people  as a whole. The failure within the mainstream  feminist community is that they're often only  interested in "gender" issues and nothing  else. I think there needs to be a serious commitment on the part of the women's community to become true allies.  It's also critical that BC's Minister of  Women's Equality Sue Hammell become  more pro-active in addressing policy issues  which impact on the rights of indigenous  women, such as: circle sentencing; poverty;  the lack of affordable or appropriate shelter for single moms; or the fact that there's  only one Aboriginal child care centre in the  whole of Vancouver.  Dawson: BC's Chief Medical Officer Dr.  John Miller has raised some really startling  statistics. For instance, suicide rates for  Aboriginal people living off-reserve are 17  percent higher than for those living on-reserve, and morbidity and mortality rates  are higher as well. There's an illusion that  First Nations people in urban settings are  being well taken care of. This is not true.  What are your feelings on this?  Thomas: Well, it goes back to the 1969  White Paper Policy of the Pierre Trudeau-  led Liberal government, which was intended to allow the federal government to  devolve itself of its fiduciary responsibility to all status and/or treaty indigenous  peoples recognized under the Indian Act.  The attempts of this current Liberal government to off-load its responsibilities to the  provinces is just the new mask of the White  Paper Policy. [Not coincidentally, Jean  Chretien was the Indian affairs minister who  put forward the 1969 White Paper Policy.]  Many of our people have been forcibly displaced because of high unemployment, lack of educational opportunities,  and lack of adequate health services. Of the  128,000 status indigenous people in BC,  only 40,000 live on reserve. We have 197  Indian Act reserves in this province, so it  clearly shows the high number of First Peoples who were forcibly displaced.  There is a false conception that the reserves are ultimately the ones responsible  for all their constituents, regardless of where they reside.  Well, the reserves don't have  the capacity—in terms of  land, finances and other resources—to respond to all the  needs of their people living  away from their territories.  There are a number of  actions we're undertaking to  challenge this false conception. One concerns the  Batchewana case.  [Batchewana is a reserve located near Sault Ste. Marie,  Ontario.] The UNN has been  granted intervenor status by  the Supreme Court of  Canada to intervene in the  case, which challenges the  rights of off-reserve indigenous peoples to vote tor  chief and council. The outcome is really significant for  use in BC, because here only  12 of the 197 reserves currently allow off-  reserve people to vote.  It's also very significant in light of the  BC Treaty Commission process, as the BCTC  is not legally mandated to ensure off-reserve  people have the right to vote in a referendum [on any negotiated land claim agreements.] Its policy states only that bands and  tribal councils are encouraged to ensure this.  To me, it shows that the federal and provincial governments do not truly understand the  jurisdictional problems this causes, and ultimately it only causes greater polarization of  our people.  Dawson: The jurisdictional issue seems  to be a major excuse used by both the province and the feds for escaping any responsibility to Aboriginal peoples. What are  your thoughts about how we can force the  federal Treasury Board or its provincial  counterparts to divulge just how much  provinces receive on our behalf, and why  a lot of that funding is not getting to us?  Thomas: I call it the "economics of  pain." Our people make up the highest  number of people in prison proportional  to our population, the majority of children  apprehended, the biggest users of the  health care system. Every which way you  turn, we've become a make-work project  for the police, the jail system, judges, lawyers, and social workers.  The amount of monies transferred to  the provinces on behalf of status or treaty  Aboriginal people perpetuates another  myth to Canadians that Indians are getting  services for free. This is crap, because the  majority of the indigenous peoples who live  off-reserve are paying all kinds of taxes, and  yet Canadians are led to believe that somehow we have "special" benefits or rights.  The Reform Party plays a major part  in propagating these sensationalized  mistruths about our people's situation. It's  only through educating mainstream Canadians that we can overturn these inequities  and injustices.  Viola Thomas speaking in front of the Main St.  station of the Vancouver Police Department  during the Valentine's march in the Downtown  East Side.  Dawson: What is your perception of  how cultural imperialism is impacting First  Nations people, not just in BC but across  the country?  Thomas: That's part of the myth building. When you look at most initiatives—in  the mainstream and even the alternative  media-the invisibility or stereotyping of indigenous women is quite often perpetuated. Take Disney's production of  Pochahontis. It sexualizes an indigenous  woman. How does that image, or the image of figures like Madonna, impact on  young girls from our Nations?  I have a niece, and once when we were  playing charades she said she wanted to  be Madonna. She was only four. I was absolutely horrified to think that even at such  a young tender age, she's already being socialized to idealize those types of images.  The huge gap that has been created  between our young people and our grandmothers and grandfathers is very scary in  terms of our ability to maintain our true  cultural values, ceremonies and traditions.  We were systematically discriminated  against in terms of our right to speak our  languages and exercise our cultural traditions, such as the potlatch for the coastal  people or the winterdance ceremonies for  the Secwepemc people. All of those were  outlawed. In fact, indigenous peoples in  Canada never got the right to vote in this  country until 1960.  When you look around mainstream  society, what are the images you see of Aboriginal people? For people in the city, the  first thing they think of is "the lazy Indian,"  without knowing that we have many tal  ented indigenous people who've  achieved amazing successes and have  been able to live very well in both  worlds—the Indian world and the mainstream world.  Dawson: You've identified marketing  and the media as having a great role in  manipulating masses of people. Have you  got any suggestions in terms of changing  and improving their attitudes about First  Nations people?  Thomas: I think part of that has to be  about sharing the positive stories, and not  just focusing on the negative stuff in our  communities. We also need to look at how  many of our own menfolk have adopted  mainstream sexist attitudes, which gt'ts  played out through physical and sexual  abuse in our communities, whether on or  off reserve.  The young girls and women who are  the most vulnerable are the ones who  have been living in despair, who have no  self-esteem or hope for themselves or their  families, and who live a life of being  treated as "ugly" every day.  I think there has to be ways and  means that our voices, whether it's  through the arts, media or literature, continuously gets advanced in educational  institutions, including universities. It's  fairly obvious that they continue to use  white "experts" to dissect the contemporary issues affecting indigenous peoples  in this country.  Dawson: I understand the UNN is  coming up to its annual assembly this  summer. Tell me a bit about the UNN's  plans for the assembly, and if you will  stand again for the position of president.  Thomas: I'm really looking forward to  our gathering this year. It's going to be  held August 14 to 16 in Williams Lake,  Chief Sandy Nelson's territory.  One of the things we want to offer  this year is a number of workshops to help  inform our membership of some of the  legislative and policy issues that continue  to create problems for our peoples who  live away from their territories. We're  hoping the dissemination of information  will create a better understanding, and  will also provoke strong resolutions from  the membership on strategies to counter  the inequities for our peoples.  I see this year's assembly as a forum  to receive guidance and criticism from our  membership. I really hope we'll have lots  of indigenous women participating.  That's critical.  We're at a time in our lives as indigenous peoples where we're seeing the  slaughter of our rights—such as the loss  of health care benefits—through the refusal of the federal government to live up  to its fiduciary obligations. The only way  we can force change is through public  persuasion, and public persuasion comes  with education and understanding. And  that has to come from the mouths of our  people.  Members of the United Native Nations are  encouraged topartidpate in the organization's annual assembly. For more information, call toll free:  1-800-555-9756, or in Vancouver: 688-1821.  JULY/AUGUST 1998  JULY/AUGUST 1998 Feature  "Apocalyptic demography" in Canada:  The social policy scam  by Ellen M. Gee  Canadians are being led to believe that  population aging—the growth in the numbers and percent of the population aged 65  and over—is creating such a crisis that the  only way to cope is to dismantle our social  welfare system. This is not true; rather,  population aging is being used by neo-con-  servative forces to justify the formation of  a new "social contract" in Canada. This new  contract is based on the primacy of market  forces, a return to the "good ol' days" when  individuals were responsible for their own  fates and there was none of "this free stuff."  "Apocalyptic demography" is a set of  beliefs about the aging of our population. It  encompasses at least three dimensions. One  is the idea that increasing numbers ("hordes")  of older people will bankrupt us, due to their  incessant demands for health care and pensions. Therefore, we, as individuals, had better prepare to pay for our own retirement—  the government cannot afford us.  Second is the idea that an aging society exacts an unfair price on younger segments of the population, as we have to pay  to meet the needs of the burgeoning numbers of older people—this is the concept of  "generational equity" (or "inequity"). Thus,  the aged are getting more than their fair  share of public monies and are responsible  not only for rising health and pension costs,  but also for child poverty and increases in  the national deficit.  Third, and intertwined with generational equity/inequity is an image of elderly people as well-off leisurers who golf  and cruise endlessly, and who do not care  about younger generations (that is, they are  "greedy geezers").  This set of beliefs has been and is being used to justify a certain course of action—a retrenchment of the old age welfare  state (and the whole welfare state for that  matter) in an effort to counteract the burden of an increasingly aging society Indeed,  the dismantlers of the welfare state depend  upon Canadians believing in apocalyptic  demography.  With regard to pension "reform," privatization of the Canada Pension Plan is in  the wind and Senior's Benefits has been  proposed. At least, these changes have been  subject to public debate (although that has  not stopped the Liberal government from  pushing forward its CPP changes.) Such is  not the case with healthcare. Driven by cost-  containment concerns, we are witnessing a  slow and insidious erosion. More and more  items are being de-listed by Pharmacare,  and medical procedures such as cataract  surgery (needed almost exclusively by elderly persons) are no longer covered by  Medicare in British Columbia.  This is not the first time the population has  been politicized in 20th Century Canada. One  example is the eugenics movement, in which  the control of reproduction was viewed asaway  to preserve the white race and to improve it as  welL This movement spawned sterilization legislation in BC andAlberta that remained on the  books until 1972.  We have data for Alberta only, and they  are very telling. Between 1928 and 1971,  nearly 3,000 sterilizations of "unfit" persons  were performed, many without consent;  teenage girls were most likely you be sterilized;  Anglo Saxons were the least likely; and, in the  last 25 years of legislation, First Nations and  Metis people who comprised 2.5 percent of  Alberta's population, accounted for more than  25 percent of those sterilized.  This example may seem remote from  today's apocalyptic demography, but there  are important points of parallelism. The  problems of the day were conceptualized  in strictly demographic terms (that is, differential fertility, a changing ethnic composition) whereas a much wider set of fac-  find their rightful place in public debates  and public discourse about population aging and public policy.  •Many western and northern European countries have been dealing with  populations considerably older than ours  for many years, and have managed to provide a better and more equitable quality of  life for their seniors.  •Demographic change (aging) has  very little to do with our current debt-deficit problems—they were created by the  anti-inflationary recessions of 1982 and  tors was at play (such as the Depression,  the social changes brought about by rapid  urbanization, and economic modernization). These demographic problems were  deemed to be costly to the public purse,  and, accordingly, "remedies" were sought  to lower public costs. Also, it is hard to fail  to see that, in both cases, the targets of reform are disproportionately women—teenage girls, in the one case, and elderly people, who are more likely to be women than  men, in the other.  Similarly, today, we face a number of  challenges: a sluggish economic growth  punctuated by recessions, government  debts/deficit, the forces and uncertainties of  globalization, the move to a knowledge intensive industrial base, and demographic  change in the form of population aging. The  aging of the Canadian population is really  one of the more minor challenges facing us,  but it has become mythologized as "the culprit" that must be slain by dismantling the  welfare state and, in the process, making  sure that Canadians understand that they  alone are responsible for their old age.  Facts crucial to the debunking of  apocalyptic demography have been accumulating over several years in the social  science research literature, but have yet to  1990, higher world interest rates, and  slower economic productivity growth. Social spending on older people (and others)  was not the cause. A number of economists  have identified the monetary policies of the  Bank of Canada—which, by the way, operates outside of democratic structures and  processes—as the major factor responsible  for our debt and deficits.  •Health economists at the University  of British Columbia have been leaders in  showing that increases in health care costs  have little to do with increasing numbers  and proportions of the elderly, and much  to do with the way that health care is delivered and the expenses involved in high-  tech, "star wars" medical technology.  However, population aging does carry  challenges for health care. We need to move  away from an acute-care/medical model,  seeing as most of the health problems of older  people are due to chronic conditions. A shift  to community care is emerging, butit is community care with no supports. This means  that community care as we know it today  is really family care and, indeed, mostly  care provided by women. Health care reform that traps and overworks women  (and does not even acknowledge care as  work) in an effort to save government dollars is not much of a bargain.  •Elderly Canadians are not well off, for  the most part. While a small proportion of  (highly visible) elderly people are enjoying  a comfortable retirement, that must be balanced by facts such as nearly one-half of  unattached elderly women (mostly widows) live in poverty, and that 20 percent of  senior-headed households have less than  $65 (this is not a typo) in annual income  before transfers—such as Old Age Security  (OAS), the Guaranteed Income Supplement  (GIS) and the Canada/Quebec Pension  Plans (C/QPP)—and 40 percent have less  than $5,179.  [As an aside, the proposed Senior's Benefit, which will roll the OAS and the GIS together and significantly reduce benefits to  middle income people, will increase the incomes of poorer elderly Canadians by just  17 cents a day! It has recently been reported  that Financial Minister Paul Martin may be  backing down from the Senior's Benefit, but  not because of its limited income redistribution effects. Rather, the pressure is coming  from the private pension industry lobby,  which argues that the Benefit will discourage saving—and thus hurt their business.]  •Sociological research is beginning to  identify the numerous ways that elderly  people contribute to society, reminding us  that they are much more than just pension  recipients and health care users. These ways  include volunteer activities and assistance  to friends and neighbours. An American  study reported that elderly people, over the  course of their lives, give in cross-  generational (that is, to their children) transfers about 50 percent more than they receive. When we move into the private domains of life, then, it becomes increasingly  difficult to sustain an image of elderly people as a dependent sub-population—an image that is crucial to maintenance of apocalyptic demography myth.  Of course, there are challenges, even  problems, associated with an aging population. Some of these include: what does/  should retirement mean in a society in  which (when the baby boomers are old)  approximately one-quarter of the population is over the conventional retirement age  of 65; what is the best way to deal with the  long-term care needs of frail elders; how  do we meet these needs without severely  stressing their mostly female care-givers;  How do we get men involved in elder care?  Population aging is only one of many  challenges we face in the next century, and  not the biggest. How Canada can sustain  economic productivity in the face of increasing globalization is a far more important problem. In the meantime, we are being led by neo-conservative forces that wish  to dismantle the welfare state and are using apocalyptic demography as a tool to  manipulate us into accepting it.  Ellen Gee is a sociologist at Simon Fraser University.  JULY/AUGUST 1998 Feature  Women and the Divorce Act in Canada:  Fathers' rights,  mothers' responsibilities  by Lynn Alexander   In light of the federal government's  plan to consider changes to the Divorce Act,  women across Canada are vocalizing a  strong position on the legal and policy reform needed to ensure the basic rights of  women and children are met [see Kinesis,  March, May and June 1998.]  Imagine yourself to be a mother. One  who has survived physical, emotional, spiritual and sexual terrorism by your spouse.  One who has seen your children's terror in  witnessing and experiencing this cruel domestic domination. You feel a sharp acrid  fear as you contemplate the many questions  that arise from your decision to leave the  relationship.  You say to yourself: "I am an Aboriginal woman," "a woman of colour," "an  immigrant," "a woman with a disability,"  "a woman living in poverty," "a lesbian."  "I am doubly disadvantaged, and I will experience greater power imbalances, biases  and discrimination. How am I to cope?"  You look at your children and feel their  pain. You know the wounding you feel that  will lead to your spiritual death. Today, you  decide to protect your children's lives,  along with your own. You pack what you  can carry and flee with your children to an  unknown safety.  You believe you have the basic right to  freedom from discrimination and violence.  What you don't know is the horrific ordeals  many women and children face in custody  and access disputes after they leave their  abusive partners. Ordeals due, in part, to  inadequate laws and policies that fail to  protect women and children, and to problematic attitudes and misconceptions held  by members of the judiciary and paralegal  professions.  While only about five percent of custody and access cases are decided through  the courts, abused women and children are  overly represented in those cases. Still, the  Divorce Act continues to be designed to fit  the needs of families in which violence and  abuse are not the primary factors. This  leaves the women and children leaving  abusive or high conflict relationships inadequately protected.  Case law studies and literature reviews  show that many men who initiate custody  and access challenges through the family  court system do so in order to harass or  maintain control over their ex-spouse. In a  1995 study done by Terry Arendell in the  United States, three-quarters of the fathers  she surveyed admitted they had threatened  their ex-wives with a custody challenge after divorce, and nearly one-third issued a  "formal threat through an attorney."  Reforms critical  "It is critical to discuss the reforms to  the Divorce Act because of the gender neutral approach to law in this field, which  overlooks the social realities which are not  gender neutral," says Susan Boyd, a law  professor and Chair of Feminist Legal Studies at the University of British Columbia.  Any changes to the Divorce Act must  be based on the reality of how women live.  For one thing, protection from abuse must  be an objective of the Divorce Act. As well,  women want a redefining of "child-centred" to make the care and protection of  children the first concern, and this starts  with acknowledging the reality of child-  rearing. [See sidebar, page 14.]  Currently, the "best interests of the  child" is the principle on which child custody and access decisions are said to be  made. However, current research indicates  that "best interests" is too often used to support orders which may not be good for children, such as liberal paternal access to children despite unresolved mobility issues,  violence against women, or child abuse.  As well, the "child-centred" approach  being considered by the Special Joint Senate/House Committee on Custody and Access is promoted as gender neutral, and as  fair and reasonable with an emphasis on  "shared parenting" as the ideal post-separation arrangement. However, this so-called  gender neutral approach, in fact, just ignores gender realities.  ADivorceAct that accurately reflects the  realities of pre- and post-divorce families is  important for all divorcing women, not just  those whose cases are settled through the  courts. The Divorce Act sets the base standard, from which arrangements agreed to outside of the judicial system are negotiated.  Idealized parenting  "Gender neutral laws and the emphasis on maintaining contact by both parents  renders invisible the caregiver roles that  women play more often than men," says  Boyd. "Women tend to organize their lives  around their children more than men do.  The legal system needs to take account of  these differences."  While women are most often the primary caregivers of children, they generally  don't have the same financial ability as men  to provide for their children. With fewer economic resources, women who separate or  divorce are more likely to have to rely on  social resources such as welfare and legal aid,  which are increasingly being cut back.  Child-centred approaches, such as the  one promoted by the Joint Committee try  to impose idealized notions of "equal  parenting ability" and "shared responsibility." This creates an extremely dangerous  situation for battered women and children.  Abusive men have histories of using violence and intimidation to get their way,  making the process of trying to reach an  agreement unsafe for women.  When an agreement allowing custody  or access is reached, abusive men can then  use increased parental rights and authority  to continue to harass and control their ex-  partners. Giving abusers increased parental rights undermines women and children's right to protection.  "We often see an abuser who no longer  can directly abuse his partner switching tactics so he can use the children as a way of  getting at their mother," says Melody Augustine, a counsellor for children who witness abuse. Often the father will try to undermine the mother's authority by saying  to the children things such as, 'If it wasn't  for your mom, we'd all be together now,'  or 'If you come five with me, I'll take you  to Disneyland.' This creates major confusion for the kids. It's like being torn: they  have loyalties to both parents; they don't  know what is happening."  If children are worried about their  mom's or their family's safety, they won't  be able to concentrate on living their own  childhood. "We see kids who are too concerned with 'adulti things," says Augustine.  "Certainly, we find kids that seem to have  lost that really spontaneous, happy spark."  Dangers of maximum contact  In litigation of custody and access  cases, there has been an increasing emphasis on maintaining close contact between  both parents and children after divorce.  This is codified in the Divorce Act in the  "maximum contact" provisions.  In ideal situations, parents are able to  cooperate in child rearing plans and maximum contact benefits the children. However, coming back to high conflict families  and families in which violence is a big issue, maximum contact with both parents  is never in the best interests of the children.  In some families, contact between the parents is toxic and unresolveable.  There seems to be a higher value  placed on parents' access rights than on a  child's safety. Feeling safe and free from  abuse is in the child's best interest. One  only has to look into the eyes of a child  forced to visit the abuser to understand the  devastation it causes.  Many women find it difficult or impossible to limit their abusive ex-partners'  access to their children, and find themselves labelled "bad mothers" if they try  and do so.  "Often child abuse allegations are disbelieved by the courts unless the woman  can provide extremely clear evidence,"  says Susan Boyd. "If the woman tries to  restrict access by the father because of concerns of abuse and the courts do not believe her or her children, she may be  viewed as an unfriendly parent and could  lose custody as a result."  Women want recognition that there are  cases where no access by the abusive parent would be healthier for the children.  "Women don't want their children forced  to visit an abusive parent who is role-modelling violent behaviours and values," says  Eileen Morrow of the Ontario Association  of Interval and Transition Houses.  And even in cases where violence is  not a primary factor in the break-up, Boyd  says the way the "friendly parent" provision is applied often undermines the decision-making abilities of the primary  caregiver.  One example Boyd points to is if a woman  decides to re-locate her family. "The primary  caregiver may have some legitimate reasons for  moving, such as going back to an area where  she has the support of family members, butshe  risks being labelled as 'unfriendly,' for diminishing access to the father"  Abuse often rises  According to the 1993 Canadian Panel  on Violence Against Women survey, approximately 20 percent of separated wives  were physically abused by their former  spouse after separation. As well, 35 percent  of women reported that their husbands had  become more violent after they separated.  The survey also reports that women who  are separated from their husbands are six  times more likely to be killed by their partner than other women.  Abuse of women is indicative of unfit  parenting on the part of the abusive partner, and the painful effects on children witnessing wife abuse must not be ignored.  There also has to be an awareness that the  first incident of child abuse may begin after separation and divoice because the  woman is no longer available to abuse, but  the child is.  "The problem is that mom is no longer  there to act as a buffer between dad and  the kids," says Augustine.  Supervised access no solution  Even when courts agree there are child  protection concerns, they often still allow  the abuser some access to his children. "The  courts don't seem to understand that an  abusive husband is an unfit parent, so they  almost never deny access," says Morrow.  "That leaves women with only the option  of asking at least for supervised access."  And it is the mother who has the onus of  requesting that access be supervised, not  the judge.  There are many problems with supervised access orders, such as that there are  few services available for supervising access, and that orders are changed too  quickly to unsupervised access and then to  overnight access.  "The main problem is that most supervised access isn't organized, supervised,  funded or facilitated by properly trained  supervisors," says Morrow.  If supervised access is allowed, then it  can't be seen as a temporary solution, but  should be required as a minimum until  there is clear evidence of enough change in  the abuser to ensure the child's safety. Otherwise, there are no controls to ensure the  child's safety when access becomes unsupervised.  Parenting plans and joint custody  At the same time, other solutions said  to lead to "amicable" post-separation and  divorce relations, such as parenting plans  and joint custody must be examined to reflect women's realities. Parenting plans and  joint custody are being promoted as ways  to increase parental contributions and sat-  see DIVORCE page 14  JULY/AUGUST 1998 Intellectual property rights and the commodification of indigenous knowledge:  biopirates plunder " green gold"  by Vandana Shiva as told to Gitanjali  Lena and Marian Gracias   Vandana Shiva is the author of several  books focusing on eco-feminism, the critique of  Western science, and globalization. Her most  recent book is Biopiracy: The Plunder of Nature (between the lines, 1997). A scientist and  activist from India, Shiva is currently the Director of the Research Foundation for Science,  Technology and Ecology in New Delhi.  Last month, Shiva was in Vancouver to lecture at the four-day Summer Institute called  "Women, Life and the Planet" hosted by the  Women's Studies Department at Simon Fraser  University. She also gave two public lectures.  Gitanjali Lena and Marian Gracias had  the opportunity to speak to Shiva about the  connection between intellectual property rights  (IPRs), colonization and globalization, and the  resistance by women.  Gitanjali Lena/Marian Gracias: Can you  explain intellectual property rights and  why they are so crucial to chemical corporations in their attempt to control food,  health and energy?  Vandana Shiva: Intellectual property  rights are a newly created form of property—property in products of the mind.  There are two big problems with IPRs: one  is that they have been expanded to cover  living resources; the other is that this notion of property has been created in Western industrialized countries.  People in Third World countries never  "owned" knowledge as property for capitalist profit. This allows Western corporations to pirate indigenous knowledge and  prior innovations, enclose them as property,  and declare them as new creations, even  though they are not really "new" innovations, but only innovations in a legal sense.  There is a deep confusion taking place  between three concepts that should stay  different. The first is "invention," which  applies to machines but cannot apply to life.  The second is "innovation in knowledge," meaning what we know. Do we  know already that the neem tree can be  used as a pesticide? Yes, so therefore [the  chemical corporation] Grace cannot really  have claim over neem. Do we know that  basmati is an aromatic rice that evolved in  India? Yes; therefore, how can Ricetech [a  Texas-based corporation] have a claim on  basmati?  The third is that corporations are deliberately confusing knowledge innovation  with property innovation. They have declared a new form of property and [are using that definition] to take over what others have innovated but not owned as property  It's exactly like what happened 500  years ago with Native Americans. They  believed the land did not belong to individuals. The absence of deeds and claims  on the land was treated as if the land was  empty, so it could then be claimed by the  colonizers.  An absolutely similar phenomenon is  happening with living resources. What it  means for food production is that it becomes a mechanism to destroy Third World  farmers and small farmers everywhere in  the world, and to turn agriculture into an  industrial activity controlled by four or five  corporations.  A similar phenomenon is happening  in health care. The majority of the world is  still able to heal itself because there are medicinal plants. Seventy to 80 percent of the  people go to their local forests and  backyards to collect herbs. The women  have this knowledge; the healers have this  knowledge. The chemical companies, and  now also the pharmaceutical companies,  are basically pirating that knowledge and  claiming it to be their invention.  There is an epidemic of patenting medicinal plants that have been used by indigenous communities for centuries. And patents are being registered not just for indigenous plants but for humans as well because  we are also part of the biological diversity of  this planet, and we have different resistances.  So for example, the moment they find a tribe  with a resistance to something like malaria,  they patent their blood.  Lena/Gracias: You talk about genetic  engineering in relation to globalization as  part of the project of capitalist patriarchy.  Can you give us some examples of how  women are resisting this theft of their land  and knowledge?  Shiva: In India, we just put together an  alliance of women who are resisting genetic  engineering, as we're not taking globalization to be inevitable. Many of us are women  scientists who are fully aware of the ecological and scientific consequences of this  enterprise.  [With globalization,] you have a system of permanent capital accumulation because of the regenerative nature of life,  which is now being declared as property.  So in a way, the fact that life generates and  multiplies translates into a multiplication  of money. The fact that it happens freely is  seen as the problem, and therefore there  must be an interference in that "free" reproduction cycle. So, seed saving must be  made illegal; people's integrity over their  bodies must be declared obsolete.  "We have started creating  patent-free zones based on  women's indigenous knowledge,  which is more sophisticated than  genetic engineering."  In India, I work with women farmers,  and we've basically said we will never accept the concept that seeds have been created by men who own capital. The seed is  a gift of nature with which women have  worked over centuries. To corporations,  that partnership of free giving and taking  must end because they say [control over  seeds] is necessary for the continuation of  life and abundance on the planet. This untruth packages bio-technology as the solution to scarcity on the planet.  Lena/Gracias:So when you describe the  non-hybrid-seed as the new symbol of freedom, is this what you mean?  Shiva: Exactly. The seed is the symbol  of life. The enclosure of life is the new slavery and the new re-colonization. We have  movements to save seeds and to not cooperate with any regime that pretends that  seeds taken from indigenous societies have  been created by Western corporations.  Women saving seeds and taking care of the  needs of their family are being treated as a  criminal act. But the resistance of millions  is unstoppable.  We have started creating patent-free  zones based on women's indigenous  knowledge, which is more sophisticated  than genetic engineering. It takes ecological webs into account. It doesn't try and  work at the fragmented reductionist level  of genes and molecules, and it works at the  level of living food chains. It works in partnership with nature to maximize productivity while maintaining nature's base of  soil, water and biodiversity.  We also have a world-wide movement  of diverse women for biodiversity which  has brought together women from Switzerland and Austria who have held referen-  dums to vote against genetic engineering  and the patenting of life. Women in Ireland  have put a legal challenge against [the California-based agrifood/chemical corporation] Monsanto's genetically engineered  beetroot.  Lena/Gracias: And there are women in  Tamil Nadu who are protesting the destruction of the coastal ecologies because of  shrimp aquaculture. This form of production requires loads of fish to feed the  shrimp, which is exported anyway.  Shiva: It's part of a phenomenon that's  taking place at the level of action in fields  by women and farmers, and at the frontiers of science and knowledge where  women scientists are saying bio-technology is crude science. It is not cutting edge  of science to assume life as a machine; it's  19th Century science. We need a different  science for the 21st Century that respects  the complexity of life.  Lena/Gracias: Biopiracy is a fundamentally racist initiative, since the tropics are the  cradle of the planet's biodiversity. Can you  talk about how it relates to colonialism?  Shiva: Biopiracy is very much a second  coming of Columbus. When Columbus was  given paper by the King and Queen of  Spain, it was called a "letter patent." It gave  him the authority to appropriate land  "Biopiracy is very much  a second coming of  Columbus."  which did not have white Christian princes,  to treat them as empty, to own them on behalf of the king, the queen, the Pope and  God.  Contemporary patents are similar  charters of ownership, allotted by patent  officers in the US. They have no right to  make claims on the neem tree, tumeric,  pepper or basmati, but are deciding the fate  of all those who have grown and used them  for centuries. This means that as long as the  existence or properties of a plant or animal  have not occurred to Western scientists, it  doesn't exist. Ideas get "discovered"  through contact with capital and whiteness,  and therefore it is both a capitalist and racist project.  Lena/Gracias: And it is also a colonial  dynamic that women who produce neem  can no longer afford to purchase the finished product: the neem oil.  Shiva: Biodiversity is being referred to  as "green gold:" green is the living  biodiversity and women will still be the  labourers, but the gold is in the hands of  the corporations.  Lena/Gracias: How do trade liberalization regimes, such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) the World  Trade Organization (WTO), the Asia-Pacific  Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the  Multilateral Agreement on Investments  (MAI), impose IPRs on trade, on agriculture, and on health within countries? What  mechanisms are in place to "protect" the  corporations against peasants, farmers,  healers?  Shiva: IPRs is a concept that has been created very subtly, quickly and slyly. Around the  time itwas being created, itwasalsobeing taken  to the WTO, which at that time was know as  GATT. In the Uruguay round of GATT [in Paraguay in 1994,] corporations from the US and  other countries [hooked up with] the US government to [press for inclusion of] IPRs into free  trade treaties.  Countries like India resisted, saying  this is not part of trade regimes. Ultimately  GATT adopted a trade-related intellectual  property rights [TRIPS] agreement, which  became the framework that every country  has to implement.  The way Third World countries are  forced is simply by the fact that there is this  international agreement. But they aren't  even given the freedom to interpret it in  their own way. India tried to interpret the  TRIPS agreement on its own terms, but the  US took it to the WTO. The WTO ruled  against India.  The WTO works on behalf of powerful countries and industries. So, in this case,  the interpretation that finally counts belongs to the pharmaceutical industry Instead of protecting the public, you get protection of corporate interests. In a way, we  have a global legal system that is there to  police the everyday activities of ordinary  people taking care of their needs. Even their  autonomy to live within their means is be  ing denied them. You have to be enslaved,  you can't be free.  Lena/Gracias: As settlers on colonized  land, we have an uncomfortable relationship  to this land appropriated by Canada for our  usage, as Canadians. How does eco-feminism as a movement address this tension?  Shiva: Well, eco-feminism is, in my  view, probably the deepest social and ecological philosophy for social movements  available at this point because it tries to reverse the three colonizations of the last 500  years, simultaneously. The first colonization was of nature, as if nature were merely  dead matter to be appropriated, mined for  minerals earlier, and mined for genes now.  The second colonization was of  women. Nothing makes this more dramatic  than the fact that the entire status of women  underwent dramatic change through the  witchhunts. Europe's colonization of its  own women was then projected onto the  rest of the world.  The third colonization, of course, is the  colonization of non-white, non-western people. That colonization includes the theft of  the land of indigenous people in North  America, Latin America, Australia and Africa. Today, the most productive and fertile  resources are in the hands of those who came  in to steal. What was left for the indigenous  people were reserve enclosures, where they  are given barely enough to survive.  Eco-feminism addresses all three of  these colonizations, and finds them all unacceptable. Women are definitely not just  attachments to productive males; they are  creative in and of themselves. They want  relationships of partnership; they don't  want relationships of subjugation.  The ecological crisis gives us enough  signals that it is stupid for us to be thinking that we are playing with dead matter.  Every cyclone, every sea-level rise, the ice-  storm in Quebec, those are all nature speaking back and saying, "Hey, I'm there, don't  ignore me, don't think you can control me."  The colonization of non-western people and their culture is being confronted by  indigenous people's assertion of their sovereignty, outside of the Western property  system. The same thing is happening  around the knowledge issue in India. We  are saying no—if it's a question of royalties, Ricetech will pay Indian farmers, and  any time you touch anything that comes  from us you will pay.  We do not want to reduce ourselves to  your kind of western ownership game. We  do not believe you made the rice, but we  do believe that if you stole the rice, you owe  us something. The centres of capitalist  power have no sense of how much the energy to resist is there.  Lena/Gracias: You said earlier that in a  decade, five corporations will control food,  health and energy production around the  world. What concerns us is the role of ourselves as consumers, settlers, white collar  workers, upper-middle class people, students perhaps, who are collaborating with  this system. Do you think we are running  the-risk of only targeting corporations while  at the same time many of us are benefiting  from globalization?  Shiva: Those in positions of privilege  who are gaining from a system that is making most people lose are obviously in the  position of saying, "Well I'm not a loser, so  let me side with the enterprise of corporate  control because I'm a gainer." Anyone who  has a structural understanding of the processes that are underway will recognize that  while they might not be losers today—tomorrow they could lose.  It doesn't matter how powerful a position you occupy in the structure today, even  CEOs in corporations are being dumped like  flies. If these two Canadian banks merge  [Bank of Montreal and Royal Bank, and Toronto Dominion and Scotia Bank], obviously  one of CEOs of one those banks will go, and  a lot of people will go with them as a result  of cutbacks to expenditures.  Citizens must realize that before they  are consumers, before they are employees,  before they are part of a privileged system,  they are citizens of their countries, societies, communities, and the world—and that  citizenship is under threat.  We are in a very strong kind of totalitarian state. Anyone who is willing to accept  the truncation of their personhood and the  personhood of others—even just for a short  time so that they will have privilege—is not  acting within the time they have to act. In  this wonderful neighbourhood of English  Bay [in Downtown Vancouver,] along with  all the flash of the wonderful shops, you have  people sleeping on the pavements. The other  day, I walked beside a garbage heap and  there was a man sleeping in it. I'm not in a  society that's immune to it.  Gitanjali Lena is a Vancouver based writer,  radio broadcaster, activist and artist from Sri  Lanka. She refuses to buy basmati rice from  Texas. Marian Gracias is currently writing her  PhD dissertation. She refuses to buy grapes  tainted with pesticides produced by Monsanto. Feature  from DIVORCE page 11  isfaction, and to lessen disputes. However,  these are flawed attempts to make the ideal  of shared parenting a reality.  Parenting plans are agreements detailing in full the shared parenting arrangements; for example, every holiday until the  child turns 18 must be specified. This makes  the process of negotiating custody and access arrangements more difficult, complicated and costly.  As well, the focus on joint decisionmaking can create conflict where none pre-  viously existed. Joint custody and  parenting plans share the outcome of limiting the control of the custodial parent who  assumes most of the responsibility for the  care and protection of the child, while increasing the rights of the access parent. This  undermines and restricts the custodial parent's ability to make decisions for the good  of the child.  It must be recognized that joint custody  and two parents cooperatively planning for  their children's future is out of reach for  many separated and divorcing parents.  Parenting plans and joint custody can only  benefit children when parents are able to  work together in the child's best interest,  and in the absence of abuse and conflict.  These arrangements must be truly voluntary and based on the parent's ability to  maintain contact and shared decision-making. Conflict is increased when these conditions aren't present. Where there is violence  against women, these circumstances create  an unworkable and dangerous situation.  Pre-requisites to litigation  Another trend in divorce is toward requiring participation in "Parent Information  Programs" (PIPs), as a mandatory pre-req-  uisite to going the court route. While all disputing parents likely would benefit from  additional information about the litigation  process and the consequences of litigated  disputes on children, what women most often need is quick access to a judge to obtain  a restraining order, exclusive possession, interim custody or a non-removal order.  The PIPs also tend to promote Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) models  without providing adequate information  about the possible limits and negative repercussions of those models. PIPs should  not interfere with a woman's ability to secure her own and her children's safety.  Many of these programs are being  marketed as "parenting programs." These  programs do not teach parenting skills, and  participation in a PIP will not necessarily  make someone a better parent.  The problems with ADR  There is also a trend in the handling of  custody and access cases to put greater emphasis on Alternative Dispute Resolution  (ADR) models. Not coincidentally, this is  happening at a time when we're seeing massive cuts to legal aid and advocacy support.  Cuts to legal aid services has led to  ADR, for many women, being no longer  voluntary or an alternative, but the only  option. ADR strategies, such as mediation,  can only work when it is chosen voluntarily and there are no power imbalances.  "Sometimes, even in mediation situations, it is important for women to have  access to legal representation," says Boyd.  "In a significant number of cases, even  where there is no overt abuse, there may  be very high conflict or power imbalances  for other reasons. For example, the woman  may have less money than the man, or less  access to resources that could empower her  to make a strong argument in relation to  the child custody and financial affairs."  Women are being told that new initiatives such as ADR won't apply when there  is abuse. Yet, meaningful alternatives are  never offered to actually protect women  and children. Women who ask to be excluded from new initiatives because of violence, risk being labelled as making self-  serving "false allegations."  This is going in the wrong direction,  says Eileen Morrow. "Abusive men should  not be allowed to be in mediation in the  first place because it's dangerous for the  women."  The problem with mediation, she says,  is that mediators tend to believe they can  balance power in a mediation session.  "That's not possible. Mediators can't pre-  screen for intimidation and subtle forms of  control that take place in mediation sessions. It is not possible for them to know  the intimidation tactics abusers have used  to control their spouse or partner over a  period of five to 10 years."  Morrow adds that people often think  women in abusive relationships can't negotiate. "The reality is that abused women  spend all their time trying to negotiate with  the guy. It is actually the abuser who has  no negotiation skills and no intention of  negotiating—it's his way or no way."  Forcing families into a process which  has to be voluntary to succeed will not  lower conflict or benefit children.  Taking a strong stand  Women and children will start to be  protected only when laws and policies stop  separating abuse issues out as exceptions  and start taking a strong stand against violence against women and children.  There is a need for less idealization of  the two-parent heterosexual family and  more knowledge about feminist perspectives, diverse family structures, and cultural sensitivity. Any changes in legislation  must reflect the diversity of Canadian people. The inequalities in Canadian society  need to be given visibility. All women need  to be included in the law. These include  Aboriginal women, women with disabilities, lesbians, immigrant women and  women of colour.  Imagine yourself to be the mother facing all these biases and blocks to you and  your children's rights of freedom from discrimination and violence. You're furious  and bewildered at the betrayal by a system  that leaves women and children vulnerable.  Even if you are not this mother, the  betrayal touches you in subtle places.  It's time now to fight for your sister,  grandmother, aunt, mother, cousin, niece,  girlfriend, neighbour—she who needs your  strength as she faces the wall of disbelief,  denial, deficit. Be informed. Speak out.  Write to your member of parliament. Share  your knowledge with a friend. Write powerful messages on bathroom walls. Dig a  memorial garden for the women and children for whom it is too late to help.  Be the strong thread or voice connecting place to place.  Lynn Alexander is the pseudonym of a woman  who survived a violent marriage. She is currently  in the family court systemfightingfor her child's  right to safety. She is also a participant in the  "Moving On Program," a pre-employment program for women, which is how she got hooked  up with Kinesis. This is her first article for Kinesis. Alexander says she is focusing on advocacy work for abused women and children  through writing poetry and other media.  Making primary the primary caregiver  To ensure that the voices and realities of women and their children are taken  into account in any recommendation for changes to the Divorce Act, numerous  women's groups, individuals, advocates, child care workers, children who witness abuse counsellors, transition house workers, legal scholars, et cetera, from  across the country sent in written submissions to the Special Joint Committee on  Child Custody and Access Reform. The submissions documented, among other  things, women's own personal experiences with disputed custody and access cases,  statistics on violence against women, analyses of the current Divorce Act legislation, and critiques of the prevailing trends in custody and access cases.  One group of advocates which submitted a brief to the Joint Committee  was the Ad Hoc Committee on Custody and Access Reform. The Committee,  based in Vancouver, is comprised of Georgina Taylor, advocate, researcher, and  a worker at the YWCA's Munroe House, a second stage transition house for  battered women and their children; Ruth Lea Taylor, a family law lawyer in  private practice and a legal advisor to Battered Women's Support Services; and  Susan Boyd, professor of law and Chair of Feminist Legal Studies at the University of British Columbia.  In its brief, the Ad Hoc Committee stresses the need for a strong Divorce  Act grounded in the reality of women and children's experience. Among its  recommendations, the Ad Hoc Committee calls for a preamble in the Divorce  Act that "recognizes the context and realities that must inform custody and  access decisions," as well as one that includes "gender reality, systemic discrimination and violence against women in relationships."  The Ad Hoc Committee also recommends that emphasis be placed on supporting the primary caregiver of the child, rather than on imposing joint custody or shared parenting arrangements. In explaining its position on the presumption of the primary caregiver, the Ad Hoc Committee says:  The over-riding need, in order to ensure an approach which is truly child-  centred, is entrenchment in the Divorce Act of a primary caregiver presumption  based on actual parenting practices rather than ideals or projections of what might  be in the future. This presumption would take into account the actual history of  who has provided care for the child and, in effect, provide more specific criteria  for assessing which parent is best able to meet the needs of the child.  By valuing care over money, a primary caregiver presumption would also  guard against penalizing women who are economically disadvantaged. The  proven skills of providing care for the child, along with maintaining stability  and consistency constitute the best indicators of who can meet the child's needs.  A primary caregiver presumption has the added benefit of reducing litigation, due to the increasing certainty the presumption gives. It may also reduce  ongoing custody disputes by reducing the number of detailed provisions which  parenting plans necessitate.  Recommendations  The Ad Hoc Committee recommends that a primary caregiver presumption for  determining what is in the "best interests" of the child be adopted into the  Divorce Act. A primary caregiver presumption should include:  • that the primary caregiver presumption operate as a true legal presumption,  and not merely be taken into consideration as one of many factors;  • that the primary caregiver presumption apply to all children regardless of  age and not to be limited to children of "tender years." Older children  also benefit from a primary caregiver presumption;  • that the primary caregiver presumption be defined to take into account all of  the physical, emotional, social and relational tasks of parenting;  • that the definition of primary caregiver recognize the mothering tasks of women  with disabilities who may manage the tasks but not physically carry them out;  and  • that the definition of primary caregiver must include and not undervalue  the mothering of women who work outside the home and rely upon others to assist in some of the physical work of child care.  A primary caregiver presumption should be refutable only in the most urgent  circumstances, such as to protect a child from risk of physical or sexual  abuse. The primary caregiver presumption should not be refutable for  reasons of the parent:  • being lesbian, gay, bisexual, whether overtly or not;  • having more than one sexual partner;  • working full time in the paid labour force;  • relying on extended family or support networks for assistance in parenting;  • having less financial stability than the other party claiming custody;  • having a physical disability; or  • having received psychiatric care.  The full brief (32 pages) submitted by the Ad Hoc Committee on Custody and  Access Reform is available from Munroe House, PO Box 29036,1996 W.  Broadway, Vancouver, BC, V6J5C2;fax: (604) 734-0741.  JULY/AUGUST 1998 Feature  Women, health and medical research:  Lesbians on birth control  by Erin Graham  Traditionally, women in their "child bearing years" Ixave been shut out as "participants"  in medical drug trials unless they were on a recognized form of contraception or were sterile.  Why? Researchers considered women's hormonal cycles to be "a confounding influence" on  the trial results-that is, they considered the natural cycles of our bodies too uncontrollable for their  liking. The other reason for imposing this requirement was that they feared being sued if their product "damaged" the fetus.  So what if you're a lesbian? Well, as Erin  Graham tells us, this requirement still applies... (although, eventually you may not need to comply.)  I am an asthmatic. Have been all my  life. My mom, too. We have seen many advances in the treatment of this chronic respiratory disorder, and western medicine  has come up with some pretty good drugs  to keep the wheezing at bay.  When I was a child, there was a general idea that asthma was a psychosomatic  disorder. You did it to yourself to get out of  gym class, or whatever. It is common for  members of the medical profession (and  the general public assumes this stance, as  well) to view illnesses they don't understand in that way. Not all members, mind  you. That's why today there are medications that are effective in the treatment and  prevention of asthma. I must confess that I  don't know all the effects of the drugs I'm  on. Can be hard on the ol' ticker; but then,  so's coffee.  Here's the short story of how far  asthma treatment has come within the last  60 years.  When my mom was a child, she was  very ill a lot of the time. For many years,  she and my grandmother administered injections  of  adrenaline  (now  called  epinephrin) to interrupt her frequent  asthma attacks. One day, after an injection,  mom's eyes rolled back in her head and she  passed out. She never used the stuff again.  Hard on one's heart, that. Scared her silly.  As a young adult, she tried many remedies: steams, poultices and something  called Kellog's Asthma Relief, which was  smoked. Vile smelling stuff, and it provided  only minimal relief.  I too learned to live with chronic shortness of breath. Our family doctor taught me  a method of self-hypnosis, which served to  calm me when I got into trouble trying to  keep up with the neighbourhood kids in  the playground. I took pills, powders, suppositories and sprays. My mom and I got  to know the staff at the emergency ward of  the hospital so well, that one Winter, we  took them fudge for Christmas.  Now that I'm a grown-up, far from the  waving fields of wheat on the Prairies, and  am able to afford regular prescriptions of  inhaled steroids and salbutamol, I enjoy  better health than ever. I also exercise regularly, and mostly stay away from cigarette  smoke and other allergens. (I am in denial  about my cat, and that helps, too.)  My family and I have been the beneficiaries of such advances in medical science  that we now take medications that are effective in preventing and treating the symptoms of asthma, but have few unpleasant  or dangerous effects. None of that eye-rolling and head-first falling down that my  mom experienced.  I know that doctors and research teams  are continually working on better drugs,  and better drug delivery. This is largely  because there's money in it for them, but,  well, if I can breathe, I'll pay the money. Or  rather, my benefit plan at work will.  I have, for several years now, rented my  creaky bronchial tubes to science. I enrol in  one or two asthma research studies a year.  Usually, they involve taking drugs and charting my symptoms for a few weeks or  months, and wheezing into a machine every  week or two. I get a small honorarium, a little more understanding of asthma, and free  drugs for the course of the study.  I first became a participant in an  asthma research study at the emergency  ward of Vancouver General Hospital. I was  asked if I would agree to participate in further studies as they came up. I did so. I love  those things.  The very first study I was able to enrol  in, I was disinvited because of being a lesbian. The second time, I wasn't allowed because I smoked. Now I don't smoke, so  there's only that dykey thing to worry about.  Every darn time I was invited to participate in one of these studies, I would  have to agree to use what the drug companies consider to be "viable birth control"  should I ever do the nasty with a man. I  said to the nurse, "I don't really know a  more effective or fun birth control method  than being a lesbian."  She agreed with me, bless her, and  asked the drug company if I could please  enrol. So that's what happened.  The research nurses with whom I work  most closely are embarrassed by this  heterosexist business. I have to pee into a  container, too, so they can do a pregnancy  test. I don't mind. I like having the pregnancy test done, actually. I play around  with it, hold my breath and hover over the  nurses shoulder...breathe a big sigh of relief when it comes up negative.  This is not about my protection. Since  when have pharmaceutical companies been  interested in the safety of women and children? It's not even about the specious argument used to keep women from being  part of the research, which is that our hormonal cycles will throw the stats out of  whack. Man is the norm. Woman is  "abnorm."  I do, after all, have the same cycles as  heterosexual women, so this is about  heterosexism. This is a cumbersome bureaucracy's way of saying that my decision  to align myself primarily with other women  is not realistic or viable.  My decision to be a lesbian is not taken  seriously. The folks who monitor the studies tell the nurses that, "well, a lesbian could  be raped." The response of the research  nurses is, "Yeah, any woman could. And  you'll accept a diaphragm and spermicide  as viable birth control." Those things aren't  always readily available when a woman is  being attacked.  I like these drug studies. I get nifty little gadgets to breathe into, free stuff to improve the delivery of the drugs I'm on, and  bags to carry stuff around in. And sometimes, the drugs I get to use are more effective or easier to use than the stuff I take  regularly I am treated with respect and care  by the research team, and I karn more  about asthma.  Being a lesbian has nothing to do with  any of that, except that it is somehow a big  deal with these companies.  Erin Graham is a Vancouver lesbian, feminist,  mental health powerlifter.  fig&a  \fd/Book&  .   J    wr    Art Emporium  Western Canada's  Lesbian & Gay  Bookstore  Open Daily 10am to 1 lpm  Our Books/Our Issues  Gay Fiction  Lesbian Fiction  Our Magazines & Journals  AIDS/Health  Humour  Erotica  Little Sister's Book & Art Emporium  1238 Davie Street, VancouverJBC^V6E 1N4  (604)669-1753 Phone Orders 1-800-567-1662  Internet Address:  Queer Theory  Feminist Theory  Biographies, Essays, Poetry  Religion & Spirituality  Art & Photography  Community  Paula Clancy, B.A.  Certified General Accountant  Auditing  Accounting  Business Planning  Income Tax Services  for  Organizations  Small Businesses  and Individuals  Tel: (604)215-1720  Fax:(604)215-1750  Employers and employees!  Avoid problems in future by  having responsible hiring,  dismissal, harrassment and  human rights policies.  MUNRO'PARFITT  LAWYERS  401-825 granville street,  Vancouver, b.c. v6z 1k9  689-7778(ph)     689-5572 (fax)  quality legal services  woman friendly atmosphere  labour/employment, human rights,  civil litigation and  public interest advocacy.  JULY/AUGUST 1998 Feature  Criminal harassment (stalking) in Canada:  Moving on from fear, guilt  and denial  by Sharon Velisek  On September 23,19951 ended an 18-  month relationship with a man I had met  through the singles ads. I knew he was going to find the break-up difficult, but I had  no idea at the time that it could possibly  lead to the magnitude of events that followed.  On November 22,1995 after six weeks  of stalking and harassing me, this man came  around the corner of my carport with a  12-gauge sawed off shotgun  pointed straight at me. After  a short frantic chase  around my carport, I  was shot twice, once  in the arm and once  in the back. I was  not dead, but pretended to be. He  then shot himself,  fell down right beside me, let out a  groan and died.  I have spent the  major part of my last  two years trying to  figure out where I  went wrong, where the "system" went wrong, and where Larry (the  man who shot me) went wrong. What I  have discovered is that criminal harassment  dynamics are understood and acted upon  by very few people—police and public included.  The "system", in regards to criminal  harassment, is in definite need of an overhaul, but that is not what this particular  article is about. I am writing instead about  how I was feeling, why I acted as I did, and  how to go about changing typical reactions  if you are someone's target. Hopefully my  insights will be helpful to others.  Fear, denial and guilt are the emotions  that grip the target, make it difficult for others to help, and make it possible for the  perpetrator to manipulate and control. The  responsibility of the target in a stalking case  is to first realize you are experiencing these  emotions. Secondly, accept them. And  thirdly, attempt to gain some control over  them. If your thoughts and actions come  from fear, denial and guilt, you will only  make matters worse for yourself by playing into the hands of the perpetrator. The  dynamics of a target's responses are often  misunderstood by the police and others  who may be trying to help.  In my case, there was no one who  could have explained to me what I was feeling and how best to handle these emotions.  Hindsight and personal experience have  been my teachers.  The fear a targeted person feels is immense and should never be underestimated. It creeps into every aspect of life  with every contact the perpetrator makes.  Given the right context, a single hang-up  phone call can strike a paralyzing fear into  your very being. Your heart pounds, you  break into a sweat, you're nervous and anxious, and then you turn numb.  Fear is your reaction to being stalked  and it is exactly the reaction the perpetrator is looking for; it is a language he instinctively understands. Your fear gives him  more control over you now than he probably ever had; it also puts him in the driver 's seat with you as the passenger, and no  way to bail out.  Guilt   will   also   be  present. I feel  very guilty about  being the one to break  off the relationship and  cause Larry so much  suffering. Society teaches women to  nurture, not torment. Your natural reaction  plays right into the hands of the perpetrator. He relies on being able to make you feel  guilty, and he knows with extreme cunning  exactly which buttons to push. Your guilt  is as useful in his manipulations as your  fear.  Denial is the most problematic emotion  a target will encounter. I have found it to  be a major problem with every stalking case  I have come to know in the past two years,  especially my own.  Why does strong denial usually surface?  The first explanation I have discovered  is that when you find yourself in such a terrifying state of fear, your body instinctively  knows that it cannot stay at this level of fear  and continue to function. The common  sense reaction is to decrease the level of fear  you feel. This is effectively done by convincing yourself that you are really not in  as much danger as you truly are.  My denial was my worst enemy. I did  not want to let Larry control the way I lived.  I even went so far as to continue to walk to  and from work a few days a week, until  one time when Larry found me walking  and followed me along the sidewalk, in his  car for a block. He could have done whatever he wanted to me in that situation. My  denial of the level of danger I was actually  in allowed me to make the decision of a  vulnerable fool. I never walked again.  The second reason for feeling denial is  a state of conflict that has been created  within you. You dated this fellow, you had  good times with him, you were intimate  with him and now here he is, the same man,  obsessively trying to ruin your life, perhaps  even kill you. You're ashamed that you  could even have gone out with this fellow  to begin with when you can now see him  for what he really is.  How do you conquer these inner feelings of dissonance? By convincing yourself  that he really isn't as dangerous as he  other words, denial.  I could not picture Larry  as being the type of  person  who  could do such awful  things to me. I was in denial. I now  realize it was not the Larry I had been dating that was stalking me. It was the Larry  that I had broken up with that I was dealing with. The one who was feeling self-pity,  hurt, revenge, and addictive control over  and over again until he worked himself up  to the point of being able to pull the trigger. This was a Larry I had never known.  How does one go about gaining control of these very powerful emotions in a  truly frightening situation? Unfortunately,  with great difficulty. But I truly believe that  if you are aware of these feelings and are at  least trying to gain control over them, you  will be helping your situation far more than  if you just gave in to them.  Fear can be best controlled by gaining  knowledge and taking personal action.  Find out the law regarding criminal harassment. Determine how the police and the  court system are expected to properly handle a criminal harassment investigation,  and then make sure that your case is being  handled properly. Have the police do a  safety check on your residence. Find out  which agencies in your area can help you  with emotional support and establish a connection. Develop a plan of action for several worst case scenarios, so that if the perpetrator does try something, you will be  mentally prepared and fear will not be your  first and only reaction.  Do not wait for others to step in to help  you. Help yourself by taking some action.  This will make you feel like you have some  control and say in this matter too, not just  the perpetrator. As for the guilt you are  feeling...throw it out the window. It has no  place in a stalking case. Your intuition told  you to sever the relationship and since this  fellow is now stalking you, your intuition  was correct, so forget about the guilt.  You have nothing to feel guilty about.  He is not stalking you because of something  that you did or did not do. He is stalking  you because his own lifelong problems go  as far back as childhood. You just happen  to be an easy target that he can blame rather  than coming face to face with his own problems.  Denial  is more  comp li-  cated to  come to  terms with  because it  is difficult  to heir  yourself being in denial.  Plus the amount of fear  that you are feeling is  actually causing  you to deny the  level of that  fear. This can  cause problems  for the police, especially  the ones who are not trained in the  dynamics of criminal harassment, of which  there are far too many. They will be looking for signs of genuine fear from the target and instead your denial will show them  "calm and cool."  Every stalking case needs to be considered as a potential homicide. That is the  type of serious attitude that stalking requires, not just from the police, but the target as well. Even though you do not ask to  be put in this situation, you do have to accept that it is the situation you are in and  your actions must be based on reality, not  denial.  As a citizen who has very little to do  with crime, I relied on the police to handle  the stalking situation I was in, feeling certain they would know what to do. However, this was not the case. I cannot overstate the importance of the target themselves taking the initiative to gain control  by gathering knowledge and support from  reliable sources. As the target, you have a  great deal more power to influence the outcome than you think you do.  Do not give in to your fear, denial and  guilt, and do not give in to others saying  there is nothing they can do to help you.  There is always something that can be done.  Sharon Velisek lives in Vernon, BC and is currently writing a book about her experience. Her  story became known publicly after the murders  of Rajwar Ghakal and seven members of her  family by her estranged husband. The outcome  in both the Velisek and Ghakal cases revealed  the Vernon RCMP's ineptness in responding  to violence against women. A coroner's inquest  was held into the RCMP's actions.  Sharon Velisek's article is reprinted from  the newsletter of the BC Institute Against Family Violence, Spring 1998, Volume 7, Issue 1.  JULY/AUGUST 1998 The art of banner making and political activism:  Complex ideas expressed  simply and beautifully  by Jeannie Kamins   Thalia Campbell, a British fabric artist  and social activist and one of the founding  members of the Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp, was in Vancouver in June  as part of her North American tour. Under  the sponsorship of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and  the Social Justice Committee of the Unitarian Church, Campbell presented a slide  show on 100 years of women's banners,  followed the next day by a workshop on  how to make banners.  Campbell is a banner maker of international repute. Her banners can be found  in public and private collections around the  world, including in the United Nations  building in New York. In 1997, she rode the  peace train to Beijing [for the 4th World  Conference on Women,] not only bringing  women's banners with her, but also making a banner along the way. She often makes  her banners in collaboration with other  women, using simple and bold designs to  preserve a directness which is effective in  communicating complex ideas.  Campbell has collected banners from  all over England, and has assembled them  into a show which, with her husband, she  has brought to many venues across England. The slide presentation was a sample  of this exhibition.  Her presentation covered a history of  banners describing how many radical  movements borrowed ideas from the traditions of carnivals, fairs and religious processions to bring the banner into use for  political marches, labour guilds, and peace.  Traditionally, it had always been women's  place to make those such banners, but since  the Suffragette movement, women have  used banners to illuminate their own issues.  Campbell showed some of the early  Suffragette movement banners, as well as  banners which highlighted other women's  issues: from the temperance movement, to  the cooperative movements of the 30's, to  social issues such as child abuse, to labour  issues and union banners, to the peace  movement and banners from Greenham  Common. Greenham Common was a major United States Air Force base located  about 80 miles west of London, England.  In 1981, the US brought in 96 Cruise missiles and started testing them from the base.  Many women from the peace movement  set up a camp to protest nuclear weapons  on British soil and to reveal the actions of  %'^ri4*t>  Thalia Campbell with a Greenham Common banner.  ... since the Suffragette movement,  women have used banners  to illuminate their own issues.  Banner designed and made by M. Heard for the Bath Star March to  Greenham Common, July 30th - Aug 6th 1983  the government. Many of the banners  which hung on the base's fences were made  by or with Campbell.  As she talked, Campbell described  how the colours used in banners often refer to classic traditions. The Suffragettes  used green, purple and white. Green for  new life, white for purity and honour, and  purple for dignity.  Different symbols also are referential  to ideas enabling more complex messages  to be expressed on a single banner. The  dove for peace and the hawk for war are  simple ones that we easily recognize, but  the Cooperative Women's Guild used a  basket (the power of cooperative buying),  and today, we use the rainbow as a sign of  international hope. Other symbols  Campbell showed included logos, peace  signs, specific flowers (poppies), and flags.  The slogans on banners often refer back  to poetry or their political action. She  showed one early Suffragette banner that  said, "We bind ourselves that others may  be free," referring to an incident where the  women chained themselves to the railings  in the British Parliament to get the vote.  Other slogans used include Virginia  Wolfe's: "As a woman I have no country.  As a woman the world is my country."  Sometimes the slogan? would have been  picked out or covered up, as banners were  recycled for new issues and other causes.  Campbell described how rich women  would get the church banner makers to  make their banners, and how sometimes  banners would be exchanged with women  from other countries. She showed a lovely  banner that had been sent by Russian  women to the Miners Union in 1926, which  was draped over the coffins of miners killed  in the mines in Britain. As well, she showed  a series of banners celebrating important  women in history, such as Joan of Arc,  Marie Currie and George Elliot.  Banner making is experiencing a revival as we enter a time of increased repression and exploitation. The adaptability of  banners is remarkable.  They can be stored and moved about  with ease. They can be carried high on a  march or propped against or hung upon a  wall at a political meeting. They can be  made by amateurs or professionals, and can  even be a stand in for those not present.  They are visually interesting to a vulturous media and, made into postcards, can  become objects for fundraising and missives to communicate around the world.  Summing up with a quote from Dawn  Paviri: "Great claims are made for the pen,  the brush and the sword, but the needle can  be as sharp, as mighty and as moving."  Jeannie Kamins is a fabric artist, writer and  curator living in Vancouver.  Bmffllffill  A Beautiful Place  5 acres of forested foot paths with  ponds, ocean and mountain views.  Healthy Breakfasts  Hot Tub & Sauna  (250) 537-9344  1207 Beddis Road, Salt Spring Island, BC V8K 2C8  rfUNICATlOH  WOMEN  IN PRINT  BOOKS & OTHER MEDIA  10-* Daily 'ô¶ 12-5 Sunday  Discounts for  book clubs  Special orders  welcome  JULY/AUGUST 1998 Arts  Vancouver Folk Music Festival:  Songbirds in the sun  compiled by leanne Johnson   The Vancouver Folk Music Festival returns to Jericho Beach for its 21st season of  music and dance July 17th to 19th. This year  boasts an impressive line-up of over 45 performers.  A friend of mine says her favourite part  of the festival is imagining all the different  places the musicians come from, and as we  have all come to expect and appreciate, this  year's festival offers a diverse range of  music from the First Peoples to Celtic to  Gypsy to Spanish.  The kind folks at the festival have sent  us some selected highlights of women artists performing at this year's festival. Pardon me, while I summarize the press kits  for you. (Music press kits are a genre of their  very own. I think the publicists who write  them get paid by the exclamation mark.)  Local favourite and long-time Spirit of  the West bass and accordion player, Linda  McRae will be performing selections from  her recently released solo debut album,  flying jenny. McRae leans more towards country and alternative  roots music than her previous  Celtic rock career, so you  may be pleasantly surprised if you haven't  heard McRae performing    her  own music  before.  Originally jazz-based, Alcorn has  moved into the popular music realm, so it  should be interesting to see how all of this  fits into the Vancouver Folk Music Festival.  Back to the East  Coast, but this time  to Newfoundland,  where Anita Best  sings for Bristol's  Hope. A product of  Newfoundland's  outport singing tradition, Best is a well  "respected folk  song collector and  performer."  Best briefly  sang      for  F i ggy  Duff,  *  empowering and energetic, include a cappella singing, drums, rattles and stomp. Ulali  has performed all over Canada, the US and  abroad.  The three women—  Pura Fe, Soni Moreno and  Jennifer Kreisberg—all  have an impressive and intriguing list of performance credentials. Not only  are they singers, composers, teachers,  poets,  From further down Texas way comes  Toni Price who very definitely has the most  enthusiastic press kit. Price has three  records to her credit, her most recent being, Sol Power, which features Price and her  totally acoustic stage band. Apparently  known as a "singer's singer and a songwriter's singer," Price has become one of Austin's most popular live performers.  California-based Rebecca Riots (f or-  :merly Final Girl) offers fresh, radical  performed by an acoustic trio.  Combining two guitars and three vo-  . calists, they describe their sound as  "intensely social and personal."  Not much to report from the  rather scanty and out-of-date  press kit, except they have  produced a couple of CDs,  the most recent being in  1995.  And from Cuba  comes La Perlas Son,  seven young women  who grew up in  Santiago. They'll  : sharing the  tage this year  with soprano  sax virtuoso  Jane  Bunnett,  pianist  Marilyn  Lerner, and  the Spirits of Havana.  Also  on the Canadian roster but  this time from the  East Coast is Susan  Crowe. Supporting her  "highly acclaimed debut CD"  This Far From Home, Crowe, a native Nova Scotian, resumes her music career after a 14-year absence.  During the mid '70s, Crowe had begun to achieve national success as a folk  singer, but then decided to withdraw from  performing. She has been compared to the  likes of Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn  Colvin, and Joni Mitchell.  Perhaps the worst press kit award must  go to the management of Coco Love Alcorn.  The opening line is a quote from a enthusiastic Province reviewer, who states that  Alcorn has all the goods necessary to succeed with record companies in this order:  "youth, looks, talent, skill." (Sadly, I'm sure  that the priorities of the record industry  hasn't changed much over the years, but  how about a little decorum please.)  b e -  fore her  long-time  collaborator  Pamela Morgan  took over. Best is also  a host of a CBC radio series, A Little Ball of Yarns,  where she features singers  and storytellers from both past and  present.  From south of the border, this year's  festival brings the band Ulali to Vancouver,  as part of the festival's "Voices of First Peoples" programming.  In ancient times, a Tuscarora woman  carried the name "Ulali"—meaning song  bird—for her beautiful voice. The three-  woman band covers an array of musical and  vocal styles from traditional roots to Southeast choral music. Their live performances are  actors,  but also, according to their bios,  Pura Fe's a lion tamer, Moreno  a trapeze artist, and Kreisberg a fire  eater. See you there!  Other highlights from "Voices of the  First Peoples" will be Joy Harjo and her  band Poetic Justice [see page opposite] and  Maori singer Moanna and the  Moahunters.  Based out of Baltimore comes SONiA  and her folk-rock band, disappear fear.  You may have heard SONiA when she  toured with the Lilith Fair last year. SONiA  has also appeared across the States performing for most of the Pride Festivals.  This year, SONiA produced her first solo  album, Almost Chocolate and is in the midst  of a 50 city American and European tour.  Well,  that's all  the publi- "*aa*S!!y     cists wrote.  Don't forget    to bring your  blanket and sunscreen to see these wonderful and interesting women perform, because I'm sure there will only be rays of sunshine and not a cloud in sight for the whole  weekend.  For full program details and ticket information, contact the Vancouver Folk Fest at  (604) 602-9798; toll free: 1-800-883-FOLK  (3655); or check out their website at  leanne Johnson is a Vancouver writer and press  kit critic.  JULY/AUGUST 1998 Arts   Interview with poet, teacher and saxophonist Joy Harjo:  Inspired by the truth  as told to Gina Gasongi Simon  Joy Harjo was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma  and is from the Creek tribe. Her quest for  knowledge has taken her down many  paths. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts  from the University of New Mexico and her  Masters of Fine Arts from the Iowa Writer's Workshop. Always a woman with her  people in mind, she returned to share the  knowledge she had gained, teaching literature and creative writing at the Institute of  American Indian Arts [in Santa Fe, New  Mexico], the University of Arizona, as well  as the University of New Mexico.  Joy Harjo's compassion and imagination continues to be an inspiration to many  indigenous writers. She has been featured  in many anthologies and her published  books include: She Had Some Horses (Thunder Mouth Press 1984), Secrets from the  Center of the World (University of Arizona  Press 1989), In Mad Love and War (Wesleyan  University Press 1990). Her writing compels you to reflect on the strength and  beauty of women, and particularly indigenous women.  Not only does Harjo excel as a writer  and poet, she plays tenor and alto saxophone and is quite accomplished in her  achievements as a musician. Her music infuses a blend of jazz and tribal musical diversities of her band members—embracing  Muscogee, Northern Plains, Hopi, Navajo  and reggae. Her band is "Poetic Justice,"  and despite what many people may think,  Harjo's band was established long before  Janet Jackson's movie of the same name  was released.  Her recent CD released in 1997, Letters  from the End of the Twentieth Century, exemplifies the diversity and multitude of talent in her band.  The following interview, done with  Gina Gasongi Simon, provides readers with  an inside view of Joy Harjo and her love  for life and music.  Gina Gasongi Simon: In your mind, is  there a particular message you are trying  to convey to the listener on your most recent CD, Letters from the End of the Twentieth Century?  Joy Harjo: I think in terms of messages,  my work comes out of trying to be a source  of renewal for the people. I write poems or  songs because it is part of a larger context.  It's about giving something back.  Gasongi Simon: What came first, the  music or the writing? And what is your  process?  Harjo: The poetry...but I was influenced  first by music. Probably everyone is—as a  child, music catches your ear. I had always  loved the singers while listening to the radio, and I sang along from a very young  age. I could always hear the music in the  poetry. I never really started developing  and learning about music, and specifically  the horn, until about 11 or 12 years ago.  As for my process, it is difficult to say.  Each and every piece is unique and you just  have to do it. Every piece is a little different and has its own personality. It's important to feed the soul so you have something  to write about.  Gasongi Simon: Who inspired you first  as a young girl and who inspires you now?  Harjo: I certainly liked my mother's  singing. My mother went through hell; she  had a very hard life. She was always there  for me and my father while he was an alcoholic. She put up with a lot. She had to  work really hard cooking and waitress-  ing—you know, those kinds of jobs.  The one time when I really saw her really let go, when she seemed to  have a different kind of feeling for  life, was when she was singing.  That is the way she coped and expressed herself. In a sense she was  my greatest inspiration, as well as  all the different singers I'd hear on  the radio.  Then later, the type of people  who inspired me were those people who'd stand up and tell the  truth. One of them was [writer  and indigenous rights activist]  Ken Saro Wiwa, who was executed by the Nigerian government. He stood up to the multinational corporations and the destruction of the land, and they  killed him.  Anna Mae Pictou Aqash is another inspiration, and we have a  song for her. I admire those people whose names you never hear,  who are doing the work of taking  care of the children. Like my  daughter who is 24-years old and  has five children. She has two  birth daughters and three stepdaughters, and she is an incredible mother; not to mention an incredible poet.  Gasongi Simon: How would  you define jazz and your infusion  of jazz?  Harjo: We [Poetic Justice] often get  characterized as being a jazz band, but  we're not. What we do is call ourselves is a  "Tribal Jazz Reggae Poetic Rock Band." We  play elements of Latin and elements of  blues. So, we are really trying to make our  own form of music.  I like jazz, and there are actually a couple of us who really like jazz because it has  its own forms but it's free. There are a lot  of different ways you can travel inside a  song or inside a piece. And that is what I  like about jazz.  I was inspired by Jim Pepper. He was  an incredible jazz musician. He comes from  the same tribe as me. His work is really  important to me.  Gasongi Simon: Could you explain  what you mean when you say "you find  ways to travel inside a piece?"  Harjo: Inside a piece is the inside of the  place where music comes from. Inside the  soul, I guess you would say. One thing that  poetry has taught me, and that making  music is teaching me is the "density" of life.  Life is very complex; it is very beautiful and  it is very terrifying. But, it's amazing!  Gasongi Simon: I am glad you mentioned about always being categorized or  slotted into jazz? What are some of the other  stereotypes your band is challenging?  Harjo: Stereotypes, let's see...well,  that's one. Another is, what is Indian music? What is really important to the music?  Certainly, all the music we've grown up  around is part of our culture and that becomes a part of our music too. Culture and  music go together; they can't be separated.  I think another stereotype we're challenging is the image of Indians. In North  America and all over the world, we are not  seen as real human beings, nor are we seen  Joy Harjo  as having the kind of complexity we do  have.  Gasongi Simon: Yes, a lot of people still  perceive Indian, and I use "Indians" in the  context of mainstream society, as being  under glass within the confines of the museums. What do you see as a means of shattering this glass?  Harjo: First of all, I want our music to  renew the people, and also to renew the  way music is perceived. It is really important for people to see that songs can be useful, even in broad context. You listen to most  of the songs on the radio, and it's a lot of  the same old love songs. Granted, we all  need love songs, but we also need all the  different songs that exist.  I would like to open [the playing field]  up more. There are songs for everything,  and within our own indigenous cultures we  know that. It would be nice to see the whole  system open up to that diversity. You can  have songs about the "Spirit," songs about  life—and life is so complex that we need to  see the complexity in song, the way we see  it in images.  Gasongi Simon: What stereotypes has  Joy Harjo broken?  Harjo: I have broken a lot of stereotypes  and it hasn't been easy. It's not easy because  I'm often the lightest one in the group wherever we go. I'm a grandmother who doesn't  fit the image of a grandmother. I was a teen  mother and didn't fit that image of a mother.  Gasongi Simon: What is the challenge  that society needs to come to grips with in  terms of the role of women, given the struggle women have had to deal with in order  to have their voices heard?  Harjo: I think hatred of the female is a  big one. Fear of the female. There has been  so much visibility of women in mainstream  culture, but the images of women, and Indian women included, have been horrible.  Then you look at the  i     role of women in work  I    fields dealing with chil-  ■     "  dren. Those women are the  :    lowest paid, and yet, it is  the most important and  I    crucial work. Also, the im-  1    ages of Indian women  j    come to mind. How often  |     are we portrayed as not  i     having voices? Our com-  |     plexity and variety of our  I     experience is never ad-  I     dressed, nor ever seen. I al-  I     ways tell people my grand-  1     mother played saxophone.  1     Her name was Naomi  I     Harjo, and my uncles tell  me she was really good.  People don't know those  things about us, and it just  blows them away when  we tell them.  Gasongi Simon: What  has been your most  memorable stage performance?  Harjo: A couple weeks  ago, we played at the  American Music Awards  on the Navajo Reservation, and there was my  daughter and five of my  grandchildren sitting in the audience. We  jammed it out on stage, and I thought, "This  is great!" There they all were perched on  the edge of their seats watching and enjoying it. I loved it.  The entire enthusiasm of the young  crowd was really making me happy. It is  always great when you have the chance to  meet the audience and they tell you how  much they enjoyed your music and how  you have ready inspired them. Then, I really know that our music matters, and thaf s  what really counts.  Gasongi Simon: Any other memorable  experience?  Harjo: While the American Music  Awards was a great experience and we gave  a good performance, we did not receive one  award. We were nominated for eight awards  and were the only group they flew in to perform, so something is up. I don't know what,  but it was pretty disappointing.  Gasongi Simon: Are you looking forward to returning to Canada, specifically  for the Vancouver Folk Festival this July?  Harjo: Absolutely. We want to return  and show the crowd what we are truly capable of, given the cooperation of everyone involved in the festival. I know we can  give a dynamic performance.  Gina Gasongi Simon is an Ojibwe Odawafrom  the Wikwemikong Unceded Reserve on  Manitoulin Island, and is a freelance writer.  JULY/AUGUST 1998 Letters  dear   re ade r s  Kinesis loves receiving mail. Please  get your letter to us by the 18th of  the month.  If you can, keep the length to about  500 words. (If you go way over, we  might edit for space.)  Hope to hear from you very soon.  Love,  Kinesis  Sour grapes or feminist  ethics?  Dear Kinesis,  We are responding to the review in  your May 1998 issue titled, "Amazing  Greys on video" [Movement Matters,  page 8. J Although this documentary  about Amazing Greys: Celebration of  the Crone produced by Cathy Lowens  and Lee Mclntyre, was very well done,  and represented the type of energy that  was present there about as well as  could be done in such a short film,  what was missing was the  acknowledgement of all the women  who were a vital part of making it  happen.  The main reason for holding  Amazing Grey conferences was  because older women are rendered  invisible, are ignored and  marginalized, and their work for  the most part goes unseen and  unacknowledged. So this was  to be a celebration of those  wise wonderful old women  known as Amazing Greys.  It would be about the  Crone: by, for and  about us.  The thing that  got missed the  most in the video was  all the women who X)^  travelled long distances to ^y  attend organizing meetings,  facilitated workshops, took  responsibility for huge parts that made  the whole thing go, as well as being  available to help in any way as grease  during the three days to keep things  going smoothly. It was a lot of work,  done with big hearts.  Yet to have not one word, or name  mentioned of those co-creators and  workers, is total disrespect from our  peers and came as shock that rendered  the work of both ourselves and the  others, invisible, unacknowledged and  unappreciated.  Three of those talking on the video  were familiar, and as much as what the  youngest of the group had to say was  both interesting and valid, she is not a  Crone, an old woman, which is what  was to be celebrated. One of the  policies discussed right from the  beginning of The Greys was that we  would not have young women  teaching the old, or talking for us.  So to all those other women out  there who had anything to do with  planning or organizing, or worked in  any way to help make any of the four  years of the Amazing Greys  conferences go, thank you! We  remember who you are and what you  did for all women. You are not  invisible. You have not been ignored,  nor your work forgotten. We are  Crones, and strive to live the feminist  ethic of honesty, truth telling, and  walking our talk.  VernaTurner and Mary Billy  [Ed. note.The "Amazing Greys on video"  piece was not intended to be a review.  Rather it was based on information passed  on to Kinesis.]  contemptuous remarks about men? We  each choose our words and have the  responsibility to use them wisely. I see  no value in saying that all women  possess inherently "feminine" or  "female" characteristics or capabilities.  I find the entire notion of gendered  essentialism useless and without value  because such notions perpetuate a  fictitious division of the sexes and  serve to propagate fear. If we want a  better world, we have to stop herding  people into convenient and self-  serving categories. We know where  that gets us.  If anyone says one ethnic group is  better than another, we are disgusted  by such a remark. However, in the case  of demeaning remarks about men, I  have noticed a tacit leniency. Why?  Why on this topic is one's personal  integrity and commitment to treat  people with respect and  Too many  generalizations  Dear Kinesis,  I am writing to you regarding a  practice that I have noticed over the  years, which is perpetuated despite its  destructiveness. It came most  strikingly to my attention in the articles  published in the June issue on building  houses with cob. Some of the remarks  made in the articles by people  interviewed caused me to feel that I  ought to write this letter in the hope  that we may, as individuals or groups,  cast off a particularly prejudicial way  of thinking and talking.  Without subsiding to criticism of  specific comments made by  individuals quoted, let me ask: why  can't we allow ourselves to speak of  our individual enjoyment of an activity  without making sweeping  generalizations about women and  dignity  suddenly,  and so  easily, put  aside? And this  is for a dumb  comment, a cheap  shot to make oneself  feel superior. And this  same comment, if  spoken of any other  group of people, would be  rightly and immediately corrected.  This language of division serves no  good purpose for anyone. We know  that unity is wisdom. Good things  come from extending ourselves. True, it  often starts off being selective unity.  Yet, to ration out our compassion to  those who meet our criterion only  breeds greater fears and allows us to  be complacent in our ignorance, and  even, perversely, proud of bigotry .  Prejudice is the wall that divides us  from the truth.  When illusory differences are  believed to be real they do damage,  they numb the heart to others, and  refuse to acknowledge the uniqueness  of every person and their right to be  granted their dignity and treated with  respect regardless of colour, life  choices, job status, income, spiritual  beliefs and sex.  The important point here is one that  I'm certain we can all agree on, and  that is to learn to extend one's  sympathies, support, compassion, love,  despite all seemingly apparent,  accepted, or learned, (or yearned for),  differences is absolutely essential for  every single person in the world.  Let us stop perpetuating fearful  ways of thinking and talking and  living.  Let us refuse to make generalized  statements about others based on our  own personal tastes or wishes or  terrors. And let us allow ourselves the  joy of living by allowing others their  right to live their lives in whatever  way they choose, be it in a wooden  house, cob structure, or condo, be they  tradesperson, business person or  artist, of whatever colour and creed.  And please, let us now release this  ridiculous notion that any sex owns  a certain set of inherent abilities or  inabilities. There is no "womanly  way" of doing things just as there is  no "manly way." If we truly  want decisive  change for the  better, best we  make a  decisive change of mind, take a  little courage, and look past the  superficial things that don't matter  like gender, colour, accent,  profession, even hostility or  \   apathy, to the person within  because that is where our unity,  our strength, our ability to  reach out, to love, lies. And  that is where the seed of  changing our societies is  planted.  Sur Mehat  Burnaby, BC  The garlic did it  Dear Kinesis,  Let me be one-in-a-thousand. Here's  my donation. I was wavering—  generally like to give my (limited)  available donation money to my local  community—but I have to tell you, it  was the garlic spread that did it. I'm  going to put it on my door at work.  Speaking of work, thanks for all  your hard and good work.  Cheers,  DeborahYaffe  Victoria, BC  JULY/AUGUST 1998 Bulletin Board  t h i s I     INVOLVEMENT  Bulletin Board listings have a  maximum of 50 words. Groups,  organizations and individuals eligible  for free space in the Bulletin Board  must be, or have, non-profit  objectives.  Other free notices will be items of  general public interest and will  appear at the discretion of Kinesis.  Classifieds are $8 (+$0.56 GST) for  the first 50 words or portion thereof,  $4 (-(-$0.28 GST) for each additional  25 words or portion thereof and must  be prepaid.  Deadline for all submissions is  the 18th of the month preceding  publication. Note: Kinesis is  published ten times a year. Jul/Aug  and Dec/Jan are double issues.  Ail submissions should include a  contact name and telephone number  for any clarification that may be  required.  Listings will not be accepted over the  telephone.  Kinesis encourages readers to  research the goods and services  advertised in Bulletin Board. Kinesis  cannot guarantee the accuracy of the  information provided or the safety  and effectiveness of the services and  products listed.  Send submissions to Bulletin Board,  Kinesis, #309-877 E. Hastings Street,  Vancouver, BC, V6A 3Y1, or fax: (604)  255-5511. For more information call  (604) 255-5708.  WANNA GET INVOLVED?  With Kinesis? We want to get involved with  you too. Help plan our next issue. All  women interested in what goes into  Kinesis—whether it's news, features or  arts—are invited to our next Story Meeting:  Tues Aug 4 and Tues Sep 1 at 7pm at our  office, 309-877 E. Hastings St. For more  information or if you can't make the  meeting, but still want to find out about  contributing to Kinesis, give Agnes a call at  (604) 255-5499. New and experienced  writers welcome. Childcare and travel  subsidies available.   CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS  Are you interested in finding out how  Kinesis is put together? Well...just drop by  during our next production dates and help  us design and lay out Canada's national  feminist newspaper. We're off for the month  of July, but we'll be back in production for  the Sept 1998 issue Aug 18-25. Come and  join us. No experience is necessary.  Training and support will be provided. If this  notice intrigues you, call us at (604) 255-  5499. Childcare and travel subsidies  available.  KINESIS IS 25  Well, just about... 1999 is Kinesis'25th year  anniversary, and we intend to celebrate! If  you're interested in working on our anniversary party (in January), or on our 25th  anniversary subscription drive campaign ,  or with our anniversary kick-off issue (our  December/January 1999 issue), then call,  call, call us. (604) 255-5499. We want your  input, ideas, remembrances, cartoons, and  everything else.  INVOLVEMENT  VSW IS LOOKING FOR YOU!  If you are interested in learning to do  referral and peer counselling work, at VSW  we are offering a great opportunity to  women who are interested in volunteer  work during the day. Come answer the  phone lines and talk to women who drop in  and help connect them with the community  resources they need. For more information  call Ema or Agnes at 255-6554. Childcare  and travel subsidies available.  RESOURCE LIBRARIAN NEEDED  If you have knowledge of organizing and  maintaining a Resource Centre and want  to hang out with great group of women,  VSW is the perfect place for you. VSW is  looking for women to help make our  resources more accessible and user-  friendly to women. For more information  call Ema or Agnes at 255-6554. Childcare  and travel subsidies available.  EVENTS  EVENTS  WOMEN'S HEALTH CLINICS  An all women group has been getting  together in Vancouver every second Friday  from 11am-2pm to talk about women's  physical, mental and emotional health.  Topics are picked week by week. The next  meetings are Jul 3,17& 31, and Aug 7 &  21. Bring your own lunch. Hosted by  AWARE (All Women's Autonomous Radical  Education). For meeting location or more  info call (604) 215-2662.  WOMEN AND CO-OPS  Women interested in becoming involved in  the co-op movement are invited to participate in a day-and-a-half conference in  Vancouver early October. (Dates to be  confirmed.) Through a combination of  panels, workshops and plenaries, participants will examine women's experiences in  their co-ops and work collectively to generate ideas for enhancing women's participation in co-ops, exploring new ideas for co-op  development, and ensuring diversity in coops. The event will also feature women from  Cuban co-ops. Registration is $75. Some  subsidies are available. The event is sponsored by WomenFutures CED Society,  DevCo and Oxfam-BC. For more info call  Melanie Conn or Kaela Jubas at (604) 737-  1338,  BEYOND BOUNDARIES  The Pacific Association of Women Martial  Artists (PAWMA) and the Women's Festival  of Martial Arts (WFMA) are hosting a  martial arts training camp on the Sunshine  Coast (BC) Aug 28-31. Fourteen teachero  will be teaching 42 different classes and  demonstrating a full spectrum of styles.  For cost, registration or more info call 1 -  800-668-1126, email, or  write to PAWMA '98 at Box Z-53, Bowen  Island, BC VON 1GO.   PRIDE CELEBRATION  The Vancouver Lesbian Connection is  having a coffee house to celebrate Pride in  Vancouver on Sat Aug 1, 8-1 Opm at La  Quena, 1111 Commercial Dr Performance  art, dance, poetry, music, and more.  Admission is by donation. Fc; more info  call the VLC at 254-8458.  POSITIONS AVAILABLE  Kinesis is hiring for three  positions—Designer, Production Coordinator, and Marketing Coordinator—for start  dates in mid-August.  All three positions are six issue  contracts, with likely extension.  (Please note that Kinesis does  not publish an issue in December; that is, positions run to the  end of February.)  Closing date: Thursday July 23,  1998, 5:00pm  Interviews will be held the week of  August 10th.  Aboriginal women and women  of colour are strongly encouraged to apply. Affirmative  action principles will be in  effect for these hirings.  Full job descriptions are available  at our office. For more information  call 255-5499 (or 255-6554 in  July).  Send applications to:  Kinesis, 309-877 E. Hastings St,  Vancouver, BC, V6A 3Y1; or  fax:(604)255-5511.  We apologize that only shortlisted  candidates will be contacted.  DESIGNER  Responsibilities:  • designs the newspaper using  PageMaker, ScanTools and  PhotoShop;  • works with other staff, writers and  production volunteers to decide the  overall design of the paper;  • with the Production Coordinator,  directs volunteers in laying out the  paper;  • designs paid ads, as well as in-  house ads;  • archives back issues of Kinesis on  disk;  • performs regular backups and  maintains the production room  computer system.  Qualifications:  • knowledge and experience in  publication production;  • good working knowledge of  WordPerfect, PageMaker 6.0,  ScanTools and PhotoShop for a PC;  • ability to work under pressure and  meet deadlines;  • desire to work with volunteers;  • appreciation of feminist journalism and feminist issues generally.  The Designer works flexible hours  mainly during production, and  attends monthly Editorial Board  meetings.  Pay: $ 16/hr to a max. of 40 hrs/  issue. (Plus pro-rated MSP.)  MARKETING  COORDINATOR  Responsibilities:  • implements overall marketing and  promotions strategies;  • solicits new advertising and in-  town distribution accounts;  • maintains current advertising and  distribution contracts;  • prepares monthly advertising run  sheets;  • invoices all advertising and distribution accounts;  • tracks accounts receivables and  follows up on unpaid accounts;  • delivers Kinesis to the mailing  house and in-town distribution  outlets;  • prepares monthly reports on  advertising and distribution.  Qualifications:  • knowledge and experience in  marketing or sales work;  • interest in promoting a feminist  publication;  • good organizational skills;  • creativity and initiative;  • ability to work collectively;  • a vehicle or access to a vehicle  (for distribution).  The Marketing Coordinator works  flexible hours around the production process, and attends monthly  Marketing Committee meetings.  Pay: $ 16/hr for 30 hrs/issue. A  commission schedule will also  apply. (Plus pro-rated MSP.)  PRODUCTION  COORDINATOR  Responsibilities:  • coordinates and trains volunteers  for production and pre-production  tasks;  • facilitates production, including  volunteer tasks;  • oversees volunteer recruitment,  development and recognition;  • develops volunteer job descriptions and training materials;  • maintains volunteer database;  • keeps production room in order.  Qualifications:  • experience or interest in publication production;  • knowledge and experience recruiting, coordinating and training  volunteers;  • an ability to work collectively;  • strong organizational skills;  • understanding of feminist issues  and values.  The Production Coordinator works  part-time each week throughout  the month, with hours of work  increasing around the production,  and sits on the Editorial Board  and VSW's Volunteer Development  Committee.  Pay: $16/hour to a max. of 65 hrs/  issue. (Plus pro-rated MSP.)  JULY/AUGUST 1998 Bulletin Board  EVENTS  EVENTS  GROUPS  GROUPS  RADICAL LESBIAN FEMINISTS  Radical Lesbian Feminists Uprising is a  rural gathering being planned for Oct 1-4,  near Kansas City, Missouri. The purpose of  this gathering is to discuss and practise  radical lesbian feminist concepts. Activities  will include workshops, small group  discussions, community meetings, good  food, and home-grown entertainment. The  fee is based on a sliding scale and the food  will be vegetarian. For more info, in Canada  call Ursa at (905) 523-8471 or email her at Or write to  Carla Biersdorff, RLF, PO Box 32983,  Kansas City, MO, 64171.   PRISONERS'JUSTICE DAY  This year's annual Prisoners' Justice Day in  Vancouver will feature several days of  events. Highlights include: a public information forum featuring Kelly White, Kathleen  Yearwood and the Aboriginal Women's  Action Network on Fri Jul 24; and a  memorial rally at the Vancouver Pe-trial  Centre on Sun Aug 9. For further details,  call (604) 872-0509.   FOLK FEST  Among the women performers to be  showcased at the Vancouver Folk Festival  this year are Linda McRae, Coco Love  Alcorn, Anita Best and Sandy Morris, Joy  Harjo and Poetic Justice, Ulali, and Las  Perlas del Son from Cuba. The 21st annual  festival will be held from Jul 17-19 at  Jericho Beach Park. For tickets or more  info call 602-9798 or 1-800-883-3655.  TWO-SPIRIT GATHERING  The 11th annual International Two-Spirit  Gathering will be held Jul 30-Aug 2 in  Beausejour, Manitoba. The gathering  welcomes all Two Spirit lesbian, gay,  bisexual and transgendered Indigenous  people, their partners and families. The  theme of this year's event is "Celebrating  Our Birth," and will feature sharing circles,  sweat lodge ceremonies, a pow wow, and  various workshops. The gathering is an  alcohol and drug-free event. For more info  contact the Manitoba Aboriginal AIDS Task  Force at 181 Higgins Ave, Winnipeg, MB,  R3B 3G1; tel: (204) 957-1114; fax: (204)  943-2003.   MICHIGAN WOMYN'S FEST  The Michigan's Women Festival will be  celebrating its 23rd year during the week of  Aug 11-16. This fest attracts thousands of  women for a week-long event that includes  40 performances, 200 workshops, a Film  Festival, Crafts Fair and 650 secluded  areas for camping. Artists scheduled to  appear this year include: Sweet Honey in  The Rock, Indigo Girls, Alice Walker,  Ferron, Ubaka Hill, Kinnie Starr, Carole  Pope, Rhiannon, and others. For further  info write to WWTMC, PO Box 22,  Walhalla, Ml, 49458, or call (616) 757-4766  BREAKINGTHE SILENCE  A new project in Vancouver's Downtown  Eastside has been started up to build  community and to speak out and develop a  community response to the many aspects  of violence women experience. The  "Women Break the Silence by Speaking  Out" project, co-sponsored by the Carnegie  Centre, the Senior's Centre and the  Downtown Eastside Women's Centre, will  produce a series of workshops by and for  the women of the Downtown Eastside  community throughout the Summer and  Fall, and will culminate with a three-day  retreat. The organizers invite women living  in the area, organizations and activists  interested in participating in the project to  call them at (604) 682-3269, mailbox 8319.  POWELL STREET  Powell Street Festival, the annual celebration in Vancouver of Japanese Canadian  culture, history and politics is looking for  volunteers before and during the Festival.  Powell Street will be held Aug 1-2 at  Oppenheimer Park. To volunteer, call Tracy  at (604) 739-9388, or email  OUT ON SCREEN  Vancouver's 10th Annual Queer Film and  Video Festival is looking for volunteers.  This year's festival runs from Aug 6-16 and  has plenty of dyke, bi and trans content.  Volunteers are needed in a variety of areas  and get to see fabulous queer films/videos  in exchange. For info call Sara at 844-1615  or email at  Out on Screen  The 10th Annual Vancouver Queer Film and Video Festival  August 6 to 16  11 days of film and video programming, including:  Everything Will Be Fine  (Alles Wird Gut)  Caprice Cinema  Thursday, August 6 at 9:30 pm  When Katja dumps her girlfriend  Nabou because she feels  claustrophobic, Nabou isn't  about to give up and engineers  a variety of situations where  she'll "bump into" her ex. From  director Angelina Maccarone,  this film is a bright, sexy and  compelling feature whose mixed  race heroines confront Germany's racism head on and win. (In  German with English subtitles.)  Colourbars  Video In Studios  Monday, August 10 at 9:30 pm  A look at people from around  the world who face both racism  and homophobia. Includes a  portrait of 99-year-old Ruth C.  Ellis, the oldest living African  American lesbian; X-lsles,  interviews with Caribbean  lesbians and gay men about  leaving their homes to come  out; and An Evening with the  Sappho Socialites, about a  Chicago African-American  lesbian social club of the 1960s.  All Shorts, All Sorts  (A retrospective of short films by BC  lesbians, 1988-1998.)  Pacific Cinematheque  Tuesday, August 11 at 9:30 pm  Out on Screen started life as 1988's  First Vancouver Lesbian Film  Festival. Since then, the festival has  supported diverse and challenging  work which often goes unseen in  the mainstream. This chronology,  with short films by Carolyn  McLuskie, Lorna Boschman, and  lleana Pietrobruno, among others,  shows where we've been, where we  are, and where we might be going.  E/7een is a Spy  World Premiere  Emily Carr  Saturday, August 15 at 1:30 & 4:00 pm  Eileen is a grown-up Harriet, who  spends her days observing life from  a safe distance, until she meets  Jayne, a free spirited hitchhiker. An  offbeat funny narrative is combined  with documentary interviews in a  film which explores intimacy,  childhood abuse and identity.  Director Sayer Frey will be in  attendance.  For complete information, call 844-1615,  or visit the Out on Screen website:  To volunteer, call Sara at 844-1615.  ^  Groove on a Stanley Knife  Emily Carr  Saturday, August 15 at 4:00 pm  In Northern England, two women  hole up in a public toilet for a night  to avoid violent crack dealers. A  harrowing night of memories  culminates in the emergence of a  shocking truth. Unlike  Trainspotting, to which it has been  compared, there is no "heroin  chic" in this disturbing work.  She Thrills Me  (A Maureen Bradley Retrospective)  Video In Studios  Sunday, August 16 at 9:30 pm  This internationally known  Canadian video artist, an organizer and programmer with Out on  Screen, will be in attendance as  10 of her fast-paced, short works  are screened back to back. These  works are witty, transgressive,  funky, gritty and articulate.  Also catch: Cartoon Queers; Made in  Vancouver '98; Queer Dance Works;  FrancoQueer; Transgender Revolution; gay African film Dakan; Sci-fi  lesbian mystery Sticky Fingers of  Time; Positively Queer Youth;  Raunchorama; Retro X; Attack of the  50-foot Roti; Chronic, about a young  woman's self-mutilation; A Mix of  Humours; and more.  VSW GETS TTY  The Vancouver Status of Women is pleased  to announce that we now have TTY  (teletypewriter) service for deat and hearing  impaired women. Staff and volunteers are  able to provide TTY referrals to lawyers and  feminist resources, general information, and  get your feedback. Deaf and hearing  impaired women can reach VSW by TTY by  calling 255-5511 Mon-Thurs, 1-5pm.  SHAKTI STRENGTH  Shakti is a self-help group in Vancouver for  South Asian Indo-Canadian women who  have experienced the psychiatric system.  The group meets every 1st and 3rd  Saturday of the month 1-3pm at South  Vancouver Neighbourhood House, 6470  Victoria Dr. For more info call Helen 733-  5570 (for English) or 682-3269 box 8144  (for Punjabi & Hindi).  VOLUNTEERS NEEDED  Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's  Shelter needs women who are interested  in volunteering on the 24-hour crisis line or  at the transition house for women and  children. Training sessions are on Tuesday  evenings. Please contact 872-8212 for  more info and a training interview.  COLECTIVO LATINO AMERICANO  A new group for Latin American women  and men has started up in Vancouver. The  Canadian Latin-American Collective is a  non-profit organization committed to the  general well-being of the Canadian Latin  American community in British Columbia,  by developing and supporting activities  involving the opening and sustaining of a  socio-political space for sharing cultural  values with the rest of Canadian society.  For more info write to the collective, PO  Box 4265, VMPO, Vancouver, BC, V6B 3Z7;  or call Leticia Flores at (604) 708-0996.  FREE  INTERNET  TRAINING FOR  WOMEN  Vancouver Status of Women;  in cooperation with the BC  Centre For Excellence in  Women's Health; will offer  FREE introductory Internet  Training for women. Women  who have little or no experience with the Internet will get  hands-on instruction in  sending and receiving email,  finding information online and  getting connected.  Sessions will be held on:  Wed. July 15  6:00 pm - 9:00 pm  Sat. July 18  (time TBA)  Mon. July 20  6:00 pm - 9:00 pm  Sat. July 25  (time TBA)  Tues. July 28  6:00 pm - 9 pm  One session per person.  Space is very limited so call  255-6554 today to register  and for location.  Space is wheelchair  accessible.  JULY/AUGUST 1998 Bulletin Board  GROUPS  COMPULSIVE EATING SUPPORT  A drop-in support group for women with  issues of compulsive eating is held twice a  month at the Eating Disorder Resource  Centre of BC, St. Paul's Hospital, Room  2C-213, 1081 Burrard St, Vancouver. Drop-  in times are 7:30pm to 9pm every 1st and  3rd Wednesday of the month. Facilitated by  Colleen Hyland and Cynthia Johnston. For  more info call (604) 631-5313.   NEW FAX NUMBER AT VSW  Effective June 25th the fax number for  VSW and Kinesis will change to (604) 255-  7508. Our Public Information and Referral  line will remain (604) 255-5511.   INDIAN HOMEMAKERS  The Indian Homemakers Association of BC is  looking for volunteers for various tasks such as  answering phones, food bank pick-ups and  fundraising. Volunteers will receive on the job  training. For more info call 876-0944 or drop by  IHA at 208-175 E. Broadway, Vancouver.  THE CENTRE  The Centre is a community centre in  Vancouver serving and supporting lesbian,  gay, transgendered, bisexual people and  their allies. The Centre needs volunteers  for reception (weekdays), cleaning,  renovation, helping with Wed cabaret  nights at Jupiter, etc. Call Pat, the volunteer  coordinator, at 684-5307 for info, or drop by  1170 Bute St. to fill out an application form.  SUBMISSIONS  POWELL STREET FESTIVAL  low in its 22nd year, the Powell Street Festival in Vancouver—a celebration of Japanese Canadian art, culture c  history—will be held on the weekend of August 1-2 at Oppenheimer Park (400 block Powell St.)  This year's festival again features a host of performances, music, traditional food, craft and art displays,  nartial arts, live theatre, and children's activities. Among the highlights of the festival will be SawagiTaiko, an  women taiko drumming group (this year featuring several new members), and Loud [pictured above.]  Loud, whose music cannot be categorized but comes from the inspirations of the individual group members  is comprised of Eileen Kage, Leslie Komori and Elaine Stef (left to right).  For more information about Powell Street Festival, call (604) 739-9338,  s:  SUBMISSIONS  CLASSIFIEDS  CLASSIFIEDS  YOUNG FEMINIST SCHOLARSHIP  Attention young feminists! The US feminist  publishing house, Spinsters Ink, is seeking  essays about feminism and what it means to  you. As part of their 20th anniversary  celebrations, Spinsters Ink is offering     •  students in their last year of high school a  chance at "a $1,o6o scholarship, essay  publication in HUES (Hear Us Emerging  Sisters): A Young Womans' Guide to Attitude  and Power, and an opportunity to attend  Norcroft, a writers' retreat for women. For  applications and guidelines, please contact  Spinsters Ink, 32 E. First St, #330, Duluth,  Minnesota, 55802; tel: (218) 727-3222.  Deadline for submission is Jan 1,1999.  WOMEN'S HEALTH ANTHOLOGY  SHE Rising is interested in stories of  women's experience with the health care  4 system. Works about experiences of  disease and diagnosis, the impact of  gender, race or sexual orientation upon the  health care received, as well as information  about helpful remedies are welcomed.  Submissions from women's health care  professionals are encouraged. Send typed,  double-spaced submissions to SHE Rising,  PO Box 65141, 358 Danforth Ave, Toronto,  ON, M4K 372. Send a SASE for submission return. Submission deadline is Aug 1.  TESTIMONIES OF FAITH  Women's Press in Toronto is seeking  personal essays on experiences with  organized religion from Canadian lesbians  of color and African-American lesbians to be  published in Testimonies of Faith, Testimonies of Difference: An Anthology of Lesbians  of Color and Their Religious Experiences.  Essays should be typed, double spaced with  one-inch margins, and be no more than 20  pages. American essays should be mailed  to L.K. Barnett, 1 Mead Way, Bronxville, NY,  10708. Canadian essays should be mailed  to Rosamund Elwin c/o Women's Press  Suite 302, 517 College St, Toronto, ON,  M6G 4A2. Women's Press is particularly  interested in submissions from disabled  women and welcomes taped interviews.  Deadline is Sep 1.  COMPLEXLY CARIBBEAN  Seeking short stories for an anthology on  female Caribbean Identities into the 21st  century—who are we now? Looking for  fiction which deals with the experiences of  £e'ing complexly Caribbean from Caribbean (broadly defined) women inside and  outside the region. Especially interested in  experimental writing and writing which  breaks new ground and the mold of  nostalgic first generation migrant experience fiction. Send submissions to: Complexly Caribbean, Sister Vision Press, PO  Box 217, Stn E, Toronto, ON, M6H 4E2.  Deadline is Sep 1998.   CRIAW CONFERENCE  The Canadian Research Institute for the  Advancement of Women (CRIAW) is  holding a conference entitled "Feminist  Definitions of Healthy Lifestyles and Caring  Communities" Oct 15-17,1999. CRIAW  welcomes papers, workshops, presentations, posters, art, poetry and performances for this conference. Submissions  must be sent before Feb 28,1999 to  CRIAW Paper Selection Committee, c/o  Andrea Levan, Thornloe College,  Laurentian University, Ramsey Lake Road,  Sudbury, ON, P3E 2C6, tel. (705) 673-  1730, fax. (705) 673-4979.  CLASSIFIEDS  PRESS GANG  Press Gang, Vancouver's feminist publishing house, is moving to a new home. As of  July 15, Press Gang can be found at 1723  Grant Street, Vancouver, BC, V5L2Y6, tel.  257-3315, fax. 257-3329. Their email  ( and website (http:// remain the same.  WOMEN'S SPIRITUALITYWORKSHOP  Whole Body/Whole Spirit: Women in  Search of a New Spirituality, is an eight-  session course in Vancouver exploring the  links between body awareness and  women's spirituality. Using creative movement, drawing, dance, voice, group  reflection and ritual, we will explore body  image, body myths, religious and cultural  influences on our body, the social construction of the body and gender, self-care and  healing, space and boundaries, and the  sacredness of the body and its connection  to the earth. One session will be held on  Wednesdays from Sep 16-Nov 4, 7-  9:30pm at St. Margaret's Cedar Cottage,  with Maria Cervino and Denise Nadeau.  Cost is $150. Another session for Spanish-  speaking women will be held on Tuesdays  from Oct 27-Dec 15, 7-9:30pm at St.  Margaret's Cedar Cottage, with Maria  Cervino and Denise Nadeau. Cost is $150.  Another session will be held on Mondays  from Oct 19-Dec 7, 7:30-1 Opm at SEAD  Centre (12th and Yew), with Denise  Nadeau. Cost is $150. Some subsidies  available. For info or to register call (604)  876-6744.   SUBLET AVAILABLE  Sunny one-bedroom East Vancouver  apartment available for sublet mid-Aug/  early Sep 1998 to May 1999. (Some  flexibility.) Comes complete with furnishings, sundeck, mountain view, and even a  charming cat (if desired). Near Trout Lake  and Commercial Dr. $625 per month,  utilities included. Call (604) 875-1054.  SPINSTERVALE  Spinstervale in Coombs (Vancouver Island)  offers rustic cabins to women. Tiny cabin  sleeps one or two close friends, at $7.50-  15 per night. Larger cabin sleeps four;  weekend rate $40. Inquire about work  exchange (three hours a day equals room/  board). Call (250) 248-8809 or e-mail  WOMEN'S SELF-DEFENSE  Women Educating in Self-ciefense Training  (WEST) teaches Wenlido. In Basic classes,  you learn how to make the most of mental,  physical and verbal skills to get away from  assault situations. Continuing training  builds on basic techniques to improve  physical and mental strength. By women,  for women. For info, call 876-6390.  FRASER RIVER PLACE COOP  Fraser River Place Co-op is accepting  applications for 1-3 bedroom units. No  subsidies, shares are $1600. Housing  costs are $667-977. Participation required.  Send SASE to 530 Ginger Dr, New West-  minster BC, V3L 5K8.   CITYVIEW CO-OP  Cityview Housing Co-op has one, two and  three bedroom suites for $565, $696, $795 per  month and refundable share purchase.  Carpets, blinds, appliances, parking and  laundry room. Children and small pets  welcome. Participation required. Please send a  business size SASE to Membership Committee, Cityview Housing Co-op, #108-1885 E.  Pender St, Vancouver, BC, V5L1W6.   BETH TROTTER COUNSELLING  Beth Trotter, MA, Registered Clinical Counsellor announces the opening of her counselling  and in-depth psychotherapy practice in  Vancouver. Ten years experience in private  practice in Victoria, specializing in working with  women. Integrating feminist, Western and  Buddhist psychological approaches. Expertise  in working with deep trauma and dissociation  issues. EMDR trained. Fifteen years experience as a Buddhist Vipassana mediator. Call  731-1701.  JULY/AUGUST 1998 RARY PROCESSING CTR - SERIALS  fc EflST MALL, U.B.C.  ICOUVER, BC   v6T 1Z8  ^//  A   Goe<L ^is ^fc  §u^)scrii9e ^To^aLj /  One year  D$20 +$1.40 GST  Two years  □$36 + $2.52 GST  Institutions/Groups  □$45+ $3.15 GST  Name.  □ Cheque enclosed  □ Bill me  □ New  □ Renewal  □ Gift  □ Donation  For individuals who can't afford the full amount Sjj  for Kinesis subscription, send what you can. *  Free to women prisoners. g  Orders outside Canada add $8. i  Vancouver Status of Women Membership  (includes Kinesis subscription)  □$30+$1.40 GST  Address   Country   Telephone _  Postal code.  Fax   Published ten times a year by the Vancouver Status of Women  #309-877 E. Hastings St., Vancouver, BC V6A 3Y1


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