Kinesis

Kinesis, July/August 1997 Jul 1, 1997

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 ft JULY/AUGUST 1997     What the heck is MAI?...pg 13     CMPAS2.25  KINESIS  %News About Women That's Not In The Dallies  Lesbians Flay Pall  Saving the  public pension  system  Sapphire's  Push  in review  ...and much, much more  Beyond the  federal election:  what next Inside  KINESIS  #309-877 E. Hastings St.,  Vancouver, BC V6A 3Y1  Tel: (604)255-5499  Fax:(604)255-5511  Kinesis welcomes volunteers to work  on all aspects of the paper. Our next  Writers' Meeting is Tues Aug 5 and  Tues Sep 2 at our new office, 309-  877 E. Hastings St. Production for the  September issue is from Aug 19-26.  All women welcome even if you don't  have experience.  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  Fatima Jaffer, Lissa Geller (on leave),  wendy lee kenward (on leave), Agnes  Huang, Sook C. Kong, Rachel Rosen  PRODUCTION THIS ISSUE  Rachel Rosen, Judy Miller, Fatima  Jaffer, Andrea Imada, Jehn Starr,  Faith Jones, Winnifred Tovey, Leanne  Keltie, Centime Zeleke, Nancy Pang,  El Apostol, Lisa Valencia-Svensson,  Dorcas, Rita Wong, Karuna Agrawal,  Nindy Nann, Lisa Prentice, Agnes  Huang, Siren Ahmedi, Carol Read,  Marlene del Hoyo, Addy Kgomo  Advertising: Sur Mehat  Circulation: Audrey Johnson, Chrystal  Fowler  Distribution: Fatima Jaffer  Production Coordinator: Swee Sim Tan  Typesetter: Sur Mehat  FRONT COVER  Marilou Esguerra of the Womyn  Warriors (right) and Penny Cuthbert,  catcher for the Rough Diamonds  [see centrespread].  Photo by Fatima Jaffer.  PRESS DATE  June 25, 1997  SUBSCRIPTIONS  Individual: $20 per year (+$1.40 GST)  or what you can afford  Institutions/Groups:  $45 per year (+$3.15 GST)  VSW Membership (includes 1 year  Kinesis subscription):  $30 per year (+$1.40 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  Features and reviews: 10th  News: 15th  Letters and Bulletin Board: 18th  Display advertising  (camera ready): 18th  (design required): 16th  Printing by Horizon Publications.  Kinesis is indexed in the Canadian  Women's Periodicals Index,  the Alternative Press Index, and is a  member of the Canadian Magazine  Publishers Association.  ISSN 0317-9095  Publications mail registration #6426  News  Community service given to man who sexually assaulted girl 3  by Penni Mitchell  Lana Wright returns from her trek for education 3  by Wei Yuen Fong  Unionizing Starbucks 4  by Erin Mullan  More draconian welfare legislation in Ontario 5  by Andrea Imada  NO! to APEC's Women and Children's Conference 6  by Lisa Valencia-Svensson  Fingerprinting welfare recipients 5  Features  What does the federal election outcome mean for women? 9  compiled by Agnes Huang  Protecting our public pension system 12  by Kathleen Jamieson  What the heck is MAI? 13  by Elsie Dean and Marjorie Griffin Cohen  Young indigenous women connect, talk and strategize 16  by Rosa del Carmen Chen Gualim, Juana leal Choc,  Leah Robinson and Nicole Brass  Centrespread  Womyn Warriors take to the (softball) field..  photo essay by Fatima Jaffer  Commentary  Single mothers deserve respect and support..  by Terra Poirier  Arts  Interview with oral historian Ruth Hill 19  as told to Centime Zeleke and Janisse Browning  Kathryn Wahamaa's new CD, Wise Woman, in review 20  by Janet Askin  Review of Under the Willow Tree 21  by Rita Wong  Previewing Out on Screen 22  by Rebecca Johnson  Sapphire's Push 23  reviewed by E. Centime Zeleke  Regulars  As Kinesis Goes to Press 2  Inside Kinesis 2  What's News 7  compiled by Anne Webb, Rita Wong and Wei Yuen Fong  Movement Matters 8  compiled by Sook C. Kong and Dorcas  Letters 24  Bulletin Board 25  compiled by Kelly Hay don  Under the Willow Tree  JULY/AUGUST 1997 There's some good news as Kinesis  goes to press...people on social assistance  and anti-poverty activists in BC are celebrating a critical victory: after months of  lobbying, discussions and demonstrations,  the NDP government has backed down on  its plan to cut the level of welfare benefits  received by thousands of people currently  classified as "unemployable."  Last March, the NDP announced it was  going to "re-classify" 27,000 welfare claimants into three categories: employables, disability benefits, and "special needs." This  new policy was supposed to come into effect on July 1, but it's been put on hold  while the government tinkers with the criteria for who falls where.  The point of the re-classification? The  government figures it will save millions of  dollars by making changes so that about  15,000 people on social assistance receive  $96 less a month. The "human side" of the  changes will be that 15,000 more people will  be left trying to survive on $500 a month  and through the insidious workfare programs they'll no doubt be forced into.  The reason the government is giving  for taking the plan back to the drawing  board is that those who would be responsible for determining what category people fall into—medical practitioners—are  having a difficult time figuring out the criteria.  On paper, this is how it works: the government sets out the criteria of what counts  as a disability or a special need, and then  medical Dractitioners would determine if  a person falls into those categories based  on the criteria; otherwise, they'd be classified as employables.  Giving doctors this much power is, of  course, not at all comforting to women.  Remember (or are your still living) the "it's  all in your head" syndrome?—that line  doctors have been using against women for  decades (centuries?) to trivialize and discount the very real aches, pains and ailments we have. [In our next issue of Kinesis, we are planning to take a critical—very  critical—look at the "it's all in your head" syndrome.]  A lot of the "disabilities" women are  dealing with, doctors don't acknowledge  as serious medical conditions—things like  fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, or  the effects of silicone and saline breast im  plants... So leaving it up to the medical profession to make those decisions may result  in a lot of women with disabilities being  re-classified. And this is something we really need to impress on the NDP.  Anti-poverty activists say the government's backing down is just a short reprieve, so we cannot let up on our protests.  There's a coalition of groups and individuals planning to put full pressure on the NDP  to completely cancel BC Benefits—to get rid  of workfare for youth and single  "employables, the reduced earnings exemption and forced job training programs/  workfare programs for single mothers  whose children have reached the age of  seven, and to increase the level of income  assistance to a liveable rate. To get in touch  with the Coalition Against BC Benefits, call  End Legislated Poverty at (604) 879-1209.  It's also critical that feminists, women's  groups, social justice organizations call on  the federal NDP to take a strong stand  against the poor-bashing and right-wing  policies of the BC provincial government.  Before, during and now after the federal  election, Alexa McDonough and the rest of  the federal NDP MPs have not challenged  Clark's regressive policies, and this is not  acceptable. The NDP cannot keep trying to  sell us the line that they're "not as bad" as  the other political parties. We need to remind them that the NDP moving further  to the Right gives more excuses for the Liberals, Reform and Conservatives to more  even further rightward.  Cuttine welfare and other social programs and imposing workfare just plays  into the hands of the corporations'—particularly large, multinational ones—drive  for more and more dollars by creating a  larger cheap/cheapened labour pool. Add  that to an unemployment rate of 8.8 percent, and people, and particularly women  in BC, are left much more vulnerable to exploitation.  And for another example of the NDP  government pandering to the corporate  agenda...Premier Clark was recently heard  pleading, "Please, just do it..." while he was  in Oregon. Clark went down to visit  Niketown to try and convince Nike officials  to "expand" its headquarters up into BC.  Nike says BC is in the running for its new  home, but that the company will have to  first check out the "tax question" to figure  C    O    U    \/    E    Ft  O    E       \A/   O    M    E   N  Our appreciation to the following supporters who became members, renewed their  subscriptions or donated to Vancouver Status of Women in June.  Barbara Bell * Elizabeth Bell * Leslie Campbell * Joanne Dunaway * Tracey Ferguson  * Maureen McEvoy * Sarah Lowis * Enid Marion * Joie Warnock * Elaine Young *  Walsh & Company  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:  Wendy Baker * Nancy Duff * Mary Frey * Jody Gordon * Erin Graham * Barbara  Karmazyn * Barbara Lebrasseur * Lolani Maar  out if it makes good "business-sense" to locate in BC.  Moving on to other social programs  being re-configured or dismantled... Canada's public pension system will be high on  the federal government's agenda in the fall  [see page 12.] Already, Federal Finance Minister Paul Martin has said he wants to move  on the pension "reform" issue. Of course,  Martin isn't talking about reforms in terms  of "public, accessible, universal," he's talking about them in terms of "RRSPs, tax  breaks, privatized, individualized."  When debate on pensions is renewed  in the House of Commons, we can be assured that the official opposition—the Reform Party—will be trying to push any Liberal government proposal ever further towards a privatized model.  Pensions is an issue that is critical for  women to mobilize around, particularly  because the rates of older women living in  poverty is high and the likelihood of  younger women spending their senior  years living in poverty, unless there is a  strong public pension system, is also high.  The rights of women are also in jeopardy in a case being heard by the Supreme  Court of Canada. The case involves a pregnant woman from Winnipeg who was court  ordered to enter a treatment program to  protect the health of her fetus.  The woman had sought help for her  addiction, but was told there were not services for her. It was only when Winnipeg  Child and Family Services intervened that  a treatment program magically appeared.  This case raise issues about a woman's autonomy over her body and points to the  impact of cuts to social programs on women's health. In our next issue, we'll examine the issues surrounding this case.  Kinesis just heard that Common Ground,  a feminist magazine from PEI, folded about  six months ago. The magazine was an important source of information for women  in the Atlantic for many years. We are sad  to see another feminist publication be  forced to close.  On that note, Kinesis is off for a month,  but we do promise we'll be back. Have a  good summer and a good read.  It's grey, grim and...gee, almost Summer in Vancouver! We swung into action  this issue with a softball game on one of  the few sunny days we've had lately, followed by some action on for which there  are no seasons—MAI, conversation between Guatemalan and Canadian indigenous youth, protecting our Pension Plan,  single moms kicking hell, and a massive  cross-country roundup on post-federal-  election thoughts. Add to that, the most recent news about women that's not in the  dailies, and a host of reviews and interviews on women's arts and culture, and we  have a hot, heavy and humungous issue  for you to absorb over the next two months.  That's right—this is the Kinesis summer double issue, and we won't be back in  print again until sunny September...so enjoy! If you urgently need to get in touch  with someone at Kinesis, please call the Vancouver Status of Women at 255-5511 or 255-  6554. If you can wait until August 1st,  please leave a message for Agnes at 255-  5499.  We've got a number of thank-yous and  other acknowledgements to make "inside  Kinesis" this month, starting with big  thanks for the invaluable help we've been  getting from Yasmin Jiwani at the FREDA  (Feminist Research Education Development and Action Centre) since our scanner  bit the dust. Again this month, Yasmin allowed Kinesis desktop-publisher Swee Sim  to use of the FREDA scanner, and we're  very grateful. We're hoping to sort out our  scanner woes by the next time Kinesis goes  to press...  That reminds us: If anyone has the  scoop on good deals on new or used scanners (good ones,) please giveAudrey a call  at 255-5511 or leave a message for Agnes at  255-5499. Likewise, if you or someone you  know would like to donate a scanner to  Kinesis...it's top on our Wish List!  The Kinesis Ed Board wants to say bye  bye to a number of long-time (and new)  volunteers who have left Kinesis for other  pursuits (in other cities). Thanks to longtime volunteer and ex-production coordinator Marsha Arbour for her many many  years of shaping Kinesis and making it the  strong feminist paper it is today. Marsha  now lives in Victoria, but come production time, we feel her support in spirit.  Thanks also to Selina Todd and Judy  Miller. Both of them were with Kinesis for  short but memorable times. Selina is heading eastward, back to England (with a brief  stop in PEI first). Judy's heading east too,  but then she veering south until she  reaches Washington, DC. Kinesis wishes  them both all the best and lots of feminist  fun.  We have a ton of new voices to thank  in this month's issue, women who put in  time, energy and commitment to ensure  our readership gets the scoop on what's  happening in women's lives everywhere.  Thanks to Kathleen Jamieson, Penni  Mitchell, Elsie Dean, Terra Poirier, Julie  Black, Rosa del Carmen Chen Gualim,  Juana leal Choc, Leah Robinson, Nicole  Brass and Ruth Hill for their contributions  this issue.  And thanks to the women who made  their Kinesis debut talking about the federal election and beyond: Pat Webb, Elaine  Condon, Arlene Hache, Evelyn Ballantine,  Carolyn Moore, Kripa Sekhar, Mary  McLeod, Josee Belleau, Dolly Williams,  Madeleine Bosco, Lorraine Whalley, Chris  Morrissey, Leanne Stevens and Marnie  Stewart.  Thanks also to new production hands:  Siren Ahmedi and Nindy Nann. Nindy  also designed the back page "summertime  swinging" graphic. Check it out.  That's it for this month. Stay with us  for more weather reports and other news  from Kinesis in the coming months...no,  years. Your subscriptions are what keeps  us alive so keep on subscribing and tell  your friends about us!  If you want to contribute in other  ways, please call Agnes at (604) 255-5499  to volunteer. We always need writers,  proofers, women to help us promote Ki  nesis, and other help. No experience necessary, and it's fun!  Meanwhile, have a great read and a  greater summer!  JULY/AUGUST 1997 News  Violence against women:  Crown, judge fail girl  by Penni Mitchell  A Manitoba Court of Appeal judge  caused outrage in Manitoba with his remarks that a 12-year old girl was sophisticated enough to be a "willing participant"  in a sexual relationship with a man whose  children she babysat. Last month, at the  sentencing appeal of Dean James Bauder,  Justice Kerr Twaddle ruled that sending  Bauder to prison for nine months was unnecessary and, instead, gave him a conditional sentence.  The girl says she was sexually assaulted three times by Bauder from age 12  to 13-and-a-half. The assaults happened  when she was at his residence babysitting  his children. Initially, Bauder was charged  with sexual interference, sexual assault,  uttering threats and dangerous driving, but  the Crown agreed to drop the other charges  in exchange for a guilty plea for sexual assault.  The trial judge Susan Devine sentenced  Bauder to nine months in prison. At the sentencing hearing, Devine refused to grant  Bauder a conditional sentence on the  grounds that the incident wasn't a one-time  offence. She even commented that the sentence sought by the Crown was "on the generous side."  Bauder appealed his sentencing to the  Manitoba Court of Appeal. At the hearing,  his lawyer, Amanda Sansregret, tried to  persuade Justice Twaddle that her client  wasn't violent. She was used the fact that  Bauder's relationship with his wife was on  the skids as one of the reason for the assaults.  The judge seemed convinced, in declaring: "The circumstances do distinguish  the case from those in which a child has  been interfered with by force or deception."  Twaddle concluded that Bauder was not a  "threat to society" in commuting his sentence to 120 hours of community service.  And while he also ordered Bauder to maintain a 7:00pm to 8:00am curfew, the curfew  does not apply when Bauder is on the road  as a truck driver, which is his profession.  The characterization of Bauder being  "non-violent" angers the girl and her family, as well as women's groups, especially  in light of the plea bargain. Because all  charges except sexual assault were  dropped, no evidence could be raised in  trial showing that Bauder had been violent  towards the girl. She says Bauder threatened her on several occasions and that he  tried to run her and her boyfriend down  with his car.  Critics of Twaddle's ruling also took  issue with the judge's statements that the  girl was not "forced" into sexual relations  with Bauder. Twaddle wrote: "The girl, of  course, could not consent in the legal sense,  but nonetheless was a willing participant.  She was apparently more sophisticated  than many her age and was performing  many houshold tasks, including  babysitting the accused's children."  Manitoba women says Twaddle is  sending a wrong message to survivors of  sexual abuse or assault. They say they are  disgusted with Twaddle's insinuation that  sex was part of the babysitting package,  adding that the case is evidence the province's "zero tolerance" policy on abuse isn't  being enforced.  Armed with a recent study by Carleton  University professor Edward Renner that  found only 13 percent of men who sexually abused children receive two year  prison terms, women's groups organized  a protest in front of the Manitoba Law  Courts building in Winnipeg. Over 100 peo  ple turned up to press Manitoba's justice  minister to take action to ensure victims of  sexual assault are not re-victimized.  Manitoba's minister of justice, Vic  Toews, has sought leave to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court of Canada on the  grounds that deterrence wasn't considered  when the conditional sentence was imposed. [Conditional sentencing was introduced under the federal government's amendment to the Criminal Code (introduced as Bill  C-41), and can allow "non-violent" offenders  to serve their sentences in the community, instead of in prison. One of the motivations he-  hind the legislation is financial—the government expects to save approximately $40,000 a  year per offender not sent to jail.]  The girl's mother has written a letter  to Toews, claiming the Crown mishandled  the case. She says she's appalled that the  Crown didn't challenge the derogatory and  offensive remarks made about her daughter by Bauder's lawyer during the course  of the trial. None of the prosecutors bothered to argue with Sansregret's claim that  the girl was a "willing participant."  The girl's mother says that five different prosecutors dealt with the case, but  none of them ever spoke to her daughter  or the family. The Crown also did not obtain a victim impact statement nor call on  the girl to testify. (In fact, no statement was  ever recorded by the RCMP.)  Furthermore, when Bauder was released on bail, no protection order was advised to protect the girl. The victim's family was even told not to bother coming to  court.  The girl's mother says her daughter is  "fed up and doesn't want to deal with what  happened" anymore. The case took 18  months to complete and there were a dozen  court appearances.  So what went wrong with the case?  Provincial NDP justice critic Gord  Macintosh described it as an "ugly parade  of foul-ups" by the Crown. He says prosecutors' caseloads are busting at the seams  and says budget cuts are partly to blame.  He too blames Toews for not instructing  prosecutors to correct blaming statements  during the trial.  For sexual assault victims, justice too  often remains elusive. Just as protests and  lobbying efforts finally get one loophole  plugged—the most recent being Bill C-46,  which restricts the use of women's personal  records in sexual assault trials—another  one emerges. Women's groups across the  country want to make sure that conditional  sentencing doesn't become the latest "Get  Out of Jail Free" card for rapists.  The Manitoba justice minister appears  to be waiting for the Supreme Court to deal  with the case before he acts. But the girl's  mother, women's groups and the provincial opposition say there is plenty Toews  can do in the meantime, including setting  up better protocols for Crown prosecutors  dealing with sexual assault cases. As well,  women's groups are calling on the justice  minister to release the long-awaited report  looking into the circumstances of the murder of a Winnipeg woman, Rhonda Lavoie,  by her estranged husband. Many of the lessons learned from the Lavoie report—already delayed a year—are expected to also  apply to how sexual assault cases are handled in the province.  Penni Mitchell is the coordinating editor of  Herizons, a quarterly feminist magazine based  in Winnipeg.  Lana Wright's trek for education:  Lana Wright is greeted by some students from  Macdonald Elementary  by Wei Yuen Fong   For the last few blocks of her journey, Lana Wright  was joined by more than 100 students from the school she  made her trek for. While not all the kids—mostly grades  two and three students—understood why they were walking down the street that day, they all certainly knew Wright  had done something important.  After two months on the road, Wright was returning  to Vancouver and to Macdonald Elementary School, a  A messenger of hope  school one of her two children attends. Starting in  Prince Rupert, she weaved her way down and across  BC for 1,500 kilometres. She stopped along the way,  in community after community, to raise awareness  about the inequality of education First Nations students, ESL students and students in poverty are receiving from the Vancouver School Board (VSB), and  to fundraise for Macdonald School.  Wright called her trek the "Messenger of Hope"  walk in honour of her grandfather, Joe Tom. When  Wright was younger, her mother used to tell her stories of how her grandfather and another man would  be called on to deliver invitations to other communities for an upcoming potlatch. They'd run all night,  sometimes in the ireezing weather, to make sure the  messages got delivered.  Macdonald Elementary is a school in crisis. The  slashing of federal transfer payments, cutbacks in dollars  from the provincial government for education, and the  budget decision of the VSB, have all translated into inadequate resources being allocated to education, and to  schools like Macdonald in particular. Of the student population at Macdonald, 45 percent are Aboriginal and 40 percent Asian. Many of the students at the school live in poverty, and about a third of them are also considered "special needs" students. Parents and teachers at the school  say that without additional teachers or learning resources  and supports, the students at Macdonald Elementary are  not receiving the quality of education they need and deserve.  Wright, herself a First Nations educator, put her and  her family's life on hold in order to undertake the trek. She  felt it was important to send a message to ail teachers, students and parents across BC that education is critical to  the well-being of children and society as a whole.  "I believe we can create a better future for the children only if we, as a people, work together to make a better furture for our children, and that means showing these  children that we care for their education and they have to  pursue their education no matter what," she says.  More than $10,000 has been raised for the school so  far. And while the VSB agreed to allocate an extra staff  person for Macdonald School, it also recently eliminated  most of the staff positions with the school board's First  Nations Program, the ESL Program and the anti-racism  committee. These latest moves by the school board will,  no doubt, have devestating effect on many students, including those at Macdonald Elementary.  Anyone wanting to make a donation to Macdonald Elementary School, can do so through the Royal Bank of Canada to the  "Messenger of Hope" trust fund.  JULY/AUGUST 1997  KINESIS News  Women workers unionize Starbucks:  Benefits, not beans  by Erin Mullan  Workers at nine Starbucks [coffeeshop]  outlets in British Columbia are waging an  historic fight for a first union contract.  Despite the small number of workers  involved (110 out of about 1,460 employees) in stores mostly in the Lower Mainland, this unionizing effort is of critical  importance. The food service and retail sectors are notoriously difficult to organize,  and successful unionization is especially  rare when the employer is a big multi-national corporation. If the Starbucks workers win, it will be a tremendously important victory for the vast numbers of unorganized service sector workers, most of  whom are women.  Starbucks, which started as a small  Seattle company but is now a large multinational, likes to view itself as a progressive employer. The company refers to its  workers as "partners," and claims to do  business in a "unique" way. It also pays  lower wages than comparable firms like  Murchies and has been very resistant to its  "partners'" unionizing.  Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz's annual salary was $493,654 in 1995. A Canadian Starbucks worker earns $7 an hour to  start.  Lori Bonang is a shift supervisor at the  Hornby Street Starbucks in Downtown  Vancouver. She was one of the workers who  initially approached the Canadian Auto  Workers Union (CAW) about unionizing  the store she works at.  "I was tired of the way Starbucks had  been lying to us. They have all these principles and this mission statement and all  these important values that they pretend  to embody, but when it comes down to reality, it's just not there," says Bonang. "1  thought someone's got to be made accountable."  Bonang says everyone at her store was  pretty enthusiastic about unionizing because many of them had been with  Starbucks for years and they had seen and  been affected by "the changes the company  had been going through from a small community-based company to this huge, huge  More than 25 screenings including GIRLPLAY: SEXY SHORTS Sat Aug 9 • 9:30 pm & 11:30 pm • Havana  VENUES: PLAZA THEATRE • VIDEO IN • HAVANA • PACIFIC CINEMATHEQUE  FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL 688-WEST XT 2014  global corporation." She says  joining the union was seen as a  way to move back to how things  were earlier, when the company  was smaller and workers had  more control in the workplace  and respect for themselves and  their jobs.  Kahmaria Pingue works at  the Cambie & 18th store. She  says the fact that women, and  young women in particular, are  leading this organizing drive is  not surprising, given that  women today are more and  more vocal and active in claiming their rights.  "[Assertiveness] represents  being a woman to me," says  Pingue. "It's being able to speak  your mind, represent yourself  and your thoughts, and not being afraid of the corporate super-powers that be."  Megan Theobald, who  works at Royal Centre outlet,  says she got involved with the  union in order to have some control over  her life in the workplace. She thinks that  unions bring better wages, benefits and  more security, especially for women working in low wage, service sector jobs.  Wages are one of the key issues in the  dispute. Canadian baristas, or servers, earn  over $2 less per hour than their American  counterparts. This is particularly irksome  to the workers in Canada because Starbucks  continues to record huge profits.  Other issues include the lack of sick  pay and the need for recognition of seniority in shift scheduling.  Given these working conditions,  Pingue thinks it is hypocritical that  Starbucks claims to be a good corporate  citizen. "They claim to be progressive employers. Let's stick to that. Live up to your  name," says Pingue.  Many customers question workers on  the fact that employees can buy "bean  stock" or Starbucks shares at a lower than  market rate. They suggest that this should  be considered as part of the employees' total wage and benefits compensation package. However, CAW says that "there are so  many rules and limitations on receiving or  cashing stock that most workers (excluding management) never benefit from this."  Workers at the unionizing stores are  currently engaged in an "unstrike" where  they wear union buttons instead of their  aprons and give customers information on  the dispute.  In June, CAW brought two charges of  unfair labour practices to the BC Labour  Relations Board against Starbucks because  the company refused to bring a counteroffer to the bargaining table in response to  the union's initial proposals. The two parties started meeting last October. The union has charged that Starbucks was not bargaining in good faith.  The other charge stems from the closure by Starbucks of its pastry distribution  L to R: Lori Bonang, Kahmaria Pingue, and  MeganTheobald  centre in Burnaby after workers there joined  the CAW. To the union's disappointment,  the LRB ruled recently that Starbucks had  intended to close the distribution centre  before the union certification in February.  The only good part of the decision for  the union was that the LRB told Starbucks  that it had to table a wage offer when bargaining resumes or it could be in violation  of the labour code. [As Kinesis, was going  to press it was announced bargaining would  resume June 30.]  Another plus was the union certification of the Starbucks at Main and Terminal  Streets in Vancouver, and the certification  application at the Westbank store, just outside Kelowna. She says all the workers  want from Starbucks is to have their rights  recognized and to be treated with respect.  Here's what you can do to show your  support:  • be informed about the issues in this  dispute;  • call and fax Starbucks—Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz, tel: 1-800-  235-2883 ex. 4010, fax 1-206-623-7756; or the  company's human resource manager Shelly  Silbemagel, tel: (604) 695-9233 ext. 223, fax:  685-8223. Tell the company you support the  unionizing effort and that you want them  to bargain in good faith.  • drop by one of the unionized  Starbucks stores and let the workers know  you support them. Public support is a huge  moral booster.  The unionized workers are also calling on  the public to boycott Starbucks if there is a lockout or a strike. For more information call the  Canadian Autoworkers: (604) 522-7911.  Erin Mullan is a Vancouver writer who never  drinks coffee.  JULY/AUGUST 1997 News  Changes to welfare legislation in Ontario:  How much worse can it get?  by Andrea Imada  "They will make decisions about the  programs you can take, the workfare placements you can take, and you cannot appeal  those decisions. They will change the  course of your life and there is nothing you  can do about it—if you want to eat," says  Josephine Gray of Low Income Families  Together (LIFT) of the latest attack by Mike  Harris' conservative government on poor  people in Ontario.  The Ontario government recently  brought in sweeping and devastating  changes to Ontario's social assistance system which will make it resemble more of a  police state than a social safety net.  Among the litany of the proposed  changes are: escalating the "work-for-wel-  fare" (commonly called "workfare") plan  by making it mandatory and including single mothers of school-aged children in the  program; allowing municipalities to fingerprint people before they receive social assistance; cutting off youth under 18 years  of age from welfare; redefining "disability"  so consequently changing the eligibility for  some people with disabilities receiving benefits; andputting a heavy emphasis on  "anti-fraud" measures, including the  power to obtain search warrants, access to  tax records, and apply hefty penalties.  The combination of fingerprinting,  "anti-fraud" measures, and forced  workfare are the cornerstones of an insidious system designed to blame people receiving social assistance for their poverty  and place them under scrutiny and suspicion—even though documented cases of  fraud are extremely low, and there are  clearly not enough jobs for those who are  looking for work.  The legislation—Bill 142—was introduced in mid-June by Ontario's Minister  of Community Services Janet Ecker. When  passed, likely in five months time, it will  replace the existing General Welfare Assistance Act and the Family Benefits Act, with  the Ontario Works Act and the Ontario Disability Support Plan Act.  The reception to the Bill has been swift:  anger, outrage and more anger.  LIFT's Gray points out that there are  homeless women and their children already living in barns in the countryside or  in city parks at night and says, "This legislation will make it ten times worse and they  will have absolutely no rights whatsoever."  One of the most significant provisions  in the legislation will make workfare mandatory for most people who receive social  assistance. Included will be the estimated  120,000 single parents of school-aged children, the vast majority of whom are single  moms. Although Minister Ecker claims that  moms will have access to childcare money,  Gray points out that there are already  30,000 children on the lengthy waiting lists  and that most subsidized childcare spaces  are for children under school age.  The time required to participate in  workfare will eat into time mothers need  to spend with their children. Already, the  severe cuts to welfare rates have many  women spending too much time trying to  find the best bargains at grocery stores and  rummage sales, or going to food banks.  The combination of  fingerprinting, "anti-fraud"  measures, and forced  workfare are the cornerstones  of an insidious system  designed to blame people  receiving social assistance for  their poverty.  graphic by L. Prentice  A single mother herself, Gray blasted  the government. She said the lasting legacy  of workfare will be on the backs of poor  children and teenagers. "[The Ontario government is] basically writing off an entire  generation of children who are poor."    •  "If we are going to be penalized to the  extent that we cannot spend time with our  teenagers, we better get prepared to build  more boot camps and accept that we have  a prison-based society—because that's  where they'll be going," says Gray. "We  can't pay for their education, we can't raise  them properly, we can't give them enough  love and nurturing and care. It's over—for  a lot of teenagers."  Susan Eagle of the Ontario Social  Safety NetWork points out that there are  currently not enough jobs for everyone who  is looking for work. The government  "refuses to acknowledge that workfare is  not job creation."  Bill 142 will also make Ontario the only  province with a welfare system operated  by the municipalities—following a trend of  offloading responsibilities for social programs that began with the federal government passing the buck for healthcare and  social programs down to the provinces. The  legislation also allows for contracting out  the administration or provision of services—meaning privatization of social services could be coming to Ontario.  While the Harris government is planning hearings at some point in the next five  months, anti-poverty organizers anticipate  that they will likely be a travelling road  show, and that no amount of protest will  have an impact on the legislation.  However, the magnitude of the  changes has added a kick to the ongoing  fight to reinstate national standards. The  federal government scrapped the Canada  Assistance Program (CAP) and, with it, key  fundamental rights to adequate income assistance. The loss of CAP opened the door  for the provinces to institute workfare and  to deny social assistance regardless of need.  Gray says the message to the federal  government will be simple: "Put standards  in place. Without standards, Ontario will  do whatever it wants." She notes that the  international stage is another place to reveal the hypocrisy of the federal government which touts itself as world leaders in  social democracy.  The legislation will also likely see court  challenges, says Gray, but it remains to be  seen whether the judicial system will pay  any attention to human rights.  Andrea Imada is a regular contributor to Kinesis. She currently lives in Vancouver but  plans to move back to Toronto before the next  provincial election in Ontario.  LOW-LIGHTS OF MIKE HARRIS' SOCIAL  ASSISTANCE SYSTEM  These are only a few of the changes introduced under Ontario's new  Social Assistance Reform Act  • Workfare or other "employment" programs will be mandatory for  most recipients including 120,000 single parents (mostly moms) of school-  aged children.  • Municipalities could require welfare applicants to be fingerprinted  before they receive benefits. Such a system will cost about $3.3 million to  put in place in Toronto. (Critics say this will only detect a tiny number of  fraud cases; for example, when applicants apply for welfare twice.) As well,  the government will give itself the power to access other government records  such as income tax records.  • Cabinet will have the power to declare entire classes of people ineligible for social assistance—for example, single employables.  • "Eligibility review officers" will have the power to apply for search  warrants.  • Administration and provision of social assistance can be contracted  out (read: "privatized").  • There will be a new definition for "disability" which will change the  eligibility for some disabled people receiving benefits.  • An "overpayment" can be recovered from a spouse, even if they had  nothing to do with creating the overpayment.  • Money owed to another government program could be deducted  from a welfare cheque.  • Youth under 18 will not receive welfare unless it is through an adult.  Even this will only occur in rare cases—likely where abuse is documented.  (Source: Ontario Social Safety NetWork Coordinating Committee)  JULY/AUGUST 1997 News  Women resist imperialist globalization:  Building a plan to stop  APEC  by Lisa Valencia-Svensson   Organizing is well underway for the  annual meeting of the leaders of the 18  member countries of APEC (Asia Pacific  Economic Co-operation) to be held this  November in Vancouver. At the same time,  NO! to APEC, a coalition of groups and  individuals opposed to the "free trade" forum, is active with its own preparations for  what will be a large international protest  of APEC during the Leaders' Summit. One  important component of NO! to APEC's  ongoing campaign was the Women and  Children's Conference held over the weekend of June 13-15 in Vancouver.  Opposition to APEC has centred  around a series of anti-APEC conferences,  each of which is held at the same time and  city as the annual APEC Leaders' Summit.  This Women and Children's Conference  built on the foundation laid in November  1996 in Manila during the People's Conference Against Imperialist Globalization.  The Conference aimed to lay the groundwork among women living in the Lower  Mainland in preparation for the upcoming  People's Conference Against Imperialist  Globalization - Continuing the Resistance!  being planned for November 1997. Over  150 women from British Columbia, Quebec, the United States and Guatemala gathered at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre for three days of resistance to  imperialist globalization. The four objectives of the conference were for women and  children to: share their experiences as  marginalized women in the context of imperialist globalization; build a collective  understanding of APEC and imperialist  globalization; develop an action plan leading up to the November protest, and build  international solidarity amongst  marginalized women.  Through workshops and discussions,  the women shared their experiences and  talked about strategies for confronting the  global imperialist agenda.  The conference began with an evening  celebration at the Kalayaan Centre, the  home of the Philippine Women Centre,  SIKLAB (a migrant workers' organization)  and Ugnayan (a Filipino youth group).  The next morning started with a  march, with more than 60 women and children showing their resistance in a mobilization from Strathcona Community Centre, along East Hastings Street to the Aboriginal Friendship Centre. High-spirited  women waved banners and signs decrying  APEC and its impact on marginalized  women globally. Women chanted slogans  in four languages such as "Imperyalismo  ibagsak!" ("Down with imperialism!" in  Tagalog), "lnquilab zindabad!" ("Long live  revolution!" in Hindi), "Mujeras unidas,  jamas seran vencidas!" ("Women united will  never be defeated!" in Spanish) and "Long  live international solidarity!"  Jyoti Sanghera, international coordinator for the Global Alliance Against Traffic  in Women - Canada, opened the conference  by discussing the relationship between colonialism, capitalism and globalization. In  a panel which followed, women from different sectors shared how women are being impacted globally by policies of economic globalization. These policies include  structural adjustment policies imposed by  the International Monetary Fund and the  World Bank on countries in debt, looser labour laws enacted to attract foreign investment to countries struggling to pay back  their loans, and cuts to social programs  aimed at creating a cheaper labour force in  Canada.  Flor de Maria Salguero, a maquiladora  organizer from Guatemala, spoke about the  oppressive working conditions in the  maquiladoras (factories set up by  transnational corporations to take advantage of low wages and poor environmental standards in Mexico, Guatemala and  other Central American nations.) Jane  Ordinario of SIKLAB pointed to the millions of migrant workers forced to go  abroad because of social spending cuts and  other harsh economic measures which were  imposed to address the large national debt  loads of their home countries. Man Chui  Leung emphasized how privatization and  commodification of education has impacted youth and students globally with  cuts to education and rising tuition fees.  Tess Tesalona, an organizer for UNITE (Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile  Employees) in Montreal, spoke of the organizing campaigns being conducted  among homeworkers and factory workers  in Toronto and Montreal, most of whom are  immigrants and people of colour. The next  day, Kelly White, a Coast Salish activist,  spoke about the displacement and  commodification of First Nations women  and children who are forced to work in the  sex trade and pornography industries.  Through participatory workshops  scheduled after the panel presentations,  women identified the urgent need to act on  and address the increasing devastation  imperialist globalization is having on their  lives here in Canada and in their home  countries. The impacts discussed ranged  from forced migration as domestic workers to the loss of full-time jobs with benefits, from being forced to take low-paying  service-sector jobs to being unable to pay  for a university or college education, from  landlessness, displacement and violence  faced by many First Nations women to cutbacks to essential social services such as  welfare and medical services.  The highlight of the three-day conference was the creation of a collective statement and action plan to guide the ongoing, anti-APEC organizing of the individuals and organizations involved in the conference. The statement, which focused on  concrete activities to be carried out and  goals to be attained, represents the experiences, analyses and strategies of the participants. Under 'education,' strategies include ongoing public and internal education with a focus on creative forms of education, and also a call for a deepening of  understanding of the links between economic globalization and indigenous struggles for sovereignty. Organizational strategies call for outreach to the public at malls,  parks, schools and other public locations,  and the development of alternatives to imperialist globalization in our own communities. Finally, mobilization work to be undertaken includes demonstrations at APEC  ministerial meetings held prior to the November APEC Leaders' Summit, and resistance to the continued displacement and  criminalization faced by people in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside as the city prepares for the summit.  Some of the specific campaigns listed  by the conference for individuals and  groups to take action on are: providing support to the Filipina in Prince George who  is fighting deportation; supporting the  CRAB-Water for Life Aboriginal Women's  Memorial project and pressing for an inquiry into the deaths of women in the  Downtown Eastside; protesting the  Abbotsford Airshow and sale of military  armaments in August; supporting anti-  Cuba blockade campaigns; organizing students and youth to critically analyze school  curriculum and the education system; networking to develop fair trade; and supporting struggles for indigenous sovereignty.  To obtain copies of the Conference  Statement, to get involved with the No to  APEC! campaign and planning for the  November protest, or for more information  on APEC, contact NO! to APEC at (604) 215-  9190 or visit their office at the Kalayaan  Centre, 451 Powell St. in Vancouver.  Lisa Valencia-Svensson is a Filipina-Canadian  dyke disgusted with the capitalist corporate  agenda. (Thanks to the No! to APEC coalition for much of the information provided.)  Marching down Hastings St. against APEC  JULY/AUGUST 1997 What's News  compiled by Anne Webb and Rita  Wong   Quebec mother wins  UI battle  A mother in Quebec has won a discrimination case against the federal government, concerning eligibility rules for unemployment insurance benefits. In 1993, Maria  Gonzales filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC)  because she was denied UI benefits when  she took off time to care for her three month  old baby. Under UI eligibility rules, five  extra weeks of benefits are available for  parents leaving their jobs to take care of  children with special needs, but only if the  child is more than six months old.  The CHRC challenged the federal government, and the case went before the Federal Court of Canada. In ruling in Gonzales'  favour, the court said there is "no rational  link between the age of the child...and the  health of the child."  The court has given the government  one year to change its UI rule.  Canada's #1 ranking not  a true indicator  According to the annual United Nations Human Development Index (HDI),  Canada once again ranks as the best place  to live in the world. According to the National Action Committee on the Status of  Women (NAC), however, this ranking is a  farce.  The HDI uses life expectancy, educational attainment, and per capita income to  rate countries. This is the fourth year in a  row Canada has come in first.  However, NAC points out the ranking  is based on 1994 figures, and since then, the  federal government has dismantled many  social programs through its Canada Health  and Social Transfer (CHST). Although the  full impact of the CHST has not yet been  calculated by the government's own  funded body, the National Council on Welfare, says the rate of poverty in 1995 rose to  15.5 percent for all families headed by people under 65. For families headed by single mothers, the rate of poverty reached a  staggering 57.2 percent.  NAC also points out that when "gender" is factored in, Canada drops in ranking to number six. As well, a lot of important factors for determining quality of living are not included in the index, in particular, level of safety from violence.  NAC reports that the UN Commission  on the Status of Women has voiced its "concern" that Canada's strategy in dealing with  violence against women has regressed, after having been a leader to many countries.  Grant-Cummings also points out the  federal government's attempts to silence  critics of its right-wing policies. "It is very  ironic that the same NGO's that have  pushed the government to be socially responsible, thereby helping Canada to be  ranked as 'the best place to live,' are now  being defunded by the government as the  social safety net is being unraveled."  School board cuts will  hurt specific students  Recent budget cuts by the Vancouver  School Board (VSB) will have a profound  impact on the quality of education received  by Aboriginal students, students of colour,  and students whose first language is not  English.  In a closed process, the VSB decided  to eliminate all but one of the staff with the  school board's First Nations Education Program, English as a Second Language (ESL)  team, and anti-racism program.  In response to these sudden cutbacks,  the Community Coalition for Quality Edu-  cation formed and prepared a brief  critiquing the school board's move. At the  VSB's June 9th board meeting, Coalition  members pointed out that the cutbacks occurred without community consultation  and were unilaterally imposed without adequate consideration of their effect on Vancouver students.  At a time when 54 percent of Vancouver's 58,000 students speak English as a  second language, these cuts show a blatant  disregard, if not outright contempt, for students' needs.  Michelle Good, a member of the First  Nations Education Advisory Committee,  says the VSB has a responsibility to fund  programs for Aboriginal students and to  consult with First Nations communities because the school board receives provincial  ■roretrcmmi  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  monies targetted to supporting First Nations students. "It is mandatory that [First  Nations peoples] have input into the decisions. These cuts are not acceptable," says  Good.  For more information or to obtain a copy  of the Coalition's brief, call (604) 683-6633.  Woman chained to cell  floor wins case  A Saskatchewan woman shackled to a  jail cell floor has agreed to an out-of-court  settlement with the RCMP. In October 1995,  after being arrested on a charge of being  drunk, Verna Clarke was chained with  45cm long leg irons to a steel "bull ring"  embedded in the concrete floor of a dim  jail cell in La Loche, Saskatchewan.  She was left there for seven hours, unable to reach the toilet. Clark also said police confiscated her supply of sanitary napkins even though they knew she was menstruating. And the only person who had a  key to release her from the chain was more  than an hour's drive away.  Last fall, the RCMP formally apologized to Clark, but no disciplinary action  has been taken against the police officers.  Apparently, they were just following procedure. The RCMP have since issued a directive that prisoners no longer be chained  to floors.  The investigation was launched only  after Clarke was found not guilty of assaulting a police officer the night she was arrested.  Teen jailed to prevent  abortion  A recent ruling by a US federal court is  sending a chilling signal to women and reproductive rights activists.  Recently, the court dismissed a civil  suit against police in Blair, Nebraska who  had jailed a 15-year old girl to prevent her  from seeking abortion counselling.  Three years ago, police raided Ruby  Scott's house late at night because they suspected she was going to have an abortion.  Scott was released from custody only after  she and her parents agreed to comply with  a court order that she not seek abortion  services. The juvenile court judge said Scott  could be jailed for contempt of court if she  did not comply.  Pro-choice activists say many aspects  of the case do not bode well for women's  access to reproductive services. For example, the police relied on generic warnings  from a doctor, who had not examined Scott,  about the dangers of "abortion" to detain  the girl in protective custody on the  grounds of "child endangerment." The  doctor admitted that he wrote the letter on  request from the mother of Scott's boyfriend. Scott's parents were also labeled by  police as "neglectful."  The case demonstrates the very real  possibility of women being treated as criminals for seeking abortion services.  Lesbians and gays win  rights in BC  British Columbia has introduced a bill  which gives same-sex couples the same  rights and responsibilities as heterosexual  couples in the areas of child custody, maintenance and access. To do so, the NDP government is planning to rework the legal  definition of "spouse" referred to in various legislation.  If the bill passes, BC would be the first  province to recognize lesbian and gay rights  in these areas. Last year, BC became the first  province to allow same-sex partners the  right to adopt. That bill passed with little  protest.  In related legislation, the NDP also introduced a bill that would enable the provincial government to crack down on people—mostly men—who don't make child-  support payments by denying them their  driver's license renewal and by going after  their business holdings. Currently, two-  thirds of B.C.'s maintenance orders are in  arrears and almost 10 percent of those ordered to pay support have never done so.  Marking Burma  Women's Day  On June 19, activists and women's  groups in Thailand held a silent protest to  commemorate the first-ever Burma Women's Day. The event was organized to coincide with the birthday of Aung San Suu Kyi,  the leader of Burma's democracy movement, who currently remains under house  arrest.  A team of women wearing Aung San  Suu Kyi masks gathered outside the Burmese embassy in Bangkok to protest the  suppression of women in Burma.  Burma Women's Day was started to acknowledge the essential role of women in  Burma in promoting social justice, peace,  human rights and democracy. It honors the  sacrifices made by millions of women who  face military aggression, imprisonment,  torture and attacks on their families because  of their commitment to peace.  [Sources: Sojourner: the women's forum,  Community Coalition for Quality Education, Campaign for Labour Rights newsletter, various internet sites, the Globe and Mail,  the Province and the Vancouver Sun.]  TIG flA mflrV  Charming, one bedroom, water-view cottage  fotc: women  100 ft from walk-on beach and nature trails  m sunny south end of eflBinioLA island  N/S $500.00/week.  tel: 1-250-247-7477  http://nanaimo.ark.com/~tignamna  A woman-owned and operated business specializing in defensive driver training.  Learn to drive regardless of age or previous experience;  overcome driving fears.  Reasonable rates. Call El Apostol.  Become a confident and safe driver with an experienced instructor.  JULY/AUGUST 1997 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 Sook C. Kong and  Dorcas    Contributions sought on  women's health  The Canadian Women's Health Network (CWHN) is putting out a call for submissions of articles, news items and other  materials such as art work and graphics  about women's health issues for its publication, Network.  The quarterly newsletter, with articles  in English and French, serves as a vital  source of information, inspiration and connection for anyone who cares about women's health. As a vehicle for promoting  change, Network, features critical debate,  lively discussion and timely news on topical women's issues.  The CWHN was launched in 1993 by  women representing more than 70 organizations from every province and territory.  The Network brings together healthcare  workers, educators, advocates, consumers  and other Canadians committed to sharing  information, resources and strategies to  better women's health.  The network says it has a "feminist,  women-centred philosophy [that] sees  health care as a fundamental human right  for women." CWHN also stresses a "holistic view [which] recognizes that to improve  health status for women, we must address  the many issues which influence health,  including socioeconomic conditions, education, housing, violence, environment and  gender."  The goals of the network are to: improve communication and information exchange; give women easier access to health  information, resources and research; produce user-friendly materials and resources;  provide a forum for critical debate; be a  'watchdog' on emerging issues and trends  that may affect women's health; and work  to change inequitable health policies and  practices.  For the Winter issue of Network, the  deadline for article proposals is August 1,  and the deadline for submission of articles  is September 2. [The Fall issue, due out in  September, is currently in production.]  Examples of what the CWHN is looking for are: feature articles and interviews  on women's health issues, how-to write-  ups, personal stories on women's health in  Canada or from other countries, stories  about community and group action, organizational profiles, resource and book reviews, and letters to the editor.  For more information or submission  guidelines, contact: Sherry Galey, editor, Network, (613) 233-2105; fax: (613) 233-4425;  or e-mail: newslet@cwhn.ca..  National conference on  women and justice  Access to Justice for Women: The Changing Face of Inequality, a national conference  on women and the law, will be held from  October 30 to November 2 in Halifax, Nova  Scotia. The 12th biennial National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL) conference is organized by the Nova Scotia  branch of the organization.  It's "one of the last remaining national  conferences which focuses on feminist legal thinking and gathers diverse feminist  legal practitioners, academics and consumers of the justice system," says NAWL.  NAWL is a national non-profit women's organization which promotes the equality  rights of women through legal education,  research and law reform advocacy.  The conference will begin with a day  of networking for women of colour and  Aboriginal women. The results of the day's  proceedings will be shared with all conference participants.  A large contingent of legal advocates,  academics and consumers will lead discussions on a variety of important issues, including recent developments in sexual assault law, the federal Child Support Guidelines, legislation intended to redress violence against women, and the politically  charged topic of records disclosure and  destruction. Other panels will explore the  barriers which prevent women with multiple challenges, including disabilities,  youth, sexual orientation, First Nations ancestry, pregnancy and incarceration, from  accessing justice.  Among the conference events will be  the first annual Frances Fish Awards Dinner honouring women of excellence in the  legal profession in Nova Scotia.  For registration and other information,  contact NAWL's National Office: 1 Nicholas  St, Suite 604, Ottawa, Ontario; KIN 7B7; tel:  (613) 241-7570; fax: (613) 241-4657; e-mail:  nawl@ftn.net.  Support women's rights  in Mexico  The Human Rights Watch Women's  Rights Project, based in Washington, DC,  is calling on all interested to strongly urge  American companies to stop sex discrimination in Mexican maquiladoras.  Several US companies operating,  which includes Zenith, Johnson Controls  and Carlisle Plastics, are forcing women  workers to undergo pregnancy testing as a  condition of employment. Potential female  employees are compelled to take urine tests  and answer invasive questions on applications and interviews about their pregnancy  status, sexual activity, use of birth control,  and menstrual cycles. Those who are not  pregnant are hired. Those who become  pregnant once they have been hired are  sometimes forced to resign, or are subjected  to abusive and discriminatory treatment.  This discrimination violates Mexican  law. It is also illegal in the United States,  and it violates international human rights  norms.  Company officials at Zenith, Johnson  Controls and Carlisle Plastics are aware of  these discriminatory practices but have yet  to put a stop to them. Two other corporations, General Motors and ITT, have agreed  to stop pregnancy discrimination. However  these agreements are meaningless unless  they are accompanied by concrete, detailed,  and transparent plans for implementation  and monitoring.  Despite the illegality and prevalence of  this abuse, the Mexican government has  failed to investigate, remedy, or denounce  this form of sex discrimination. The US  government has completely ignored the  discriminatory practices of US-owned multinational companies operating in Mexico.  Women are urged to write, phone or  fax Zenith, Johnson Controls and Carlisle  Plastics, and demand they respect the human and labour rights of women workers  by taking immediate steps to stop pregnancy discrimination.  As well, women should press the US  government to speak out against abuses of  women by US companies abroad. And contact the Mexican government to urge them  to issue an official public statement denouncing sex discrimination in the  maquiladoras.  For more information or addresses where  you can send letters or to obtain copies of the  Human Rights Watch report, No Guarantees:  Sex Discrimination in Mexico's  Maquiladora Sector, which documents illegal sex discrimination against women in the  maquiladoras, contact Human Rights Watch  Women's Rights Project: 1522 K St. NW, Ste.  910, Washington, DC; 20005; tel: (202) 371-  6572; fax: (202) 371-0124; or e-mail:  jefferl@hrw.org. Human Rights Watch would  appreciate receiving copies of letters sent.  Networking conference  for B.C. Women  Women in BC will be gathering in Surrey at a networking conference organized  by the Metro Teachers' Status of Women  Committee in the fall. The one-day conference, entitled Beyond Beijing: The Next Wave,  is being organized for "Provincial Professional Development Day" on October 24.  Beyond Beijing will focus on challenges  to success, mountains to climb, women in  the new millennium, professional, political and personal issues. All women are invited to participate. The conference program includes almost 40 workshops and a  keynote address by Rosemary Brown, a  feminist, anti-racism activist, author, and a  former BC MLA and head of the Ontario  Human Rights Commission. Brown will  speak on "The Importance of the Women's  Movement."  The workshops will cover a wide spectrum of issues, including the attack on social programs, the world peace connection  in Beijing, a feminist approach to English  as a Second Language, Native women and  the feminist movement, women and aging,  aromatherapy, wen lido, women and the  arts, non-sexist teaching, reproductive and  genetic technology, and part-time work:  pensions and benefits..  On the day before the conference—  October 23rd—there will be a Gala Evening  held at the Shadbolt Arts Centre in Burnaby  to celebrate the BC Teachers' Federation  Status of Women's 25th Anniversary.  The cost for the full conference, including the Gala Evening, is $120. Attendance  for the Gala only is $20.  For a registration form, contact Judy De  Vries, Langley Meadow School, 2244  Willoughby Way, Langley, BC V2Y1C1. Registration is requested by October 1. Women's  organizations interesting in displaying brochures and other materials about their services,  programs and work should contact Louise  DeBruijne at (604) 668-6500.  Representation agreement resource centre  The Community Coalition for the Implementation of Adult Guardianship Legislation recently announced the creation of  the Representation Agreement Resource  Centre in Vancouver. The Resource Centre  is a non-profit society which will coordinate information and provide volunteer-  based assistance so people in BC can use  representation agreements.  Representation agreements, part of  BC's new adult guardianship legislation,  are unique to the province. They allow individuals to name a person to make decisions on the behalf in relation to health,  personal care, financial and legal affairs.  During four years of community development work around the province, the  Community Coalition learned that people  want to use representation agreements that  are private, affordable, accessible and simple to make. This centre will respond to this  need and will provide a focus for community based support and assistance with decision-making.  The resource centre is endowed with  educational material that was developed  through grassroots participatory action research. It is managed by a core of volunteers who are knowledgeable about the  process of making agreements and how to  use them effectively.  The centre will be an umbrella for action, information, participatory research  and personal assistance to enable British  Colombians to realize the promise of the  Representation Agreement Act to enable  community-based alternatives to adult  guardianship.  For more information about representation  agreement or the services of the Resource Centre, contact them at 204-456 W. Broadway,  Vancouver; tel: (604) 875-0188.  [Source: Community Living News, published by the BC Association of Community  Living, Summer 1997]  Exposing corporations  and their tax breaks  Many of us have heard that corporations in Canada pay less than their fair share  of taxes, but we may not know which ones  are the biggest culprits. Now, feminist and  anti-poverty activists have a tool to lobby  governments and go after corporations  which are getting away with huge profits  at the expense of social programs. Unfair  Shares, published by the Ontario Coalition  for Social Justice and the Ontario Federation of Labour, is a critical resource for challenging the corporate agenda.  At a time when governments, both federal and provincial, are slashing social services, cutting access to Medicare and when  more and more families are being driven  into poverty, Canada remains one of the  very few industrialized countries without  a wealth tax on rich people.  The focus of the 60-page document is  on corporate taxation data, the unfairness  of high CEO incomes, and the state of deferred taxes still outstanding from corporations. Unfair Shares is full of tables of data  useful for activists to organize around and  throw back at the supporters of the intensifying corporate agenda in Canada and  worldwide. One table shows the low  amounts paid in taxes by 400 corporations  that made more than a half million dollars  in profit. Another table lists corporations  that have $5 million or more in deferred  taxes outstanding. Other tables show the  total compensation for the highest paid  CEOs in Canada, and the 50 richest Canadians and their main corporate connection.  A copy o/Unfair Shares may be obtained  from: The Ontario Coalition for Social Justice,  15 Gervais Drive, Suite 305, Don Mills, Ontario, M3C 1Y8; tel: (416) 441-3714; or fax  (416)441-4073.  JULY/4UGUST1997 Feature  The Canadian federal election and beyond:  What women are saying  compiled by Agnes Huang  June 2nd—election day in Canada— has come and gone. A new  government was elected, but not much changed in terms of a right-  wing dominance of the House of Commons. The Liberals still have a  majority (though slimmer) and the Reform Party has become the official opposition. At least though, there will be a more progressive voices  in parliament with the New Democratic Party winning 21 seats. Five  parties (including the Bloc Quebecois and the Conservatives) now have  official party status.  The question is: what does the outcome of the federal election mean  for women and the advancement of our issues? Kinesis had the opportunity to survey a number of women from across the country on their  thoughts on this matter. Many of them also talked about some very  specific issues they're taking to the federal politicians. Here's what the  women said...  Joan Grant Cummings,  president, National Action  Committee on the Status of  Women, Toronto, Ontario  Having more NDPers and some Red  [left-leaning] Tories in the House is possibly going to make a difference in terms of  how "Right" the Liberal government decides to go. Because the Liberals have been  paying attention only to the Reform Party,  they went further Right than we've ever  seen.  I think what is going to be good for  women is that we have some MPs we can  try to influence. Over the last term, it has  been the Bloc's agenda which has come  closer to some of the things women have  wanted in terms of social justice issues. I  feel the NDP, the Bloc and those Red Tories  could form some kind of alliance to make  sure social justice issues actually get heard  in the House.  We're probably also going to see more  cuts to funding for women's groups, and  that is going to affect women's voices being heard by the government. I think we  are really going to have to work hard with  the NDP, the Bloc and whatever Red Tory  we can influence, to counter some of this.  I don't know how Reform is going to  end up in terms of its supporters. Already,  there is a notion of Preston Manning becoming more a centre school politician, and  I think we have to exploit that. We also need  to counter the Reform jargon about equality, and stop their misappropriation of the  meaning of "equality."  I think another area where NAC is going to have to play a much more forceful  role is around the trade agreements being  negotiated—not only APEC but the MAI,  which has even greater implications than  APEC and the Free Trade Agreement. Our  work around the economy is going to have  to take centre stage.  Pat Webb, president, Canadian  Congress of Learning  Opportunities for Women,  Ottawa, Ontario  The election is a continuation of what  has gone before. One of CCLOW's big concerns is the devolution of education and  training, and probably pretty soon literacy  and adult basic education. All those things  have been handed over to the provinces  along with the  funding that used  to be managed by  the federal government.  It's difficult  talking about the  federal election in  terms of education. The federal government has less and  less involvement in education, training, literacy and apprenticeships because of the  Liberal's devolution of responsibilities.  One of our big worries is that standards will slip in the less wealthy provinces  or in provinces with governments that  don't make education and training a high  priority. Women's mobility across provinces  may become more difficult in terms of getting qualifications recognized. For example, women in PEI may end up with educational qualifications that are not valued  in other provinces, and this is bad from a  national perspective.  Ensuring national standards in various  ways is critical. For example, the federal  government still looks after the funding for  employment training for people on Employment Insurance. But there are many  women who do not qualify for EI insurance, and yet, need training.  If EI is not the right fund to draw from  [for training programs,] then we need some  other fund so women who are disadvantaged by eligibility requirements will have  a chance to get the training they need.  Kripa Sekhar, Saskatchewan  Action Committee on the Status  of Women, Regina, Saskatchewan  In Saskatchewan, there is one Liberal  MP, five NDP MPs and eight Reform MPs,  but none of them are women. Women in  Saskatchewan have no one really to represent us in parliament. We do have some  MPs who are probably sensitive to women  issues, but it's not the same as having a  woman who is from the grassroots, feminist movement representing us.  In terms of priority issues, we have  been battling poverty for so many years,  but somehow it looks like it's getting worse.  The Saskatchewan government has made  some innovative efforts to deal with poverty issues. However, we still have some  16,000 people living in poverty.  Another big issue for women in Saskatchewan concerns Aboriginal people.  The Aboriginal  population in Saskatchewan is probably the largest in  the country, and yet  they represent the  largest group of unemployed and under-employed people in the province.  I don't see that those  issues will be dealt  with, especially now  that we have eight  Reformers.  We are hoping  that in this parliament, with some of  the left-wing restored, our issues  will be taken seriously and that they  will be taken to Ottawa. But I have to  say that, in the last  three-and-a-half  years, Saskatchewan women's issues  weren't even part of the political debate.  Marusya Bociurkiw, board  member of the Independent Film  and Video Alliance, Vancouver,  British Columbia  I don't know that it makes much difference who is in government because there  has already been some irreparable damage  to the arts in Canada. One must assume that  the decisions are being made in Washington, not Ottawa, and that since the most recent free trade agreement, culture has been  slowly bargained away.  The Reform Party just represents a  strengthening of the corporate agenda. This  means that Canada Council, which is a priority for most grassroots arts organizations,  could go the same way as the National Endowment for the Arts in US. The NEA has  been basically destroyed over the last eight  years.  The arts cutbacks are more about preventing a progressive voice than about deficit cutting. The rise of the extreme Right in  electoral Canadian politics is being expressed through their approach to the arts.  I don't think the right-wing trivializes the  arts at all—the corporate and anti-progressive agenda wants to see themselves represented in culture, as well as in every other  sector of society.  I think the role of the progressive left  and women's community is to educate  themselves about the real issues in the  arts—it's not the CBC. The NDP was not  very impressive in its public approach to  the arts during the election campaign. All  they could talk about was the CBC.  Progressive groups have to think about  "voice, message and politics," and how  they get expressed. And in large part, they  get expressed through film and literature,  and other forms. We, as progressive people, make use of all those things, so we have  to start thinking how the attacks are also  happening in our own back yard. It's not  about whether or not Morningside continues, but whether or not we will still have a  lesbian/gay film festival to go to or feminist literature in this country.  Fiona Miller, Feminist Alliance  on New Reproductive and  Genetic Technologies, Toronto,  Ontario  In general, the reaction to the new minister of health, Allan Rock, has been relatively positive. He may provide feminists  with some opportunities that were not there  before, for a number of reasons. One, as  minister of justice, Rock found himself exposed to a great deal of lobbying to get him  to deal directly with feminist advocates and  service providers. So without lionizing him,  I have to say he's been there at the table  with feminists.  He has also been a part of a fantastic  model of consultation—the national consultation of violence against women—  which recognizes that women need time to  talk to each other first before they talk to  the government. We are hopeful he will put  in place a similar consultation process for  health.  Another thing that might be positive  for women is that as a lawyer, Rock understands the law. We are hopeful that Rock  will not just jump to using the law as the  way to deal with NRGTs.  The NRGT legislation, (Bill C-47) as it  has been drafted by the Liberal government  has successively narrowed the mechanisms  for dealing with NRGT issues. There are a  lot more regulatory instruments than just  the Criminal Code or professional self-  regulation, but these appear to be the models the government is working with. Other  instruments like privacy protection, patents, and the Health Protection Branch (or  what the Liberals now call the Therapeutic  Products Division) need to be brought into  our discussion of how to manage NRGTs.  Feminists working on NRGTs and  women's health issues are trying to define  our position on all those issues collectively,  and then we'll present it to the new minister of health.  Elaine Condon, Gander Women's  Centre, Gander, Newfoundland  There are several different possible scenarios for Newfoundland. One is the Liberal government continues privatizing everything and cutting back services and funding for healthcare, social assistance and  education, ensuring that the unstated "resettlement program" [out of] Newfoundland keeps happening.  Another possible scenario is that it gets  a lot worse, given the number of Reform  people elected. If they and the Liberals join  together philosophically, we could see the  government go even further to the Right.  This will mean that everything the Liberals have been doing will be speeded up,  Continued on next page Feature  Continued from previous page  and we'll see a lot more people leaving the  province a lot sooner.  The best scenario we could hope for is  that the NDPers elected will be extremely  vocal and take the other parties to task, so  things won't get a lot worse. But, I'm not  very optimistic. I can see it going along the  same path or getting even worse.  The biggest issue for women in Newfoundland is the lack of employment. There  are jobs being cut all the time—it began in  the fishery five or six years ago, and now  all those jobs are gone. Now, all the service  jobs are going.  There has also been a lot more contracting out and privatization of services by the  federal government. There's anticipation  here in our community that the air traffic  control centre and the airport will be the  next to go, and that's about all we have left  now to keep Gander and surrounding communities alive.  There hasn't been a new service or social program introduced in the province for  years. All we see, year after year, is the cutback of services, so we have less social  workers, but more people requiring their  services.  Women's groups don't know which  issues they should be addressing because  everyday there's another cutback of service, another new problem. Women's groups  are left running full speed and we're still  losing ground.  Arlene Hache, Yellowknife  Women's Centre, Yellowknife,  Northwest Territories  The greatest difficulty for us is that our  MPs participated in the destruction of the  social safety network in the Northwest Ter-  ritories. We returned one MP (Ethel  Blondin-Andrew) and the other MP elected  is also part of the Liberal Party, so our ability to raise issues that are devastating to the  NWT is very limited.  There hasn't been an avenue to present  a different side. However, I'm anticipating  (given that we find the NDP a responsive  party to social issues) that they will provide us with some assistance, whereas our  MPs have not.  Part of the difficulty for us is that we  feel fairly isolated from other women's  groups down south. Women's groups  which have a large population base—just  like MPs from a large population—set the  agenda. For example, with NAC, northern  women's issues are at the bottom of the  page because we don't have the population  that would make our needs seem all that  immediate to anyone other than ourselves.  There's an incredible number of issues  up here. Number one is that we have the  highest rates across Canada for sexual  abuse, family violence, STDs, crime, all  those things. The literacy rate is incredibly  low and the employment rates are also incredibly low. We have huge numbers of  communities that generally feel no hope for  the future, and we have a huge number of  suicides that go unnoticed.  Funding for health and social programs for the NWT have never been sufficient, so any cut has an incredible affect on  people at the community level.  I would anticipate over the next five  years that we are going to be in real trouble  in terms of even surviving. The question  for us is not, are we going to have job down  the road, it's more, will people live long  enough to get a job and to keep a job because the territorial and federal governments have never dealt with the impact of  sexual abuse in the NWT. The rates of  sexual abuse are high because of the history of residential schools.  There are no treatment programs offered in the NWT for survivors of sexual  abuse. The only treatment available is for  alcohol or drug abuse. So whether or not  they're an alcoholic, that's the treatment  they get and that's all the treatment they  get.  Julie Black, Calgary Status of  Women Action Committee,  Calgary, Alberta  The big outcome for women inAlberta  is that the federal government in many  ways has gotten further away from us. We  have almost all Reform MPs, and, speaking for myself, I certainly don't feel enough  closeness to them to raise concerns with  them as the official opposition or as my local MP.  It's really difficult for us to hear from  the media and from women in other provinces that all Albertans are like the Reformers. That's absolutely not true. Reform does  not speak for all Albertans or out of concern for the needs of Alberta women.  We tend to direct our work more pro-  vincially because the changes are more  immediate and that's where we feel them.  Women inAlberta face increasing poverty,  rampant violence, less and less funding for  women's organizations, dismantling of  health care, and provincial budget cuts that  all adversely impact our lives.  Our concerns are also really crisis-oriented and immediate, and, because of that,  the federal government feels very far away  from us.  Rita Chudnowsky, BC  representative for the Childcare  Advocacy Association of Canada,  Vancouver, British Columbia  We were very disheartened and discouraged at our inability to get the political parties to deal with childcare—it certainly wasn't something largely featured  during the election.  The fact that there will be more parties  participating in question period leaves us  more optimistic that childcare will be raised  as a critical issue, if not by the government,  then by the opposition.  We'll be continuing with our full range  of lobbying, but we are certainly going to  do intensive lobbying on some of the new  MPs to make sure they understand  childcare and encourage them to follow  through with their commitments.  We really feel the need to get more fully  into a discussion with people about the role  of the national childcare program in a children's anti-poverty agenda.  We've always seen childcare as part of  the solution to eradicating poverty, so we  really want to make stronger connections  with the anti-poverty organizations.  Kike Roach is a law student  interested in immigration issues  and is co-author of Politically  Speaking  The fact that we now have the Reform  Party as the official opposition doesn't bode  well for the Liberals being more progressive on immigration issues. However, if  might be a little premature to tell, since we  now also have the NDP as an officially recognized party and we still have the Bloc  Quebecois, who are obviously going to  challenge the Liberals on any regressive immigration policy.  For the last three-and-a-half years,  we've seen the Liberals moving more and  more to the Right when it comes to immigration issues. They've been capping the  numbers of immigrants accepted into the  country through the family class category  and this specifically affects women. Women  are often sponsored by other family members into Canada. Meanwhile, the Liberals  have increased the number of business immigrants—people who can invest $500,000  or more—coming into Canada.  In its last mandate, the Liberals also  made an announcement that they are reconsidering what the criteria are for Canadian citizenship. Specifically, they are considering whether or not being born in  Canada is sufficient to becoming a Canadian citizen. I think that will have a negative impact on basic human rights. Most of  the world recognizes birth as the right to  citizenship. But there are a few countries—  and more and more in Europe—where  there's a push to restrict immigration by  changing citizenship requirements.  Chris Morrissey, the Lesbian and  Gay Immigration Task Force  (LEGIT), Vancouver, British  Columbia  I certainly am encouraged that there's  going to be a lot more balance in parliament. It's really important that the NDP has  regained its position as an official party.  I do, though, feel really concerned  about the number of Reform MPs elected,  particularly since a great number of them  are from the West. I'm quite scared of the  reactionary position of Reform, both as a  woman and as a lesbian.  In terms of immigration rights for lesbians and gay men...the fact that Lucienne  Robillard was reappointed minister of im  migration means that the legislative review  committee appointed by her during the last  term will continue. I'm encouraged the  process will not change. It will give us  clearer parameters within which to work.  We've always worked for the recognition of "relationships of interdependence,"  which certainly includes lesbian and gay  relationships and other kinds of relationships people consider important in their  lives.  We made some progress in the sense  that when Allan Rock was the minister of  justice, he was open to that. However, I do  feel discouraged when I hear the government saying things like, "Well now we have  to review all of the benefits looking at it  from this perspective." This seems to me  to be a stalling tactic.  LEGIT is going to work hard in the first  part of the Liberal's new mandate to pressure the government to expand the recognition of our relationships and to acknowledge our equality rights.  Evelyn Ballantine: The  Opasquiak Women's Resource  Service, The Pas, Manitoba  As I listened to the politicians during  the campaign, I didn't really hear anyone  saying they were going to do something to  make a positive impact on women's lives.  We need to have some kind of programming in place for women regarding family  violence, domestic violence.  I've talked to politicians and told them  what we'd like to see in terms of economic  development, education, funding for our  programs, and training for women. We'd  work on these things if we had proper training, funding and facilities. Hopefully, our  MPs will listen and do something for the  women they represent back home.  graphic by Sur Mehat  10  JULY/AUGUST 1997 Feature  There are some justice issues we're  working on, particularly concerning  women murdered by their spouses or male  partners. We've been getting support from  the provincial government and hopefully  we'll get some funding so we can deal with  family violence and justice issues for our  Aboriginal women.  The Resource Centre has always supports women through the justice system.  We've also participated in vigils, and often, women who go to the vigils end up at  the centre. The Resource Centre plays a part  so that women have a place to go to, and  that's very important in our community.  Carolyn Moore, Yukon Status of  Women Council, Whitehorse,  Yukon  We elected another strong NDP  woman, Louise Hardy. We had a good relationship with Audrey McLaughlin over  the past 12 years, and that set a really good  precedent. Louise is a rookie MP, but she  grew up here and we hope she can work  for positive change the same way Audrey  did.  The CHST has had a really negative  effect on us. For example, the Yukon College took an enormous cut and it's our sole  post-secondary institution. The college offers only first and second year courses, so  there's a class issue here. If you want any  kind of ongoing education, other than a  social work degree or a Native teacher education degree, you have to leave the Yukon.  This means women on social assistance  don't have many educational options. That  can feel really binding.  One major problem for us is that we  have fewer services because our communities are so small, and so we don't have  the same kind of service possibilities as  larger centres.  Gun control is also a big issue here and  it's very controversial, especially among the  First Nations community. I think it's one of  the main reasons why the Liberals did not  win in the Yukon. Feminists have a different standpoint on gun control, but Yukon  women are pretty mixed on the issue.  Shirley Masuda, DisAbled  Women's Network Canada,  Vancouver, British Columbia  Election or no election, our issues remain the same—health, social services and  poverty. And poverty overrides all of that,  because 35 percent of women with disabilities live on less than $5,000 a year. When  you're that poor, you can't even go to a  movie; you eat porridge a lot of the time;  or sometimes you don't have anything to  eat.  Social services were cut drastically  with the introduction of the CHST. Women  with disabilities were hit pretty bad.  Homecare has been cut; health services are  harder to access; and many smaller hospitals have been closed. Also, only services  done in hospitals, like physiotherapy, are  available to women on welfare and there's  a six month waiting list in some places.  Violence is also a huge issue for women  with disabilities. In a study DAWN Canada  did, we found that more than 60 percent of  women with disabilities have experienced  violence or abuse. As well. 80 percent of  those women have had suicidal thoughts  and half of them tried to commit suicide at  least two times. With the cutbacks to social  programs, violence against women with  disabilities has gone up.  I did a research piece on the CHST and  it's horrible We're going to have to deal  with it for the next four years, and when  the deficit is paid off, then the government  will be working to pay of the national debt.  So there's nothing to look forward to.  Women with disabilities are at bottom  of everyone's heap—in terms of access to  therapy, to the community (just getting out  of their homes), and to training. In terms  of employment, we are the most unemployed group anywhere in Canada.  Those are the issues we've always been  fighting, and those are the issues we'll continue to fight.  Dolly Williams, provincial  representative, Congress of Black  Women, Halifax, Nova Scotia  I was very excited that the NDP got  elected in Nova Scotia. I believe the NDP  can work around issues like health, family  violence against women and social programs. Over the years, a lot of the ideas the  NDP raised were brought in by the government. The NDP can't change the world,  but they can keep the government in check.  I think in this election people were tired  and wanted a change. We elected our first  Black MP, Gordon Earle and we elected  Wendy Lill and Alexa McDonough, strong  women who believe in social justice issues.  Health care is a big issue. We need to  make sure that our it is brought back up to  standard. The Congress of Black Women is  doing a survey around health issues for  Black people. There's a lot of people in  Nova Scotia who don't have medical coverage, so it's pretty tight if you're Black and  you're unemployed.  We also are concerned with racism and  the diversity of the population. We need  immigrants, but not just rich people and  people coming from white countries. If  Canada's going to have immigration laws,  they should be accessible to everybody who  wants to come here, especially women fleeing for their lives.  Madeleine Bosco, Women's  Health Clinic, Winnipeg,  Manitoba  Manitoba is in a province that's had  the "Reform experience" for 10 years. So  we've had some kinds of restructuring already. Maybe the Liberals are the lesser of  two evils. The Liberals do buy the deficit  arguments, and now that their perception  is that things are better, maybe they'll ease  up on some of the cutbacks which may  make it possible for other processes to come  into place. Whether that will actually happen or not, I don't know.  With regards to women's health issues,  we hate to use the word "health reform."  Women's issues are really about the "how"  of health care, as much as the "what" of  them—that is, the processes by which  women get services, who decides what the  problem is, what the services are going to  look like, and how they are delivered.  We've heard lots of lip service about  making our system more responsive to consumers: developing community-based  services, putting the client at the centre,  putting more energy into health education  and alternate care, but it's very hard to have  systematic change in a downsizing environment.  With the Reform Party as official opposition, it means we have to be prepared  to engage in debate again. The only way  I've been able to cope with some of the stuff  that comes out of the Reform Party is understanding that they are just articulating  their paranoid fantasies. We need to correct their analysis and show through evaluation and data why they're in error. We may  not be able to change their minds, but we  can ensure the rest of the Canadian public  that the Reform's position is just a fringe  critique.  Lorraine Whalley, Sexual Assault  Crisis Centre, Fredericton, New  Brunswick  I'm not sure whether much has  changed for us here. We're sort of hopeful  to see a few women who are involved in  grassroots community organizing elected,  like Claudette Bradshaw, a Liberal, and  Angela Vautour from the NDP. Our MP  Andy Scott was given the solicitor general's portfolio. He's someone who's more  "Left" as a Liberal and he's concerned with  social issues, but I'm not sure what we're  going to see from him.  In terms of our struggles at the sexual  assault centre, we're always struggling financially. We're one of the few sexual assault centres in Canada that don't receive  provincial operational funding. Our core  funding was cut completely in 1994, and  efforts to have that returned don't look too  hopeful.  I'm not sure if anything is going to  change because of the federal election.  We're hoping to maintain our project  money from Status of Women Canada.  However, I don't think the federal government is going to move on the $50 million  funding demand for feminist rape crisis  centres, transition houses and women's  centres. They have relinquished their responsibility to the provinces.  We have a fairly new NAC representative here, and we're hoping that will lead  to better organizing at least among the NAC  women's groups in this area. Basically  though, there's not a lot going on in terms  of women's groups in New Brunswick;  we're all just struggling to survive.  Josee Belleau, R des centres de  femmes du Quebec, Montreal,  Quebec  We're pessimistic on the social and economic levels because the government's  decisions are very much influenced by neo-  liberal thinking. I think this election outcome will lead to a further leaning toward  the Right, with the Reform party being  much more present as the official opposition. It doesn't look favourable for women.  The outcome also does not reflect the  diverse thinking in Quebec on the constitutional issues. The perspectives are very  different if you are from an Aboriginal  group, or a white francophone group, or a  cultural community group, but there's still  a lot of dissatisfaction that there's not any  concrete thinking on the issues.  Women's centres are mobilizing on key  issues and trying to build a political front  with other progressive sectors, but we are  also having to deal with emergency issues  in women's day-to-day lives. Working on  the bigger and global issues necessitates a  lot of solidarity work, and that is hard to  build right now because of economic constraints and everybody being overwhelmed  by everyday situations.  Our solidarity work is quite unified as  far as I'm concerned, but because of the  agenda of the people in power—governments and corporations—we don't seem to  have much short term success in making  them change their agenda.  On a pan-Canadian level, we need to  continue to work with women's groups  across Canada on key issues, including  employment, health, violence, equality. But  while the objective of solidarity is very  strong, the day-to-day work makes it very  hard to keep up with this objective.  Mary MacLeod, Public Service  Alliance of Canada,  Charlottetown, Prince Edward  Island  All PEI did was re-elect the Liberal  MPs who have done absolutely nothing in  the area of women's issues in the past. If  we in PEI have any optimism, it's really  based on some of the activist women who  were elected elsewhere in the Atlantic provinces, like Alexa McDonough and Michelle  Dockrill in Nova Scotia and Angela  Vautour in New Brunswick.  The issue of pay equity is a big one for  us. We're very upset that politicians don't  understand and are actually blocking the  [federal public service] pay equity case. It's  been 13 years since we started this fight, so  we don't feel there's going to be any movement with the Liberal government unless  the human rights tribunal makes them  move or unless we get so political that they  have to move.  Employment is also a big issue. There's  a group here called Women in the Fisheries—women who work in different elements of the fishing industry. They started  the group to be political because there was  nobody even thinking about them.  There's another group called Women's  Network, and one of the projects they've  been doing over the last few years is on  women in politics. When they looked at  women's issues on the island, that was the  one that needed most attention.  They're trying to identify the reasons  why PEI women aren't getting into politics  They hold workshops and invite women  who have run for office to come in and  speak. The workshops are basically to encourage women to run in whatever party,  but just to get more involved with politics.  Leanne Stevens and Marnie  Stewart, Cranbrook Women's  Resource Centre, Cranbrook,  British Columbia  We are pleased to see more balance in  the House of Commons, in that there are  more parties represented and that the Liberals didn't get such an overwhelming  majority. We're hopeful that this will mean  more effective discussion aroundchild poverty. Child poverty is quite an issue for us  out here, and we don't think the federal  government is aware of the urgency of poverty issues.  Being from the West, we are rather concerned by the overwhelming support for  the Reform, in that the country does become more regionalized and it makes us  feel a Utile more displaced. Coming from  an isolated area, women are feeling even  more isolated after this election. There is  such a Reform presence that we don't feel  a woman's voice will be heard from this  region. We don't think they speak for women's issue, especially with their policies  around "family" being so traditional.  We are pleased that Alexa McDonough  was elected. Although she's not from this  region, that's where we feel the women's  voice will be heard.  Our centre deals mostly with poverty  advocacy for individual women. We don't  have enough staff to be really political. We  do as much as we can, but we have to deal  with things as they come in the door, and  that's how we end up being more politically active. We wish we could get stable  funding, then we could organize more  long-term projects, and know for sure we'd  have an office to do it from.  Thanks to Sur Mehat and Dorcas for transcribing all these interviews.  JULY/AUGUST 1997 Feature  Women and public pensions in Canada:  Unmasking the "reforms"  by Kathleen Jamieson  Women of all ages are being called on  to take action to safeguard and advance the  public pension system in Canada to ensure  it adequately addresses the economic needs  of older women. Last February, the Liberal  government introduced legislation that  would dramatically change the nature of  the Canada Pension Plan. And while the  bill was not passed before the election was  called, public pension advocates say that  in the fall the Liberals likely will reintroduce new pension legislation which will increase the hardship women face in their  senior years.  The Public Pensions Information Network (PPIN), comprised of more than 30  community groups and labour unions in  BC, is very concerned about the Liberal  government's planned "reforms" to one of  the last remnants of our social programs.  In short, the proposed changes would move  Canada away from a universal and public  pension system towards a individualistic  and privatized system.  The changes, as the feminist gender-  based analysis done by Monica Townson  shows, will throw more elderly women  further into poverty and set the clock back  on married women's autonomy. As it is,  over half of all elderly women on their own  have incomes below the poverty line and  are dependent on public pensions. (Average income for all women over 65 is $14,900  compared to $24,900 for men.)  The Liberal's "reforms" to public pensions—the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and  the Old Age Income Security system—will  affect both men and women, but they will  have a different and more adverse impact  on women and low-income earners. As  well, the changes are designed to affect future—not current—seniors, but are most  definitely an issue to which all women must  pay heed. [See Kinesis June 1996 and July/  August 1996.]  In the month before the federal election was called, PPIN members met with  Hedy Fry, secretary of state for the status  of women and multiculturalism, to impress  on her the repercussions of the proposed  changes on women's economic status.  Somewhat to our surprise, Fry appeared to  be largely in agreement with our perspective. But, despite this candour, what she  was prepared to do about the matter was  very unclear. PPIN asked her to show some  leadership on the issue and to speak out  publicly, but she said that was not how she  worked. The PPIN members at the meeting were left with the impression that Fry  did not want to do anything to rock the Liberal boat. [Ed. note: Contrary to the position  she stated to PPIN members, in a letter to Kinesis published in the June 1997 Issue, Hedy  Fry stated that "solutions in Canada Pension  Plan reform will be fair between women and  men..."]  Since the election call killed all legislation that was still before the House of Commons, changes to the existing CPP legislation will have to be brought forward anew  in parliament. To pass the legislation, the  federal government requires the consent of  two-thirds of the provinces with two-thirds  of the population. Provinces like BC, which  opposes most of the proposed changes,  may still have some opportunity to intervene in the process.  The federal government previously  said it would not try to pass new legislation without the agreement of all provinces.  Despite this promise, the federal government decided to go ahead and table the legislation in the House of Commons on February 14, even though BC and Saskatchewan objected to most of the changes the  Liberals were proposing.  The changes to the CPP were likely not  pushed through parliament before the election because of the possible impact on the  Liberal's vote count, and because serious  questions were beginning to be raised by  some unlikely sources—The Financial Post;  for example—about what was really driving the federal agenda. Myths about the  CPP going broke and attempts to foment  intergenerational conflict around pensions  by right-wing groups and the sympathetic  mainstream media have begun to back-fire.  Legislation to change the old age income security system (Old Age Security,  Guaranteed Income Supplement and tax  legislation related to pensions) to the "Seniors Benefits" was also planned by the Liberals, but was not brought forward as legislation before the election. Unlike the CPP,  a decision to amend the old age income security system can be made by parliament  without provincial agreement. These  changes, if legislated, will also negatively  impact on women and will take away a  married women's rights to be regarded as  an individual separately entitled to an old  age pension.  Commenting on what might happen  now that the election is over, Monica  Townson told members of PPIN at a meeting in Vancouver that the federal government will almost certainly bring forward  the changes to the CPP legislation once  again in the fall. Townson said she believes  the Reform party will now have the opportunity to promote their agenda of eliminating the CPP entirely—that was part of their  election platform. And in agreeing to save  some parts of the CPP, the Liberals will then  look progressive, and so can carry on with  their own "reform" agenda with much less  opposition.  Whether changes to the public pension  system reflect the Reform's agenda or the  Liberal's agenda, either way these changes  will mean huge windfall profits for the financial markets. And women's poverty  will simply not be an issue in their game  plan.  When the Liberal government reintroduces changes to the CPP legislation, it may  start the process from scratch by consulting provinces and asking for public input  as it did last year, but this is not for certain.  Nor is it clear whether the consent to proceed with the changes given prior to the  election by eight of the ten provinces is still  Universality in public pensions flew out  the window with the Mulroney government, but the Liberal government's proposed changes will go much further in  undermining public pensions as a social  program.  legal. In any case, it is unrealistic to hope  that any of the provinces will change their  positions. Changes will have to come  through public education and a lot of work,  and this will not happen overnight.  In BC, public pensions have not been  on the agenda of the province's Ministry  of Women's Equality. The public pension  negotiations have been, almost exclusively,  a male ball game, and Women's Equality  Minister Sue Hammell has not been active  on economic issues. In late June, PPIN will  be meeting with Hammell to try and  change that. PPIN called for the meeting  because the BC government may have some  influence now before the legislation is re-  tabled in the House of Commons, and in  two or three years time when the CPP is up  for review.  There are some CPP issues affecting  women that are clearly still on the table for  all the provinces to decide; for example:  surviving spouse benefits; mandatory  credit splitting; and the child rearing dropout.  PPIN is also trying to meet with BC  Finance Minister Andrew Petter to discuss  these issues and to challenge his agreement  with the federal government on one of the  proposed CPP changes—that the funds  from the CPP should be invested in the financial markets for the best possible rate  of return (instead of continuing to be lent  to the provinces). Petter has said he is opposed to the outcome of many of the  changes because of their adverse effect on  women and low income individuals. However, he seems to support the idea that fundamental changes are required in a way  that will undermine the notion of the CPP  as a social program.  Accountability will also fly out the  window. Already, powerful financial lobby  groups are working to have the current 20  percent limit on investment of pension (and  other) funds outside of Canada eliminated.  PPIN believes this is problematic and shortsighted, and will result in billions of dollars of Canadian worker pension funds  being left out of their control and invested  outside the country, instead of being used  to create jobs in Canada.  Universality in public pensions flew  out the window with the Mulroney gov  ernment, but the Liberal government's proposed changes will go much further in undermining public pensions as a social program. Pensions will become income tested  at a much lower level and this will hit middle income pensioners hard. Married couples will have their incomes assessed and  taxed together to determine their eligibility for an old age pension.  Old Age pensions will thus edge closer  to being like welfare benefits—not an entitlement, but a last (and inadequate) resort.  The next stage will likely then be to limit  assets seniors can hold before being considered eligible for pensions, as is done  with welfare benefits. The end result will  be to stigmatize old age pensions as something only needed by "undeserving" seniors who have not been "prudent" enough  to buy RRSP's and have a private pension  plan—the vast majority of women, in fact.  The Liberal government has been  shrewd by ensuring that these changes will  not affect current seniors but rather future  generations of seniors. Nevertheless, it is  the seniors' groups, familiar with pensions  and concerned about their children and all  future seniors, that are the most vocal in  opposing the public pension changes.  On the other hand, many younger and  pre-senior women don't want to think  about being old, much less old, poor and  stigmatized. The pension concepts and details are also complex, though the guts of  the issues are not. To secure public pensions  into the future, it is necessary that young  and middle-aged women understand the  issues and lobby on them. We must have  the courage to make dignity in old age our  common future by making it our priority  now.  For more information on the Public Pension Information Network position on the  changes to the CPP, contact Kathleen Jamieson  at (604) 736-8118. Agoodfeminist analysis of  Canada's pension system is Monica Townson's  Independent Means: a Canadian Woman's  Guide to Pensions and a Secure Financial  Future (MacMillan Canada, 1997).  Kathleen Jamieson works at the Social Planning and Research Council (SPARC) ofBC and  is a member of PPIN.  JULY/AUGUST 1997 Feature  The impact of trade liberalization agreements on women:  MAI spells...  FTA, NAFTA, APEC, MAI these are the most recent trade liberalization agreements Canada has been signing on to, with serious negative outcomes for women. The latest negotiations among OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) nations had  been around the MAI (the Multilateral Agreement on Investment).  The MAI consists of a set of rules restricting what governments can  (or cannot) do to regulate international investment and corporate behaviour. In effect, these rules are intended to protect the interests of  transnational corporations. If Canada signs the MAI, it will make it  extremely difficult for the federal or provincial governments to support  social programs, establish and enforce national standards, or set requirements for corporations to create jobs or safeguard employees'rights  and well-being, among other things.  Below, Elsie Dean and Marjorie Griff en Cohen provide some analysis on the danger of MAI to the status of women and the rights of  people (versus corporations). In future issues of Kinesis, we will have  more on MAI and other global imperialist agreements being negotiated.  -«Sfts*h,  MAI-Day! MAI-Day! Corporate pigs attacking parliament hill... MAI-Day!  Women's rights under threat  by Elsie Dean  Women around the world are expressing alarm as they learn about the international agreements being negotiated by governments and transnational corporations.  Although most of these negotiations have  been done in secret, enough information  has filtered out to startle women into action.  The negotiations among the 18 nation  Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation member countries and among the OECD nations  have been kept from the public, elected officials and the media. Most of the APEC  documents are classified; however, sufficient information is available to assess the  effects on women. And the OECD's Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) has  now been "liberated" by the Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, which has put  information on the MAI on the Internet at  http://www.org/gtwt. (Discussion and  analysis of MAI are available at http://  www.rtk.net/preamble.)  Many believe a coup is brewing to put  the rights of international investors beyond  the reach of national laws. What is quietly  being negotiated is a "charter of rights and  freedoms" for the biggest and richest corporations. Any national laws—past, present  or future—that affect investors or the assets they own (or control) would be subject  to approval by the OECD—an unelected international panel.  The APEC agreement refers to its members as "economies" rather than countries,  thereby allowing it to evade questions of  human rights, labour standards and other  social issues affecting people, all in the  name of the economy.  Women reject these agreements that  put transnational corporations before people. Pressure is mounting on governments  to live up to the commitments made in various international agreements: the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination  Against Women; the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the  Beijing 1995 Platform for Action; the Convention for the Protection of the Rights of  Migrant Workers and their Families; the  International Labour Organization's conventions on labour standards; the Convention on the Rights of the Child; et cetera.  Just glance through the documents  from the United Nations Fourth World  Conference on Women, held in Beijing in  September 1995—the Platform for Action  and the Beijing Declaration—and it is clear  that both APEC and the MAI agreements  would tie governments' hands so they  would be unable to implement the most  important aspects of this covenant.  In the Beijing Declaration, the 140  countries that signed say: "We are determined to ensure the full enjoyment by  women and the girl child of all human  rights and fundamental freedoms and to  take effective action against violations of  these rights and freedoms." But Prime Minister Jean Chretien has already said that  APEC is not concerned with human  Continued on page 18  .destruction  Handing corporations the controls  by Marjorie Griffin Cohen   With the proliferation of free-trade  deals in recent years, the news of a new  multilateral agreement on investment  (MAI) isn't going to excite too many people. But it should.  This agreement threatens the rights  and freedoms of people everywhere by  granting extreme privileges to corporations.  The whole point of recent trade agreements is to undermine the ability of governments and communities to control corporate activity. But the MAI will succeed  in ways which are extensive refinements of  existing trade laws.  Corporations would get more control  in a variety of ways, but three seem most  significant for British Columbians: One is  that the meaning of investment is greatly  inflated to cover all kinds of activity, even  when there is no commitment of capital.  Another is in the area of corporate performance requirements—MAI would ban the  requirements that corporations provide  social benefits in exchange for the rights to  exploit public resources. And the third way  is how the notion of national treatment  would extend to include government incentives, threatening government ability to  promote either Canadian corporations or  non-profit activities.  The practical implications of these new  privileges, either separately or in combinations, would affect many initiatives which  now influence employment levels, health  care and other social services, like day care,  inBC  The government's rights to set job targets as a condition of timber licenses, as in  the Jobs and Timber Accord, could be challenge as illegal "performance requirement."  Similarly, an initiative to link fishing  licenses or quotas to local job creation in  BC's fishing communities could be a violation of investor rights.  Any subsidy to non-profit day care  could be illegal unless it were also extended  to cover profit-making centres, a requirement which would almost certainly eliminate government funding of non-profit centres.  Medicare would be threatened in the  same way.  When governments are required to  provide the same kinds of funding to both  local non-profit health care providers and  Continued on page 18  JULY/AUGUST 1997 Women and sports: Have ball, will play!  On the run: Patrice Leung takes off from  second.  Have ballteam, will watch  by Fatima Jaffer  Spectators in awe...  Gotta confess...I'm a lesbian, live in Vancouver, love watching baseball and actually  travelled down to Seattle to see the Blue Jays  thrash the Mariners! But I never quite seem to  make it down to the fields around Commercial Drive in Vancouver to catch the 14 or 15  lesbian softball teams that play each other  weekends and evenings in the summertime.  When I heard this summer that a team of  mostly Asian women (huh? Asian women play  softball?) were not just part of the summer  ritual of softball tournaments but could be one  of two softball teams from Vancouver at the  Gay Games in Amsterdam in August next year,  I was intrigued (and ashamed at my ignorance).  So I showed up to watch a game on a sunny  Sunday in June. And what a game! Homers,  fly balls, strike outs, slides into second base,  an enthusiastic crowd...and in the end, the team  in question, the Womyn Warriors, beat the  Rough Diamonds 20-11 [see photos].  "You caught a particularly good game," Da  Choong said to me afterwards. Choong is a  kind of groupie of the Warriors, or "our mascot," as the Warriors told me they think of her,  since she's watched more of their games in the  last two years than almost anyone else.  "They had a lot of new players when I first  started watching," says Choong. "It took a  while for them to gel together, but now they're  an excellent team." There are 15 Womyn Warriors, ranging in age from 24 to 49, and of  Filipina, Chinese, Japanese, Jamaican and European descent.  What Choong says she likes best about  them is that "they're super supportive of each  other. They encourage each other and always  look like they're having fun, whether they lose  Womyn Warriors welcome Cynthia Low at home plate after she hits a mega-home run!  or win. They're really entertaining to watch  and that's what makes them a great team."  Choong is not the only one to think so. In  its almost six-year history, the Womyn Warriors has won numerous awards in lesbian tournaments for displaying the "Most  Sportspersonship" and been praised for friendliness towards other teams. Apart from playing in the LIL (Lesbian Information Line) Tournament every July [see Kinesis, July/August  1992], the Warriors are one of eight teams in  the non-competitive division of the Mabel  League, a Vancouver-based league of lesbian  softball teams. The Mabel's other competitive  division, is comprised of six teams.  So how do the Warriors get to go to Amsterdam? I wanted to know.  "All it takes is some money and the desire  to be there," says Warriors' pitcher Lily Shinde.  "We decided we should go because we are a  special kind of team," referring to the fact that  75 percent of the team is made up of women of  colour, a rare phenomena in a league where  the average number of women of colour per  team is under two.  Left fielder Paulina Tin agrees that the driving factor in the Warriors decision to play in  Amsterdam is because lesbians of colour are  underrepresented in gay and lesbian sports  leagues. She adds, "I also really want to be in a  space to end the stereotypes of Asian women  not being good at sports like softball. Our presence will counter the invisibility of Asians in  sports, as well as of lesbians of colour within  the lesbian and gay community."  The Warriors have to raise $30,000 to cover  the cost of sending its 15 members to Amsterdam including accommodations, and  enrollment and other fees. Shinde says team  members will contribute some of their own  money towards the costs, but "it won't be much  since we're largely a working class kind of  team."  The team supports itself financially  through donations from fans and occasional  sponsorships. Thanks to a supporter at Xtra  West, one of Vancouver's gay and lesbian  newspapers, the newspaper sponsored the  Warriors this year. In return for a donation of  about $500, the XtraWest banner is displayed  at all Warriors games and players wear the  newspaper's logo on their t-shirts. "The sponsorship allows us to concentrate on developing as a team and participating in tournaments  without the financial stresses of previous  years," says Tin.  The Warriors are approaching both individuals and groups for donations, as well as  planning numerous fundraising events over  the next year to their "Send the Womyn Warriors to Gay Games 98 Fund."  To make a donation, please send a cheque or  money order to The Womyn Warriors, c/o Paulina  Tin, 2213 Newport Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V5P  2J1.  When Fatima Jaffer grows up, she wants to he a  Womyn Warriors groupie. Thanks to Da Choong  forgetting me out to the game! Thanks to Margaret  Matsuyama, a founding member of the team and  its shortstop, for her help with this article. And  thanks to Agnes Huang for protecting me from foul  balls while 1 took photographs, and for her help with  the softball lingo.  PaulinaTin slugs one into right field, while Da  Choong and Sayuri look on from the Warriors'  dugout.  Pitcher Lily Shinde gets down to  give the catcher a clear throw to  second.  "And here's the pitch!"Warriors' Cynthia Low  braces for the catch, while a Rough Diamond  batter waits and watches for the ball.  Model of a Gay Games '98  team: the Womyn Warriors  celebrate their victory  over the Rough Diamonds  on June 15th. Back row:  Margaret Matsuyama,  Karen Lau, Sayuri  Katayama, Cory Coore,  PaulinaTin, Lise  Delvecchio (coach),  Patrice Leung andTrish  Burleigh. Front row:  Yolanda Ricketts (with  dog Nubes), Cynthia Low  (and dog Lizzie), Marilou  Esguerra, Lily Shinde and  Mary Mah. Missing are:  Carrie Wong,Tammy Chan  and Anne Scholefield. Features  International solidarity among young indigenous women:  Different realities.  same struggles  by Rosa del Carmen Chen Gualim,  Juana leal Choc, Leah Robinson and  Nicole Brass   From January to April, eight indigenous  youth from Canada and Guatemala met, travelled together, connected and strategized  around issues of concern to them as indigenous  peoples. The young women and men vjere part  of the Fifth International Native Leadership Development Project coordinated by  CoDevelopment Canada, in association with  indigenous communities and organizations in  British Columbia and Guatemala.  The goals of the project are to enable indigenous communities to develop a North-  South framework for dealing with issues of colonialism and indigenous rights, as well as to  build sustainable linkages between organizations serving indigenous peoples in BC and  Guatemala.  While they were in Vancouver, four of the  women participants—Rosa del Carmen Chen  Gualim, Juana leal Choc, Leah Robinson and  f Linda Tiller/'  ■■+ /  '   '      J*  h annual  Vancouver Folk^CpL  Music Festival jS^  Where you can see  Ani DiFranco, Buffy Sainte-Marie,  Veda Hille, Norma Waterson,  Liza Carthy, Oh Susanna, Bulgaria's  Bisserov Sisters, Kiss and Tell with  Emily Faryna, Linda Tillery and the  Cultural Heritage Choir...  and hundreds more great artists *  all in the same place.  2V2 DAYS AND NIGHTS OF  MUSIC, FUN, AND FRIENDS.  IT'S A SUMMER TRADITION!!  July18r19&20  Jericho Beach Park  Kids, youth  and student  rates!  TICKETS AND INFO  ®v ^  "Vancouver's Best  Annual Festival"  GEORGIA STRAIGHT  1996 READER'S CHOICE  Nicole Brass—got together for a conversation  on their experiences as young indigenous people . The conversation was recorded for SOFY  (Sound Options for Youth), a youth radio training initiative at Vancouver Co-op Radio, CFRO  102.7FM, that focuses on the interaction between Canada and Central America in the areas of human rights, economic development and  international solidarity.  Chen Gualim is from Cohan and leal Choc  is from Lancetillos. They are both involved with  Defensoria Maya (Mayan Defense Association), a national non-governmental organization that works on indigenous issues in Guatemala. Robinson is Haislafrom Kitamaat Village and Brass is Saulteaux First Nations and  grew up in Vancouver.  The discussion was facilitated by Centime  Zeleke, coordinator of the SOFY project, and  Spanish/English interpretation was done by  Jeanette Dubay, coordinator of the Native Leadership Development Project.  Centime Zeleke: What do you think  are some of the differences between being  indigenous here in Canada and being indigenous in Guatemala?  Rosa del Carmen Chen Gualim:  When I came to Canada, we went to the  downtown eastside in Vancouver. We  walked around and saw a lot of people who  were very poor and who were taking drugs.  It left me with a feeling of sadness in my  heart to see children, as well as their parents, taking drugs. I also noticed that a lot  of indigenous people here have lost their  culture.  I saw a lot of people in the downtown  eastside who looked like they weren't eating well; their homes looked very sad. In  Guatemala, there are poor people but it's  very different. I wonder what can be done  here [in Canada to eradicate poverty.] This  is the question I'm left with.  Juana leal Choc: I also noticed there  are many people with drug addictions. In  Guatemala, there isn't the same reality.  We're fighting with the government just to  be recognized as indigenous people.  Leah Robinson: For me, what I saw  as the difference between our cultures was  all the poverty around Guatemala and in  Chiseq [the city they were visiting.] You go  down the street and you never see garbage  bins—garbage would just be thrown wherever. People, mostly men, would go to the  bathroom in the streets. There were also  very young children who weren't in school.  They are not getting the proper education  they should have. You walk down the street  and see little children begging you to let  them shine your shoes or buy something  they've made. Many of them have to work  just for their next meal.  In Canada you don't see that. Here,  you see children going off to school in the  morning and getting an education. So it was  really difficult to see [that level of poverty]  Nicole Brass: The differences I found  between the indigenous people of Canada  and the indigenous people of Guatemala  is that indigenous people in Guatemala  have their culture while the indigenous  people here are fighting to keep their culture. Also, the indigenous people in Guatemala do not have any support from their  government for schools, health care, running water, roads, and that is what's really  needed down there. This is something that  needs to be brought out.  The indigenous people of Canada are  also struggling to regain control over land,  and this is one of the similarities between  indigenous peoples in Guatemala and in  Canada. I hope the land issue gets resolved  soon. We have all these things going on in  Canada and in Guatemala, and we're trying to bridge a gap and get closer.  I know Canada is a bit ahead of Guatemala [in terms of dealing with the rights  of indigenous people] because of the civil  war and because of all the suffering that  has happened there. [Guatemala had been  embroiled in civil war for more than 30 years  until last December when a series of peace accords was signed by the Guatemalan government and army and the URNG (the Guatemala  National Revolutionary Union)] But, there  was also a lot of suffering that happened  here in Canada.  Zeleke: One of the things Juana said  was that the struggle for indigenous people in Guatemala is different because  they're struggling against the government,  whereas she feels in Canada indigenous  peoples aren't struggling against the government in the same way. Can you talk a  bit more about that in terms of how you  understand the histories Guatemala and  Canada as different, in terms of the development of Canada and the development of  Guatemala?  Chen Gualim: One of the big differences between our histories as people is the  level of poverty in Guatemala, and another  big difference is that we have lived through  36 years of war.  The war had its consequences. In my  home town, there were 300 people in the  community, but after the military attacked  it, there were only 15 people left. This is  the pain and suffering that has affected us.  Many people have been killed in many different ways. I lost an uncle—he was 22  years old when the military came at midnight and just removed him from his home.  He's never been seen since.  There is still a lot of struggle left, but  we don't want to fight, we don't want war  anymore. We want to be recognized by the  government and we want peace.  leal Choc: I want to talk about the situation in my community where there are  many women who were widowed and  many children whose parents—fathers and  mothers—were killed. They were left behind without food or water, or anything.  One of the big differences I've noticed in  what I've seen in Canada is that indigenous  people here, in this generation, haven't  lived through this kind of war, although  they have lived a war.  Brass: Here in Canada, the Native people were torn away from their families at a  very young age, when they were four or  six, and taken away up until they were 16  or 17. They were put into residential schools  where they were repeatedly tortured, sexually abused, and where their culture and  language were stolen from them. That is  one of the problems we face today, trying  to recover and go back to our roots.  The high percentage of suicide among  young Native people is also apparent and  [connected to] not having a good family life.  Many Native youth are also dealing with  substance abuse, which is result of our  people being taken away from our families and from our traditional way of life.  Robinson: I think Nicole just explained everything. The most important  issues First Nations people in Canada are  struggling through right now are the effects  of residential schools and the high suicide  rate among young people. We're going  through similar things as the Guatemalans.  We understand their pain and they understand our pain—that's one of the connections we have with our counterparts in this  program.  Zeleke: What kinds of connections do  you hope to continue to have in the future,  and why do you think it's important for  these connections to happen?  Chen Gualim: We have to continue  struggling as indigenous people to demand  our rights. Now that we have peace, we  have to continue the struggle because the  rich will never take us into consideration if  we don't. We have to struggle not just for  ourselves, but for all of our people and all  indigenous people. The rich people were  not the ones who suffered during the war;  we were the ones who suffered the consequences of it, and we are the ones who have  to fight so there is no more war, so that we  can live in peace as indigenous people.  leal Choc: We have to confront the  government because they serve and represent the rich people. They don't serve us  and we have to fight to be recognized and  taken into account as indigenous people.  Brass: As indigenous people, we all  come from the same root. I'd just like to  say that we've all suffered as indigenous  peoples. We've all had things taken away  from us like our land and our homes and  our traditions. As indigenous people, we  have to stick together and to work with all  the indigenous people of the world. We  have to keep in contact with what's going  on in their countries because they're indigenous and we're indigenous.  For more information about the Native  Leadership Development Project, call Co-Development at (604) 708-1495. To find out more  about other recordings done for Sound Options  for Youth, contact Centime Zeleke at Co-op Radio, (604) 684-8494.  JULY/AUGUST 1997 Commentary  Women, children and mothering:  Deserving more than just  survival  by Terra Poirier  On May 12, the day after Mother's Day,  Harry's Off Commercial, a local gay-owned  cafe, was filled with women, children and  a few men. Some of these folks were lesbian or bisexual mothers, some were  straight, some were single moms, and some  were non-parent lesbians and bisexual  women. There were kids aged from a few  months old up to 10 or 11 years.  The occasion was "Queer Moms Do  Quickies," a showcase of music and spoken word by local dyke and bi moms, as  well as a celebration of moms in general.  The event was multi-faceted, with several  activities going on simultaneously.  At Eastside Family Place, there was  child care and tofu dogs for kids who didn't  want to be in the hub of the cafe activity.  Meanwhile at the cafe, there were even  more kid-friendly shenanigans. On-site  childcare volunteers facilitated various activities from a sidewalk chalk mural proclaiming, "Queer Moms Rock!," to arts and  crafts inside. Many children spent a fair  amount of time lining up on the stage for  their chance to draw a ticket for one of the  countless door prizes, donated by dozens  of community businesses. The pool table  at the back was covered with platters of free  food for all attending.  Treats for moms included shoulder  massages given by one of three volunteer  masseuses wandering around the room,  and manicures in order to keep our ever  essential lesbionic hands well-groomed.  And of course, there were performances by  a number of moms, which the crowd responded to with great enthusiasm. In fact,  the experience was very validating for the  mothers on stage and in the audience.  So why a Queer Mother's day event?  Well, there were several reasons why I,  other mothers, and non-mothers decided  to undertake the huge task of organizing  such an event—the first one ever in Vancouver. First of all, we wanted to celebrate  and acknowledge the work of mothers on  a community level. Second, we wanted to  provide a forum for mothers to communicate to the queer community their experiences as mothers. Music and spoken word  seemed an ideal way to get our message  across in a fun and accessible environment.  It was important to us that non-mothers assist in the organising for obvious practical reasons, but also as a way for non-  mothers to honour mothers in the community. And we hoped that this would also  mean that non-mothers would attend this  event and celebrate with us. We hoped non-  parents would attend to learn from our experiences and be part of a child-friendly  space.  Dominant queer culture is generally  quite void of children—rarely are lesbian  and gay events organized to meet the needs  of children as well as adults. Consequently,  many non-parent queers rarely interact  with children, and kids in our community  lack relationships with adults who aren't  their own or their friends' moms. We  wanted to make it clear that mothering experiences are not only the concern of mothers, but rather something which plays a  vital role in the larger queer community.  Another major reason was to provide  a space to perform our creative work. This  is a key thing, as we mothers often have  several barriers to having our art received  by our communities. Most resources for art-  Catherine (single mom) and Athena, 4 years old  From L to R, Rachel Rosen (volunteer), Laurel Swenson (mom), Nadene  Rehnby (volunteer),Terra Poirier (mom).  ists are inaccessible to those of us on low  incomes, and I have rarely found "art  scene" events that welcome children or offered childcare.  Who are our cultural heroes in the lesbian community? For the most part, they're  artists, performers, writers and activists  who can spend time developing their skills,  art, networks—and for the most part, these  are women who aren't raising children at  the same time. While many single moms  on low incomes are involved in art and  creative activities, we are so busy just trying to keep our families fed, clothed and  housed that we rarely have the time, energy or resources to devote to work that is  traditionally considered "art." And the less  "art" that we produce, the less we are considered artists.  It is important for us to recognize the  art that we have been able to create, and to  challenge the notion that you have to have  a Fine Arts degree, a studio of your own,  or a Canada Council  grant to be an artist. The  event provided a space  for mothers to share the  products of any right-  brain activity they'd been  able to squeeze in between dishes, car-pooling  and diaper-changing.  When I was 16 and  pregnant, I wasn't thinking about politics or art or  visions of community; I  was solely focused on  survival. I needed a place  for me and my baby to  live; I needed money to  buy food, and while I was  at it, I was also hoping to  graduate from high  school. Nine years later  I'm still focusing on those  same bare essentials; I did  pull off high school  graduation, but training  that would actually enable me to get a job has  remained well out of  reach. The difference now  is that I see my pulling off this survival as  a political act, a creative endeavour, and an  essential contribution to my communities.  Parenting in a society of this nature  requires incredible feats of creativity. We  live in a society that doesn't value women  or children, blames people for not having  money when there are no jobs, continues  to practise cultural genocide and imperialism, values profits over human rights, supports racist, anti-semitic, and homophobic  violence, and refuses to see violence and  abuse against children. Raising emotionally  healthy children under such circumstances  is a political act—to be able to sort through  all of the garbage that gets tossed in our  path, to be faced with one challenge after  another and still keep going on, takes incredible strength and courage.  These acts do not only affect our own  families, our own little backyards (if we are  lucky enough to have one!); they have  wide-reaching implications for the entire  community to which we belong. Every  child that grows up with the tools to challenge hatred and social injustice, to not seek  power by controlling others, to be able to  solve problems creatively and without violence^—and every child, period—is an asset to our community. And no, we don't  have to be super moms, raising our children to be perfect little new age citizens or  brave fighters of social injustice, in order  to deserve the respect of our communities.  Our just surviving in the face of incredible  opposition, simply getting through our  long days, is a heroic act worthy of at least  the same recognition as those who are lucky  enough to have paid employment, or the  resources to produce art in its various  forms.  But, as I said, when I was 16,1 wasn't  thinking about any of this. I did not consider myself an activist, I didn't even know  what that was, and I certainly did not identify as a "feminist." Though feminism  touched my life in many ways, feminist  resources did not have a role in my teen-  Continued on next page  JULY/AUGUST 1997 Commentary  Women and mothering:  continued from previous page  age pregnancy experience. Looking back, I  don't see where the women's community  reached out to me as a young mother in  foster care, as a survivor of violence and  abuse, as a low-income woman who would  struggle with addiction and mental health  issues for years to come.  Then I came out when I was 19, as a  feminist, and shortly thereafter, as a dyke.  Eventually, five years ago, I moved to the  East End of Vancouver, where a gal can  walk down the street and hear about all the  community events going on, and where I  can pick up the local queer and women's  rags at my grocery store. I thought, this is  it, I've come home. Here is where I will get  my social needs met, this is where I will  find a lesbian community waiting with  open arms to receive me and my son into  its warm bosom.  What I actually found was one lesbian  bar, several queer events held in bars or at  least very late at night, cultural events that  did not provide childcare and were too expensive for someone living on welfare, and  many women who simply didn't see children and mothers as part of their community.  At this time, I also met a mother of boy  children, a Turkish dyke, who had been assaulted at a women's dance in front of her  five year old, by four white women, for  bringing her son to this "community"  event. Learning of her experience, and those  of other mothers who had been violated in  this community, helped me to see how the  treatment of mothers in the lesbian and  women's movement is inextricably connected to other struggles. We mothers cannot simply isolate our struggles. In fact, no  oppression acts in a vacuum, but sometimes, you'd think otherwise.  I've hear countless political organizers,  when challenged on some glaring lack of  accessibility, state that the purpose in organizing this event is to raise money for  some non-profit, very important and certainly noble cause, and not to provide for  the "individual wants" of every single person. Excluding the involvement of mothers in community organizing by not providing for childcare and children's activities, by making events too expensive, by not  valuing the ways that mothers and children  contribute, deprives the community of our  life experiences, skills, and strengths.  Meanwhile, we keep on raising our  kids in the midst of this alienating environment. Many mothers I know have learned  not to rely on a community for support, or  never expect it in the first place. Some  mother look to each other for support and  others have lovers or partners sharing  parenting responsibilities or helping out  occasionally. A lucky few have networks of  family and friends who have various roles  in caring for our children. But most of us  know that when push comes to shove,  we're on our own—that the only ones who  will see us through our difficulties, especially those of long-term variety, are ourselves.  Most of the single mothers I have  known have lived without enough money,  have had to continue to parent in the face  of various crises, ranging from family court  to illness to eviction. Now, whether we are  single parents or not, most of us can see  that damage control as an overall lifestyle  isn't the ideal or easiest way to raise a  healthy, thriving next generation, nor is it a  very "liberated" way of life for the mothers who are doing it.  I've also met mothers who have challenged the notion that isolation, fatigue,  and boring housework are our lot in life. I  know mothers who are challenging their  family, friends, and community on the assumption that children are solely the responsibilities of their mothers. There is a  widely held myth that because we "chose"  to be mothers, we also chose to live in poverty, to stay home while everyone else is at  this or that community event, to suffer from  one nervous breakdown after another and  be afraid to reach out for help because often the only resources available are through  oppressive government systems.  In 1993,1 was part of an adhoc group  of women, both mother and non-mothers,  who organized impromptu demonstrations  at two separate community film series. This  was in response to these events not offering childcare or childcare subsidies, and in  one case, not offering a sliding scale admission. Our action comprised of publishing  leaflets and speaking to the movie-goers to  explain how this kind of inaccessibility limited low-income mother involvement in  cultural events and in the larger queer and  women's communities. We also solicited  donations from audience members and distributed the proceeds to mothers to pay for  their childcare expenses for those events.  Response to this action was mixed, some  folks were offended or offensive, others indifferent, and many were supportive and  donated money if they could. For me, this  was a powerful experience because it was  a way for us mothers to directly confront  our communities' exclusion of us, and get  folks to put their money where their lip  service was.  And after years of mothers and non-  mothers challenging our communities on  the exclusion of mothers and children,  some community organizations have taken  the feedback and started to offer childcare  subsidies, and I don't want to diminish the  importance of that. However, I have yet to  see a community-wide appreciation and  understanding of mothers' and children's  vital roles in our communities.  We wanted the Queer Mother's Day  event to be part of such a dialogue. We  wanted to offer the community a celebration of our work as mothers as well as a  creative forum which was truly open to  low-income mothers. That is why we didn't  stop at off-site childcare, why we had multitudes of children's activities, free food,  sliding-scale admission, a wheelchair accessible location, an early evening starting  time, and did not expect children to behave  like miniature adults, quiet and sitting still  in their chairs.  I think our efforts were successful—  lots of fun was had, the performers got to  tell it like it is, food was eaten, and gifts  were given and received. I went home that  night feeling exhausted and exhilarated.  Something about this was new. Though  most of the elements of that evening had  certainly been done before, the overall effect left me feeling like we built a little bit  of community that night, like things had  really come together in a way I hadn't been  a part of up until then.  Women's rights under threat  continued from page 13  rights—ifs just, after all, an agreement on  how the tiansnationals will manage the 18  economies.  The Beijing Declaration also says: "We  are convinced that women's empowerment  and their full participation on the basis of  equality in all spheres of society, including  participation in the decision-making process and access to power, are fundamental  for the achievement of equality, development and peace." The agreement also commits governments to take actions to: "Establish procedures to allow the machinery  to gather information on government-wide  policy issues at an early stage and continuously use it in the policy development and  review process within the Government."  There are no international enforceable  laws that would compel any government  to implement the terms of the Platform for  Action or the Beijing Declaration. On the  other hand, APEC and MAI agreements  have very specific laws to ensure their  terms are not violated—trade and investment sanctions and the threat of military  reprisal. The military aspect has not been  left out, deliberately. What does this mean  to women in British Columbia, for example? BC is considered the gateway to the  Pacific, and because of that, ComDef, a US  based military trade think-tank, relocated  to Vancouver. So now, BC is the "Military  Gateway to the Pacific."  The global imperialist agreements being made—APEC and the MAI—can be  stopped. As the Statement of the International Women's Conference on APEC in  Manila last November declares: "Asia-Pacific Women reject APEC and call for a people-to-people cooperation...With solidarity  and cooperation, women of the world, with  the help of men, can reach international  agreements that benefit all of humankind.  Women have worked too hard, too long to  get governments to commit to work in cooperation with woman for equality, peace,  and justice. We must not allow them to turn  back now."  We need to bring the APEC and MAI  negotiations out of the dark and to gener  ate public debate about these stealth agreements. By writing a letter to Prime Minister Jean Chretien, the Minister of Foreign  Affairs Lloyd Axworthy, Minister of International Trade Sergio Marchi, Secretary of  State for the Status of Women Hedy Fry,  Secretary of State for the Asia-Pacific Region Raymond Chan, and your Member of  Parliament, you can participate in the debate and protest and demand their accountability to women in Canada.  Ask them about the MAI and how it  will affect Canada's sovereignty, our environmental standards, and our social programs. And ask them how it will affect the  government's ability and will to live up to  its commitment to advance the situation of  women.  Confidential negotiations around the  MAI have been going on within the OECD  since May 1995. The target date for completion of negotiations was this past May,  but the final document has been delayed.  Still, the MAI may be voted on by OECD  nations by the fall, so it is crucial that  women act quickly.  Letters to members of parliament can  be sent to them c/o House of Commons,  Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6. No postage is  required.  For further analysis of the MAI, contact  the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives,  804-251 Laurier Ave. W, Ottawa, Ontario,  K1P5J6.  Elsie Dean was an active participant in the  public campaign to inform the public about  the effects of the Free Trade Agreement (US and  Canada) and then the North American Free  Trade Agreement (US, Canada and Mexico).  She joined in opposition to these agreements  because, as we now know, they have had regressive effects on our social and economic life.  Dean attended the Fourth World Conference  on Women in 1995, and participated in the discussions that led to the Platform for Action and  Beijing Declaration that the Canadian government signed.  Terra Poirier is a 25-year-old single dyke mom  of eight-year-old Andrew, activist about town,  and all around troublemaker.  Handing corporations the controls:  continued from page 13  huge for-profit medical firms, public health  care would be made impossibly expensive.  Environmental laws will be open to  challenge through any one of these new  privileges granted to corporations. For example, MAI could lead to investor challenges to BC's recent ban on bulk water  exports. Investors could claim that water  licenses they hold are "property" as defined  in MAI, and that the ban interferes with the  "expectation...of economic benefit." Or, a  contract between private firms for water  exports could be argued to take precedence  over the provincial prohibitions.  Premier Glen Clark recently stated that  the BC government would not recognize  the MAI if it limited the province's ability  to manage the provincial economy. This is  a good starting point.  But issues for people in BC go beyond  our provincial government.  Jean Chretien and the federal Liberal  government should not be able to sign  away people's rights through these secret  negotiations at the international level. Sub  stantive public consultations on the MAI  need to begin immediately.  People's rights as citizens are undermined in ways which are going to be difficult to confront if this agreement receives  the consent of member countries of the  OECD.  The OECD isn't an international government, although it is now behaving like  one. It is mainly a think-tank for the richest  countries in the world to promote only the  international rights of corporations.  Nowhere in this proposed agreement  are there meaningful protections for people, the environment, or labour.  The world does not need an extreme  new investment treaty that makes it even  more difficult to meet the urgent economic,  environmental and social needs of people.  Marjorie Griffin Cohen is an economist, chair  of Women's Studies at Simon Fraser University, and a board member of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, BC.  JULY/AUGUST 1997 Arts  Interview with oral historian Ruth Hill:  Women of courage in  the community  as told to Centime Zeleke and  Janisse Browning   In June, the sixth annual Vancouver Storytelling Festival brought 24 storytellers with  a million and one tales to hundreds of listeners  at various venues in Vancouver. One of these  storytellers who journeyed to the festival was  Ruth Hill. Hill has been involved with oral  history for two decades. She works as the oral  history coordinator of the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College  in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is the coordinator of the Black Women Oral History  Project (BWOHP) and its touring photographic exhibition, "Women of Courage." Hill  has received numerous awards, including the  Outstanding Achievement in Oral History  Award from the New England Association of  Oral History.  While she was in Vancouver giving a lecture and a workshop, Hill spoke with Centime  Zeleke and Janisse Browning, both of whom  are involved in oral history projects of their  own, about the BWOHP and the importance  of documenting the lives of "ordinary" people.  Centime Zeleke: Why did you get involved with oral history work?  Ruth Hill: I got involved because I was  the lucky, lucky person who was hired for  the position of coordinator of the Black  Women Oral History Project. I had been a  traditional librarian, a science librarian,  working full time. I wanted to work part-  time and I heard about this projec. and applied.  It wasn't a real philosophical "why" at  that point, but later on, I realized how important it is to do oral history, to tell the  stories of so many kinds of people whose  stories haven't been told, and to collect that  information and make it available for other  people.  I didn't have a particular background  in women's history or oral history, so all  my interest has come during the time I've  been working at the Schlesinger Library.  The first project I worked on was the  BWOHP. We did 72 interviews with women  who are in their 70s and older. It was a national project, so the women lived all over  the US. From that, we developed a travelling photograph exhibit called "Women of  Courage," and that's been on the road since  1984.  Janisse Browning: The Black Women  Oral History Project started in 1976. One  of the interviews you did was with your  own mother. Could you tell us a little bit  about her story?  Hill: My mother is Florence Jacobs  Edmonds, and she was a public health  nurse in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. When  my mother was selected for the project, I  thought "here's the opportunity to get the  rest of the story." As you're growing up in  a family, you get inklings of stories, but now  I can really find out what happened. My  family background is interesting because  African Americans in New England [were  few.] My grandmother was born in Maine  in the early 1800s, and obviously there were  not too many African Americans there.  One of the stories I told the other night  [at her lecture for the Storytelling Festival] was  about my mother when she was working  as a visiting nurse. It was Christmas time  and she was substituting for another nurse.  She was the only Black woman on the staff  of the Visiting Nurses Association (VNA),  so she constantly had to face surprise written all over people's faces when they  opened the door. That Christmas, this family wouldn't let her in to take care of their  mother, and then they had the nerve to call  the VNA and tell them that no nurse had  been there that day.  Zeleke: You've worked at the  Schlesinger Library on the History of  Women in America section for many years  now. I'm wondering how this library came  to be dedicated to women's history and  why they were interested in starting an oral  history project.  Hill: The library has been collecting  women's history for over 50 years. No one  was really collecting women's history until the 1960s and [the growth of] the women's movement. Elizabeth Schlesinger,  whose husband, Arthur, was a professor at  Harvard, thought it was important to collect information on what women were doing. She persuaded her husband that women's history was equally as important as  "men's" history.  Arthur Schlesinger went to the president of Radcliffe College and convinced  him that it would be interesting and useful  to collect women's history. They started  something called the Women's Archives.  They collected diaries, letters, whatever, on  women who were the wives and daughters of Harvard professors and people of  that nature. -  For a long time, that was the direction  of the library. But in the 1970s an African  American woman, who was on the advisory committee to the library, suggested  there were gaps in their collection, particularly African American women. She suggested an oral history project, so that's  how the Black Women Oral History  Project began.  Zeleke: You're involved in a number  of different projects, and obviously it's  got to be a labour of love to some extent.    J  I'm interested in what your personal mo-    1  tivation is.  Hill: I really find oral histories fascinating, even if someone says: "Oh, nothing happened in my life; it's not interesting." When you actually hear their stories—whether it's family issues, professional issues, women's issues—there's always something interesting there. I feel I  would never go back to being a traditional  librarian at this point.  Zeleke: How do you think that oral  history is different from written history, and  why does it excite you more than what is  seen as the traditional way of recording history?  Hill: Well, it isn't just that oral history  is different than book history, but that oral  histoiy has opened up what history is.  [Through oral history,] we have some understanding that it isn't just about generals  telling you what battles they've fought; it  is about what the everyday person has lived  through. It is really all these things put together which makes up history.  When I went to school all I studied was  this war, these treaties, and who was the  president of this and that country. So I just  think it's so great that we have opened "history" up to the idea of including family history and the lives of the "little person."  When a country declares war, all these families send their sons and daughters off to  fight. These people are affected by somebody's decision at the top, and they are the  ones, I think, who are really living the history.  Browning: I'm thinking about how using recording devices as a way of preserving oral histories is going to affect our relationship to the oral tradition. As people of  African descent, we have a long oral tradition, but because of media saturation, the  dependency on print literacy and generation gaps, I think there's a possibility of losing a lot of information. I'm wondering  what ideas you have around embodying  oral traditions.  Hill: Oral tradition and oral history to  me are two separate things. In  oral tradition, people  pass   down   the  knowledge they  have, whether  it's stories, medicines,   religion,  whatever.  Oral history is about having a person tell  her or his stories; it doesn't necessarily have  to be her life story, and it may or may not  include what I call oral tradition.  It seems to me that when we think of  the younger generations, they're just so attuned to everything technical, so oral history is a natural way for them to go. In the  US, there are so many young people who  don't read well. I feel that if you're not going to get them to read or read well, oral  history is one way of giving them some of  the things they need to get on in their lives.  I also see these little kids in libraries at  a computer. It's just a whole different  world. We're not going to be able to go back.  So I have no problem with the fact that technology is entering the picture. When the  printing press was invented, it was seen as  this awful thing, but now everybody has  access to the stuff that the church had been  holding as sacred. The tape recorder and  computer are doing the same kind of thing.  Zeleke: I think it's still possible to  maintain our rhythms or our way of being  while using technology. It's important to  use the most contemporary technology because that's what people want to use and it  makes it, in a sense, more accessible because  people don't want to read a book or listen  to some sort of "old-fashioned" thing.  Browning: I'm thinking about the  BWOHP being turned into the Women of  Courage project which has been exhibited  in galleries and institutions across America.  Who tends to go to galleries and who tends  to actually get access to this kind of information? I'm wondering if you could talk  about the kind of feedback you've gotten  from people who've seen the exhibit.  Hill: The Women of Courage exhibit  has been in many other venues  besides the typical art gallery—  it's been shown in community  centres, and in Black colleges  and universities. It opened  Continued on page 20  Ruth Hill with her husband Brother Blue  JULY/AUGUST 1997 Arts  Kathryn Wahamaa's Wise Woman;  Familiar folksy feeling  by Janet Askin  WISE WOMAN  Kathryn Wahamaa  Inspirit Productions  Lake Errock, BC, 1997  Singer/songwriter Kathryn Wahamaa's latest release, Wise Woman, is a genre defying, multi-faceted,  well-crafted and well-played nine track CD. The title  song, "Wise Woman," and several of the other tracks,  particularly "She's Been All Alone" and "Blood on  the Snow," resonate with the strength of women as  survivors and optimists, despite their struggles.  I really like the melody of "Ancient Fire" and its  chanty chorus. I can't quite define it, but there is something familiar sounding/feeling about this album. I  don't mean that it is not unique; it's more that it has a  homey feel to it.  Wahamaa's vocal style ranges from a deep and  powerful to a clear and sweet sounding—almost ringing—voice. A lot of the tracks on this CD seem to have  a unmistakable folksy/women's music feel. I hate to  draw comparisons, but...I am reminded of several  other Canadian women whose music I like, such as  Kathryn Wahamaa  Heather Bishop, SylviaTyson and Michelle Rumball  (formerly of The Grievous Angels).  I enjoyed listening to this CD. I found it pleasant  and mellow, like meditating in the forest or sitting at  a window in the Spring rain. Yet, it is thought-provoking, and obviously the stories Wahamaa tells  through her music come from her heart.  A CD release party for Wise Woman was held in  Vancouver on June 22 at the WISE Club. Wahamaa's  concert was also a benefit for PACE (Prostitution Alternatives Counselling Education), an organization  that provides support and a range of services and alternatives to individuals involved in prostitution. All  proceeds from the door and $5 from the sale of each  CD was donated to PACE.  Wise Woman is distributed by Festival Records and  is available at music stores across Canada. For more information on Kathryn Wahamaa and for bookings, contact Inspirit Productions, Box 195, Lake Errock, BC, VOM  1N0; tel: 1-800-261-3281.  Janet Askin is a sometimes singer/songwriter, East Vancouver human services worker, and a rampant volunteer.  Director  Canadian Centre for Policy  Alternatives  The CCPA, founded in 1980, conducts  research on economic and social issues. Its mandate is to show that there  are viable alternatives to current corporate-driven government policies.  The Director of the newly-opened Manitoba branch will have a background in  research and public policy issues, plus  experience and skills in working cooperatively and effectively with the media, writing and editing, and public  speaking.  She or he will serve as spokesperson for  CCPA (Manitoba) and will act as the  media/public liaison for our researchers to ensure wide dissemination of  CCPA (Mb) policy alternatives. In addition, the Director will coordinate the  Centre's research and publication program, and will administer the Centre's  activities, including fund-raising and  liaison with the Board and other Centre  committees.  Salary will be commensurate with experience and qualifications. Please send  a resume and two letters of reference to:  Jim Silver  Department of Political Science  University of Winnipeg  515 Portage Ave.,  Winnipeg, Manitoba  R3B 2E9  For further information call: Jim Silver  (204) 786-9445 or fax (204) 774-4134.  Application closes: July 30,1997  Interview with oral historian Ruth Hill:  continued from page 19  at the New York public library so that it had  a wide audience there and then it went to  Boston.  In San Francisco, it was displayed in a  community centre, and at one point, when  it was in Ithaca, New York, they divided  the exhibit among three different sites—  part of it was in a small museum, part was  in a South Side community centre, and part  was in another community centre. The day  we had the opening there, they had a bus  service taking people around so they could  see the whole exhibit. So, in many ways,  the exhibit has been brought to the Black  community in ways we could not have foreseen.  After we developed the exhibit and  had all the photographs together, some African American women contacted me and  asked why the exhibit didn't have any  "dark" women. They were dark and  thought they had been slighted. I just said  we did not know what any of these women  looked like. We just had a little background  information on them and we selected on  the basis of the information we had. I just  feel that it is due to the historical circumstances in the US that all these women were  "light." With racism being so prevalent, if  you looked more like the majority community, then more doors were open to you.  And so these were the women who had the  opportunities, whereas the darker women  were kept at the back of the bus for a longer  period of time.  I also had responses from Radcliffe  alumnae who said the exhibit is the best  thing Radcliffe ever did. It's been great seeing the variety of situations and venues the  exhibit has been to, and the responses to it.  When the exhibit opened in the New  York public library, this elderly Black man  came in. He had a hat on when he came  into the library and started looking at that  exhibit. Then, he took his hat off in front of  these women because there was just something about them that made him honour  and respect them. He told his landlady that  he was going blind and that he was going  to the exhibit, so she came with him and  also got to see how wonderful it was.  Zeleke: You've worked with a number  of different oral history projects, particularly with other people of colour communities, such as the Chinese community and  the Cambodian community, as well as a  Latina group. Do you think that people of  colour communities are more attracted to  doing oral history projects?  Hill: I'm in a particular kind of situation being in a college library. The Chinese  project came about because a Chinese  woman who worked in Boston ended up  going to Israel, on a trip the city of Boston  was giving for some women. The director  of our library also went to Israel. These two  women had to go all the way to Israel to  meet, and this is when the Chinese woman  heard about the oral history project.  She had never thought of doing anything like that, but was interested in the  model the BWOHP is using. The project  with the Chinese community is not funded  like the BWOHP project. The advisory committee members themselves are doing the  interviews. The transcripts and tapes will  come to the Schlesinger library, but we're  also making sure they go to the Chinese  Historical Society because that's where the  community is going to go.  Now the Cambodian project is being  headed by a psychiatrist who works with  Southeast Asians in his clinic. He said he'd  reached the point where he wanted to know  more about these people's lives than just  the trauma they went through. Somehow  he heard about oral history and decided  that was the method he wanted to use. He  came to the Schlesinger library to ask us to  be the umbrella agency for his Cambodian  project. He did ten interviews, quite  lengthy, from peasant women to a princess  to a teacher—women from a variety of  backgrounds.  Browning: What advice do you have  for anybody who'd like to start up an oral  history project?  Hill: My main recommendation is to  not worry about how it's done or whether  it's done well. As you continue doing it, you  learn how to do it. Books are'helpful, but I  think going out and doing it is the way to  really learn how to do oral history. I encourage everyone, whether it's a family project  or interviews with holocaust survivors or  something in the African American community, to just go ahead and do it.  Centime Zeleke is a Vancouver-based Ethiopian  lesbian writer. Janisse Browning has worked  on several oral history projects and has helped  conduct workshops on how to record oral histories. She is a part-time instructor at Langara  College and in interested in Black history because it is part of her heritage.  JULY/AUGUST 1997 Arts   Review of Dora Nipp's Under the Willow Tree:  Willows bend but don't  break  by Rita Wong  UNDER THE WILLOW TREE:  Pioneer Chinese Women in Canada  Directed by Dora Nipp  Produced by Margaret Wong  Studio D, National Film Board  Montreal, Quebec, 1997  Aptly enough, Dora Nipp's Chinese  name, Zong Dian, translates roughly as  "Keeper of the Ancestral Records." As director of Under the Willow Tree, Nipp begins this documentary with her discovery  of her Aunt Susie's photographs and letters, a discovery which branches into a  broader exploration of Chinese Canadian  women's history. Both personally confident  and informative in tone, the narrative allows viewers to draw their own conclusions about how race, gender and class  impact in different ways upon Chinese  women's lives.  As one of the last films produced by  the now defunct Studio D of the National  Film Board, Under the Willow Tree itself is  part of Canadian film history. [Studio D was  the only government funded feminist film and  video producer/distributor in Canada. It was  founded over 20 years ago to promote and give  access to women in filmmaking, but became just  another victim of the federal government's  budget cuts last year.] Without Studio D, I  doubt we'll see as many quality productions like this from the NFB.  Pointing out that the first recorded arrival of a Chinese woman in Canada was  in 1860, the film goes on to cover the period from the Head Tax (1885) and the Exclusion Act (1923 to 1947) up to the present.  Incorporating interviews with seven  women who tell their own stories as well  as those of their mothers and grandmothers, Under the Willow Tree is interspersed  with wonderful archival photographs and  footage. As the credits attest, a huge  amount of research and labour clearly went  into this film.  Two of the women in the film, Mabel  Yee and Gladys Mah, are Dora Nipp's  aunts. They reflect upon the hardships that  Chinese women endured as well as the  strengths of the Chinese community as it  struggled to survive in an often hostile environment. As the film notes, Canadian-  born women like Jean Lumb and Mabel Yee  lost their Canadian citizenship when they  married Chinese citizens. Including a spectrum from women who only attended the  segregated schools Chinese students were  put into (called "chickencoops") to women  who were encouraged to study, the film  shows the ways in which women ofteri had  less access to education. The film also discusses language barriers, and the amazing  ways in which women managed to raise  their families with very little money and a  great deal of pride and willpower.  One woman, Hazel Chong of Vancouver, tells the story of how her mother consciously gave birth to each of her thirteen  children only in the wee hours of the morning, so that she wouldn't miss making a hot  breakfast for the rest of the family the very  same day.  Another woman, Jean Lumb, who was  the first Chinese Canadian woman to receive the Order of Canada, tells how she  Grandmother of Norma Li, a woman featured in the film, holding Li's  mother, Avis, with Li's uncle, seated.  became a spokesperson for the Chinese  community in the 1950's by sheer accident—just because of Prime Minister John  Diefenbaker's deafness in one ear. Since  Diefenbaker couldn't hear the man seated  on his other side at a meeting with the Chinese community, he turned to Jean Lumb  who, although she had only been the token woman invited to  the meeting, ended up  speaking for all the Chinese men present.  These women demonstrate how important  a sense of humour is, as  well as belief in one's  own abilities. Told quite  simply and candidly, the  film merits inclusion in  classroom studies of Canadian history for its  ability to present many  aspects of Chinese experience in one hour. As  study continues, we  may discover even more  unknown facts from the  past; for example, I've  heard anecdotal suggestions that Chinese and  Japanese women had  been to Canada before  1860. However, without  printed proof, these stories are difficult to verify.  The film opens up  many areas for further  study. For example, one photograph portrays a family with their muijay, the female  servant. While one woman in the film,  Mabel Yee, said that her family treated the  muijay well, this was often not the case. I,  for one, would like to see more research  done into the lives of women like the girls,  prostitutes and runaway servants who  were taken into the Methodist Home  founded in 1883 in Victoria. Also, Hazel  Chong talks about the barter that occurred  between Chinese and First Nations people  on a personal level; this would be a topic  fascinating to further investigate. As well,  while there is some discussion of heterosexual marriage, it would be interesting to  hear perspectives from or about older Chinese lesbians. I don't expect one film to do  all these things, but I am glad that this film  exists to give us a reference point and a  starting ground on which to keep building.  Gently reminding us of how much we  owe to the women before us and providing us with a sense of the treasures we have  to pass on, Under the Willow Tree strengthens the connections between generations of  women. Although there are still many battles to fight, it is good to recognize how  much we benefit from the work done before us. As one metaphor in the film puts  it, these women planted the trees so we  could enjoy their shade.  Rita Wong is an archivist and writer currently  on the board of the Vancouver Association of  Chinese Canadians.  Archival photo of Chinese women in Canada  JULY/AUGUST 1997 Arts  Vancouver's Out on Screen queer film and video festival:  Love those  lesbian flicks  by Rebecca Johnson  Women will have a lot to look forward  to in this year's Out on Screen festival.  Scheduled to take place from August 7 to  17, Out on Screen is Vancouver's annual  festival featuring the latest (and sometimes  the greatest) films and videos of interest to  lesbians, bisexuals, gay men and  transgendered folks from North America  and beyond.  In its ninth year, Out on Screen seeks  to promote film, video and other forms of  communication arts in an inclusive and  accessible way. The festival is committed  to "promoting dialogue, communication  and cooperation between lesbians, gay  men, bisexuals, and transsexual and  transgendered people of various races, cul  tures, backgrounds, ages, abilities, gender  definitions, health statuses and socioecomic  conditions..."  In this year's festival, a wide variety  of communities are indeed represented.  Highlights of the women's programming  include a Shawna Dempsey and Lori Milan retrospective, the presentation of Black  Nations Queer Nations? by its producer  Shari Frilot, and the screening of the much  talked about films The Watermelon Woman  by Cheryl Dunye. Rumour also has it that  Deepa Mehta's highly acclaimed film, Fire  will be the opening night gala feature.  On Saturday August 9 at 7pm at Video  In, there will be a restropective of the videos produced by Shawna Dempsey and  B.C.'s newest full-service law firm  Dahl findlay Connors  BARRISTERS & SOLICITORS ^  • A full range of servicesto meet your business and  personal legal needs  • Free initial consultation  • Lawyers experienced in protecting the interests and  advancing the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and  transgendered communities  Suite 620, 1033 Davie (near Burrard), Vancouver, B.C.  (604) 687-8752 • Toll Free 1 888 4 GAY LAW  Shawna Dempsey in "Good Citizen: Betty Baker"  Lori Milan called, "Lady Golfers, Butchers,  and Talking Vulvas." The two Winnipeg-  based performance artists are best known  for their whacky feminist music video produced in 1990 entitled, Talking Vulva which  stars a talking vulva. Since producing Talking Vulva, Dempsey and Milan have gone  on to collaborate on half a dozen other vid-  eos. This retrospective will feature a  number of their campy and satirical works.  The artists will also be in attendance and  are sure to offer up a few quirky surprises  for Vancouver's audience.  'Following the retrospective, there will  be a woman's sex night at Havana's. The  program promises feast size helpings of  skin, sex, rants and seduction that will be  sure to make you laugh, and leave you wet  and hankering for something to chew on.  Havana's will play host on August 10  at 4pm to a performative lecture by writer  and videomaker Marusya Bociurkiw entitled, "As Seen on TV: Big Dykes on the  Small Screen." Bociurkiw will take the audience on an entertaining romp through the  lavender channels of TV history, from the  1950s to the present, with lots of TV clips,  laughs, analysis and gossip along the way.  Many of the regular Out on Screen  goers will remember Cheryl Dunye's videos from a retrospective the festival held of  her work in 1995. On Friday August 15, the  festival will present Dunye's first feature  film, The Watermelon Woman. This film is  sure to be popular. Set in Philidelphia, The  Watermelon Women is the story of Cheryl, a  twenty-something Black lesbian struggling  to make a documentary about Fae Richards  and lost Black lesbian history. Fae Richards  was a beautiful and elusive 1930s Black film  actress, popularly known as "the Watermelon Woman."  While uncovering the meaning of the  Watermelon Woman's life, Cheryl experiences a total upheavel in her personal life.  Each answer that Cheryl discovers about  the Watermelon Woman evokes a flurry of  new questions about herself and her future.  The Watermelon Woman is clearly a metaphor for Cheryl's search for identity, community and love.  Despite the seriousness of the issues  Dunye examines, The Watermelon Women is  presented with lots of easy going humour,  clever wit and an open-hearted approach.  Also, there is a fabulous love scene between  Cheryl and Guinevere Turner from Go Fish  and there is an impressive line up of cameo  appearances from the likes of Camile Paglia  and Sarah Schulman.  A pleasant surprise in the festival's line  up is Fresh Blood: a Consideration of Belonging. This video will be screened on Monday August 11 at Video In. The work is a  savvy and sensual look at the intersections  of identity with a focus on belly dancing  and Iraqi Jewish culture.  On Saturday August 16 at 4pm, African American video artist Shari Frilot will  present her video Black Nations Queer Nations: Lesbian and Gay Sexualities in the African Diaspora. Black Nations Queer Nations?  is a documentary about the ground-breaking conference on lesbian and gay sexualities in the African diaspora that took place  at City University, New York in March 1995.  The video visually draws the connections from the conference disscussions to  pop culture and contemporary Black lesbian and gay media production. Frilot  draws upon works by Jocelyn Taylor,  Ayanna Udongo, Marlon Riggs and Issaac  Julien, and uses experimental techniques of  her own to illuminate the importance of the  conference discussions as they relate to situations we face in everyday life and to the  realities we anticipate as we enter the 21st  century.  The screening of Black Nations Queer  Nations will be followed by a panel discussion with Shari Frilot and local queer of  colour cultural producers discussing their  work in the context of the shifting concepts  such as nation, race and queerness are undergoing as we enter the millenia.  Shari Frilot is the producer of the internationally acclaimed short A Cosmic  Demonstration of Sexuality and has produced numerous other videos. Presently  she is the festival director of Mix, the New  York lesbian and gay experimental film festival.  As you can see, there will be a little bit  of everything at this year's festival. Unfortunately, the program does not include  much representation from the First Nations  communities of Canada. Perhaps this is not  so much a reflection on Out On Screen, but  a reflection of the who's and why's of funding policies for cultural production.  For more information about the programming for the Out on Screen festival, call 688-  WEST, ext. 2014.  Rebecca Johnson is a lover of lebian flicks.  JULY/AUGUST 1997 Arts  Push by Sapphire:  Potential of language  to heal  by E. Centime Zeleke  PUSH  Vintage Contemporaries  New York, New York, 1997  Sapphire's debut novel Push starts off  where her previous collection of writings,  American Dreams, left off. And American  Dreams starts where Langston Hughes'  Dreams Deferred left off (or was never supposed to go.)  American Dreams is a collection of short  prose and poetry. It is a raw telling of what  happens to dreams when they are deferred  for too long, or, rather, what happens to  people when their dreams become a nightmare with a blink of the eye. This is "not  jazee Harlem/of Langston Hughes/  Harlem poet laureate/this/a Harlem took  a beating." Because American Dreams is  made up of short prose pieces, some of its  characters remain undeveloped and the  reader is left asking for more.  In Push, the reader is left asking Sapphire to stop the story, to stop the pain. This  is because the experience of reading Push  is painful.  There are a number of characters in  Push who subscribe to that old school Black  community sentiment that "some things are  better left unsaid." They say that Black lives  have been traded, sold, bartered and  commodified for so long there is really no  need to splatter our pain all over some  white page so it can be held up, admired  and sold one more time.  Yet Push compels one to read on, and  in the end, it more than justifies its existence. The book works for a number of reasons. Most importantly the pain does stop;  the pain is no jazzy, self-exoticizing pain.  Ultimately, the book is not an expose on  pain at all, but a visionary offering of the  potential of language to heal.  At a first glance, Push is the story of  Claireece Precious Jones born a Scorpio in  1970, illiterate and pregnant at 12 and again  at 16. Precious, as she likes to be called, is  the only daughter of Carl Jones and his girlfriend, whose name we never find out. The  mother and daughter live in Harlem. Carl  is an absentee father who is actually married to a light skin woman. Precious'  mother is fat and dark skinned and not  good enough to marry. However, as Carl  has been having sex with Precious' mother  since she was sixteen, she regards him as  her husband.  When Precious is three years old, Carl  starts raping her while the mother is watching. The two children that Precious eventually gives birth to are fathered by her father. The mother starts to hate her daughter for tampering with her man, since this  is the one connection to power and validation she perceives herself as having. The  mother thus finds the next powerless person on the rung to exert power on and beats  Precious day in and day out. And because  Precious has taken her mother's man away,  her mother gets Precious to perform sexual  favours on her.  During Precious'pregnancy at twelve  years old, her mother beats on her so hard  that Precious is forced into labour and gives  birth on her kitchen floor to a girl with  Downs Syndrome.  Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakan  provides the only accessible role model for  Precious when she is growing up. While  Precious picks up all of Farrakan's anti-  semitic and homophobic sentiments, he  offers Precious one of the only points of  analytical departure in which she can examine her life. Throughout the book, Precious reminds herself of Farrakan's words:  "The problem is not the crack but the  cracker man." Clearly, her family situation  is the crack but are they the crackers too?  Those who occupy the position of victim  and tyrant are constantly in flux in this  book.  What is clear, though, is that the system—whether it is made up of family,  friends, schools, governments, commerce,  et cetera—has failed everyone in enabling  them to even begin to tap into their potential. Yet Farrakan's quote at the very least  allows Precious to not blame herself for her  life conditions. She is therefore not entirely  immobilized by self hate which is often the  case when people are told they are entirely  responsible for pulling up their own socks.  Precious has been attending school  since she was a child. Yet, she is unable to  read, write or do math. Despite her inability to read, Precious is passed into the ninth  grade by the time she is sixteen. What is  apparent is that Precious has not learnt anything while attending school and nobody  has bothered to notice.  The school keeps passing her even  though they have taught her nothing because they need to get rid of her. When she  is sixteen gnd pregnant again, the school  suspends her. Precious does not understand  this since she wants to learn and feels she  has done nothing wrong. Precious gets violent with the school principle when she  learns of the decision to suspend her and  the principle eventually awakens to Precious' reality and recommends her to an alterative school called "Each One Teach  One."  Each One Teach One is located on the  19th floor of a Harlem hotel/residency. The  students are poor Black and Latina women  and the teachers are Black and Latina. Precious is enrolled into a basic literacy class.  Here, the students learn to spell and communicate their thoughts through exercises  where they write about their own lives.  They are encouraged to write even if they  represent a word with one letter or even if  they have to draw the word.  What is interesting about the writing  exercises is that the teacher, Ms. Blue Rain,  only corrects the students' spelling. Ms.  Rain never corrects the student's sentence  Sapphire  construction to make it resemble proper  English- Syntax correction is often paramount to changing a person's thought patterns; it is also a way of insidiously telling  a person that their thoughts are somehow  incorrect. In Each One Teach One, the students are merely encouraged to write, and,  if expression is the point of language acquisition, then Ms. Rain succeeds. Moreover, if communication and the ability to  move the audience that receives your expression is the point of language, then Each  One Teach One is also a success.  The students are constantly amazed by  each others' writings and this moves them  to different levels of consciousness. The stories the students write are collected into a  class book. Push is actually the manuscript  of that class book. While most of what is  included in Push is Precious' story, the book  does include the writings of her classmates.  The students at Each One Teach One  are taught to read through texts written by  Black people whose lives resemble theirs  but who have "overcome" and achieved  great things. They read Alice Walker's The  Colour Purple, Langston Hughes and Audre  Lorde. They also read about Harriet  Tubman and Malcolm X. When Precious  reads the works of these Black writers and  activists, they become part of her manual  for survival. Through these works she is no  longer invisible, she can see herself, she can  see that she has life. She is able to make  sense of the world and her place in it.  When Precious and her classmates  write their story, they are adding to the tradition of storytelling that has become key  to Precious' and all of their survival.  Many of us are afraid to have our images put out for public consumption because of the dangers of commodification.  What Push proves is that, despite the dangers of publicly exposing our lives, it is even  more important that we tell our stories. The  more we tell our stories, the more we will  be able to see ourselves, the more likely it  will be that we will find someone to tell  when we are raped, and the less likely it  will be that we will be locked up in hospital or jail.  Push is the first book I have ever read  that is entirely written in Ebonics, a language that is more commonly known as  Black English. While many Black writers  include passages of Black English in their  work, it is usually reserved for dialogue.  Descriptive or analytical passages are usually written in "proper English." The language of authority usually frames the language of the everyday. What Push does is  make speech patterns of the everyday into  a language of authority as well.  Ebonics became the focus of controversy last winter when the Oakland School  Board tried to have it recognized as a language. They claimed that Ebonics (Ebony  phonics) was a unique language that was  genetically based. Spokespersons from both  the Black community and other communities were outraged at this, saying that it was  a plot to bring Black people down. What  Push shows is that groups on either side of  the debate have the issues wrong. What  Black students need are more teachers,  more role models and more stories about  the possibilities for living one's life. We also  need the skills to tell those stories—this is  what will make a difference. This is what  made the difference in Claireece Precious  Jones' life.  E. Centime Zeleke is avid speaker of Ebonics  but writes in Ivonics.  JULY/AUGUST 1997 Letters  dear   re ade rs  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  Fibro article courageous  Dear Kinesis,  I'd like to thank the women who  wrote that centre piece on fibromyalgia  for their courage in sharing their  stories ["Figuring out fibro," June 1997.]  I'm new in town and was browsing a  bookstore when I saw the words  "Women living with fibromyalgia" on  the cover. It shocked me. What a  radical idea. I hope you get lots of  people reading your issue. I don't  know many people who know what  fibro is, though many of us have it. To  put it on the cover is a really radical  idea. I have never seen anyone so  boldly recognizing it before. It is  always hidden inside the magazine. I  am sold on you, Kinesis.  When I was reading the interview, I  remembered, though I have been living  with fibro for almost five years, how  hard it was when I first discovered I  had fibro. As these women write, it  was difficult to get people to believe it  was real and not in your head. It was  hard to get the support you needed.  I am a lesbian and I expected my  girlfriend at the time to understand  and deal with it. Well, women don't  deal with things [just] because they are  women or lesbians. I'm not trying to  put us down. It's a question of ableism.  I don't think, until it happens to you,  that you know what it is like to  completely be dependent on other  people or to not behave as you once  did. I cry a lot more now than I used  to. I also do not have time for women  who waste energy on people who  drain them, so I lost a lot of my friends.  I can't be there to pick up the pieces  when it all goes wrong, as it always  does. That does not mean we should  do things that are easy and sell each  other short. I have had lesbian friends  who stood by men rather than their  women friends. That is easier for them.  But often it was because they didn't  want to deal with things like fibro,  unemployment, poverty, isolation.  All those things were learning points  for me, and I am now a lot wiser and  stronger. I used to look the other way  when people did hurtful things, but  now I can't afford to. My body speaks  for me. My head pain becomes my  body pain.  That is what I want to give back to  the women who spoke in that article. I  want to tell them how I am stronger,  and celebrate their strength. I broke up  with my girlfriend because she started  having two lives: one for me where she  was wonderful and nurturing and  supportive, and the other secret life  where she really let go and was with  people who did not tire her. When I  found out, I felt like a charity case.  Women do support and understand  fibro and other difficult situations  among women—often they do if they  are feminists. But whether they  consciously or unconsciously choose to  support you, they can bring out the  best in you so your life is not just about  pain and what you do through the pain  to make them feel better about having  to be there for you.  Five years later, I almost take for  granted that I live with fibromyalgia. I  have a "normal" life. I have a  girlfriend who knows that fibro is a  condition and that I am still a woman  with feelings and rights. But reading  the article in Kinesis made me  remember the bad old days when I was  learning to live with, as one writer  said, "a disability." I still am.  But then, like those women in the  article, I went through a lot of anger  and pain. But I know now there is a lot  to live for. The pain doesn't go away,  but it becomes a good part of your life  that tells you what you can do and are  really capable of. I hope this helps  them because I was really helped by  their article. I want them to know how  much it means to women I know that  they wrote this article—women who  have been through some very hard  times with fibro and syndromes and  conditions.  I wish the women a lot of luck and  strength.  Sherry  Abbotsford, BC  Hedy Fry's going in the  wrong direction  Dear Kinesis,  It is very clear that Status of Women  Canada has no clue as to the needs of  its constituents; otherwise, it wouldn't  possibly try to put forward the  proposed changes to the Women's  Program as something good for  women's groups [see letters, June 1997.]  Hedy Fry has done little more than  hide behind the cloak of her party's  anti-woman policies, instead of being a  strong advocate for women in her  government. The Canadian Health and  Social Transfer program is not a good  thing—it is giving the provinces less  money to deal with more issues and  allowing them to set the rules.  Emilie Coulter's article, "Co-opting  our agenda" [Kinesis May 1997] shows  quite clearly that women's groups  across the country are not happy with  the direction Status of Women Canada  is taking. Yes, we applaud the attempt  to fund more women's groups; they are  becoming increasingly necessary as all  levels of government continue to shirk  their social responsibility in favour of  deficit reduction and unfair, exploitive  trade agreements (APEC, MAI). But  without increasing SWC's budget, how  can any group be effective in its work?  Currently funded groups already  struggle with the crumbs they get.  The changes to the Women's  Program can only mean even less  money for everyone, and more  restrictions on the work women's  organizations can engage in—they'll  only get funding if they meet the so-  called priority areas established by  SWC. Women's issues are not flavours  of the month. Women are forced into  poverty, assaulted, killed, exploited,  harassed, treated like second class  citizens, 24, 7, 365!  If Hedy Fry is truly "someone who  is committed to increasing the social  safety net...[and shares our] concern  about women's poverty and its effects  on women's health," then she'd rethink  her government's "new" direction  (which is no better than what the  Conservatives were offering) on  funding for women's groups.  In solidarity,  EllenWoodsworth  Vancouver, BC  Women's equality is the  bottom line  Dear Kinesis,  The response by the minister  responsible for women's issues, Hedy  Fry, to the issues raised by women  about funding changes to the women's  program reads like a transcript from  Paul Martin [Kinesis June 1997. J It is  not rooted in the real experience of  most women in Canada, in particular  those who have been the most  impacted by the slaying of the deficit  dragon. Hedy Fry speaks about being a  feminist as a physician. But feminist  imperative is about change—change  resulting in the full and equal  participation of all women in society. It  speaks to our political, social and  economic health. The policies and  examples cited by Minister Fry  underscore the oppositional position  taken by the government to feminism.  When the Royal Commission on the  Status of Women made its  recommendations [in 1975], there were  four key components: the government  must fund an independent women's  lobby group; the government must  fund an arm's length, independent  women's research, monitoring and  evaluation body; the government must  put in place Women's Programs: a  funding mechanism for community-  based women's organizations to access;  and the government must establish the  Department on the Status of Women.  Let us take a brief look at these four  components. The National Action  Committee on the Status of Women,  the largest independent feminist lobby  group in Canada, has seen its funding  from the federal government  drastically cut, effectively guaranteeing  its inability to engage the government  consistently on issues of equality. The  Canadian Advisory Council on the  Status of Women (CACSW) is now  defunct—there goes our arm's length  monitoring, evaluation and research  mechanism. Both Women's Programs  and Status of Women Canada have  been collapsed into one, and  downgraded within the government,  effectively making them powerless.  The recent changes to the Women's  Programs is akin to the final nail in the  coffin for many women's groups. The  fact that we have a minister who is  highlighting the CHST as a mechanism  that is protective of health and social  programs, demonstrates the great  divide between the experiences of  women on the frontlines and the  government. If violence, economic  well-being and social justice are the  government's priorities, then why  bring in a piece of legislation which  has resulted in an increase in women's  and children's poverty, and which  gives the provinces carte-blanche to  drastically cut women's programs and  social services?  The perceived notion of a "level  playing field" in the new funding  formula is just that, a perception.  Currently, women's groups are in a  race to the bottom, fighting to see who  will succumb to closing operations  next. Groups such as NAC understand  very well that equality is the bottom  line—there can be no other position.  The only way SWC can promote  "inclusivity and unity in diversity" is  to increase the funding envelope for  Women's Programs, stabilizing groups  currently accessing funding and  ensuring funding for new groups.  Women's full participation in the  political process depends heavily on  our ability to organize with the  appropriate resources through women-  controlled, community-based  organizations.  The five Centres of Excellence for  Women's Health are not guaranteed to  include women in the larger  community, but currently serve as a  vehicle for researchers to access  funding, especially in view of the fact  that postsecondary institutions are  experiencing funding cuts.  Many women wonder aloud, where  is the promised "inclusivity and  diversity" within these centres and the  "participatory research with  community women." The same pattern  has befallen the research dollars  dispensed through the Advisory  Committee of women "chosen by peer  groups." Many women are not aware  of how it works, who gets the funding,  and if we will participate in an  evaluation of this mechanism.  Women must and will have different  views. After all, we come in different  races, cultures, ages, abilities, socioeconomic backgrounds and sexual  orientations. The issue is not that we  speak with different voices, but that  these voices are heard differentially by  those in power. Unfortunately, this has  most often meant that women who are  among the groups perceived as the  most "marginalized" are also the most  "marginalized" in government process.  The government must come to the  realization that the very structures that  propelled Canada into the "best place  to live" status are the ones they are  gutting. Since 1994, which are the  figures the UN used for its evaluation,  the economic situation of women and  children have gotten startlingly worse.  Dealing with women's and children's  poverty must be the government's  priority. Women's groups must be  accorded the respect for our paid and  unpaid work in the political, economic  and social development of this country.  Sincerely,  Joan Grant-Cummings  President, National Action Committee on  the Status of Women  Toronto, Ontario  24  JULY/AUGUST 1997 Bulletin Board  read    t h i si     INVOLVEMENT  EVENTS  EVENTS  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.  All 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) 255-5499.  Advertise in Kinesis  and support Canada's  sole remaining,  national, feminist  monthly  Telephone: 255-5499  It's worth it!  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 one of our next Story  Meetings Tues Aug 5 and Tues Sep 2 at 7  pm 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  writing for Kinesis, give Agnes a call at  (604) 255-5499. No experience is necessary. 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. But don't forget that  we'll be closed in July. Production for the  September 1997 issue is from Aug 19-26.  No experience is necessary. Training and  support will be provided. If this notice  intrigues you, call us at 255-5499.  Childcare and travel subsidies available.  VSW WANTS YOU!  Want to get more involved but not sure  where to begin? Join us—become a  volunteer at Vancouver Status of Women.  VSW volunteers plan events, lead groups,  raise funds, answer the phone lines,  organize the library, help connect women  with the community resources they need,  and get involved in other exciting jobs! The  next volunteer orientation will be on Thurs  Jul 17 at 7pm at VSW, 309-877 E. Hastings  St. For more info, call 255-5511. Please call  before the orientation to confirm attendance. Childcare subsidies available.  VSW PROGRAMMING COMMITTEE  Do you have experience or interest in  organizing events? Then VSW (the Vancouver Status of Women) is the organization for you. We like to have fun as we put  together political events such as movie  series, forums, programs, new groups, and  more. If you are looking to work with  women, sharing ideas and skills, call Ema  at 255-5511. Childcare and travel subsidies  available.  PAtS  \f^fBook&  .   J     %r     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, Vancouver,B.C.,V6E 1N4  (604)669-1753 Phone Orders 1-800-567-1662  Internet Address: http://wwM.lsisters.com  Queer Theory  Feminist Theory  Biographies, Essays, Poetry  Religion & Spirituality  Art & Photography  Community  I'D PROBABLY BE FAMOUS  RPS Productions presents the comedy I'd  Probably Be Famous at the Jericho Arts  Center, 1625 Discovery, Vancouver, Jul 9-  12 & 17-19 at 8pm. This play is the story of  a waitress with a wicked imagination and a  desire to be anywhere but where she is.  Written by Eilleen Barrett and performed by  Diana Frances. Tickets are $8. For info call  730-9596.   POWELL STREET FESTIVAL  This year's Powell Street Festival will take  place on the weekend of Aug 2-3 in  Vancouver's Oppenheimer Park and  nearby venues. Powell Street is an annual  celebration of Japanese Canadian art,  culture and history. The festival is open to  everyone. This theme of this year's festival  is "My Voice to Yours: From Generation to  Generation. The festival will be an opportunity to reflect upon the exchange of  knowledge, cultural traditions and values  that takes place between generations  within Japanese Canadian community. For  a program of the festival or for more  information, call the Powell Street Festival  Society at (604) 739-9388, or check out  their website at http://www.shinnova.com/  powellstfestival.  BEYOND BEIJING  Beyond Beijing: The Next Wave, a networking conference for BC women, will be held  on Fri Oct 24, at the Johnston Heights  Secondary School in Surrey. The event is  hosted by the Metro Teachers' Status of  Women Committee. Through more than  forty workshops, the conference will focus  on challenges to success, mountains to  climb, women in the new millennium, and  professional, political and personal issues.  Extensive displays by BC women's groups  and publishers will also be available.  Rosemary Brown, the keynote speaker, will  talk on "The Importance of the Women's  Movement." On October 23, there will be a  Gala Evening to celebrate the BC Teachers' Federation Status of Women's 25th  anniversary. For more information about  the conference or the gala event, call Judy  De Vries at (604) 856-7131 or fax (604)  530-3751. The conference fee is $100, or  $20 for the gala evening only.   HARRISON FESTIVAL  This year's Harrison Festival of the Arts will  be held July 4-13, in Harrison Hot Springs,  BC. The annual festival will feature music,  dance, theatre and visual arts by local,  national and international artists.  Showcased among these will be Difficult  Women, Swamp Mama Johnson and the  female stilt company Mortal Coil. The  festival will also include a large art exhibit  featuring a variety of solo and group shows  by a wide range of artists. For tickets and  info call (604) 796-3664; e-mail:  harrfest@uniserve.com; web site:  www.echoisland.com/harrfest.  DIFFICULTWOMEN  Difficult Women from Australia will be held  Wed July 16 in Vancouver at the Wise Hall,  1882 Adanac St. Difficult Women, performed by Linn Van Hek and Joe Dolce, is  a literary music cabaret of vignettes, songs  and portraits of famous women writers and  artists, including Sylvia Plath, Alice B.  Toklas and Gertrude Stein, Frida Kahlo,  Memphis Minnie and Kath Tait. Show starts  at 8:30pm. Tickets are $10/13 at the door  and can be purchased in advance at  Women In Print and Urban Empire. For info  call (604) 253-7189. This event is co-  produced by Sounds and Furies and  Women In Print.  CAROL QUEEN  Carol Queen, feminist performance artist,  bisexual activist and self avowed whore,  will launch her book, Real Live Nude Girl:  Chronicles of a Sex-Positive Culture on  Thurs Jul 17,9 pm, at The Lotus, 455 Abbott  St, Vancouver. Sliding scale $1-4. Everyone  welcome. For more info cell 685-7777.  PRISONERS'JUSTICE DAY  A rally to commemorate Prisoners' Justice  Day will be held on Aug 9, 1-3pm in front  of the Vancouver Pre-Trial Centre, 275 E.  Cordova St, Vancouver. This event will  include local musicians and speakers  focusing on prisoners' rights issues. Co-op  Radio's Stark Raven will also cover the topic  on Aug 4 from 7-8pm on CFRO 102.7FM.  DYKEWORDS COMEDY NIGHT  Stand up comedy by local lesbian performers will be held Thurs Jul 10 at The Lotus,  455 Abbott St, Vancouver. Show starts at  9pm. Sliding scale $1-4. Everyone welcome. For more info call 665-7777.   EARTHVOICES  The NAAEE (North American Association  of Environmental Education) EarthVoices  Conference—"Youth Celebrating Cultures  Within our Environment"—will be held on  Aug 15-17 at the University of British  Columbia in Vancouver. Open to youth fron  ages 14-18, this is the first youth conference sponsored by NAAEE is .  EarthVoices is representational of all living  beings who share this planet and make it  whole. Through a celebration of diverse  cultural perspectives EarthVoices seeks to  listen to and be voices for the Earth. For  more info and to register, phone (604)605-  8225; fax (604) 669-6222; or e-mail  dcbc@sage.bc.ca subject:voices. If you are  over 18 and want to volunteer please call.  EXTERNAL RECALL  Tracing Cultures I: External Recall is an art  exhibit being held until Jul 6 at the  Burnaby Art Gallery, 6344 Deer Lake Ave,  Burnaby. The first of a series, External  Recall, brings together Vancouver artists  Dolleen Manning, an Ojibway from Stoney  Point, Ontario and Haruko Okano, a  Japanese Canadian woman born in the  Fraser Valley in BC. Investigating the  personal, social and political impacts of  crossing cultural boundaries in a very  sensual and visually striking way, these two  women bring a fresh, community based  approach to their work. For info call 291-  9441.   MICHIGAN WOMYN'S MUSIC  FESTIVAL  The 22nd Michigan Womyn's Music  Festival will be held Aug 12-17. Situated on  650 acres, the festival offers plenty of  camping in a village-like setting. The  schedule includes a 6-day women's film  festival, 300 workshops and 3 performance  stages featuring 40 sets of music, dance,  comedy and theatre. Some of the artists  scheduled to appear include: Vancouver's  Sawagi Taiko, the Toshi Reagon Band,  Ulalai, Cris Williamson and Tret Fure, Elvira  Kurt, and Lea Delaria. For tickets or more  info write to WWTMC, PO Box 22, Walhalla,  Ml, USA 49458 or call (616) 757-4766.  Relationship Therapy  DANA L. JANSSEN, M.Ed.  Reg. Clinical Counsellor  Relationship Therapy  Individual Counselling  Integrative Body Work  Oak & 8th Ave. Vancouver, B.C.  Tel: (604) 731-2867  JULY/AUGUST 1997 Bulletin Board  EVENTS  GROUPS  GROUPS  GROUPS  QUEER FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL  Out On Screen, Vancouver's 9th annual  Queer Film & Video Festival, will be held  Aug 7-17 at various venues around the  city. Come out and view a Shawna  Dempsey and Lori Millan retrospective  entitled, Lady Golfers, Butchers and Talking  vulvas or feature Cheryl Dunye's The  Watermelon Woman, a queer African  American hip-hop comedy. Other highlights  of the festival are: Also, As Seen On TV:  Big Dykes on the Small Screen, Fresh  Blood: A Consideration of Belonging,  GirlPlay, Shari Frilot's Black Nations Queer  Nations, Reel Youth, and the feature film,  Chocolate Babies. Check out what the  locals have been shooting in the "Made in  Vancouver" set. Festival passes are $50-  80, sliding scale and are available from  Little Sister's Bookstore and Harry's Off  Commercial. For more info call 688-WEST  ext. 2014.   GROW YOUR OWN CULTURE  Grow Your Own Culture is a one day  workshop with Japanese Canadian artist  Haruko Okano held on Sun Jul 27 from  10am-4pm at the Shadbolt Centre for the  Arts, Studio 106, 6450 Deer Lake Ave,  Burnaby, BC. This workshop is designed to  bring art and science together for hands-on  art making and conversation with the artist.  Okano has been working with KOMBU-  CHA, a fungus, to produce unusual  sculptural objects and mixed media  installations. Cost is $12. To register call  (604) 291-6864 or fax (604) 205-3001.  VANCOUVER PRIDE  This year's Pride Parade in Vancouver will  take place on Sun Aug 3 starting at noon  at English Bay. The parade will proceed  along Denman St. to English Bay. The  annual gay pride celebrations will kick off  on Sat Jul 26 with a Pride Sports Picnic in  Stanley Park. Other events for the week  include a festival, a Pride Party, a youth  dance and a concert in the park. The  theme of this year's pride is "Proud Out  Loud." For more info about the festivities or  to volunteer, call the Vancouver Pride  Society at 737-7433.   COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT  INSTITUTE  SPARC of BC (Social Planning and  Research Council), in partnership with  several othe; organizations, is holding its  annual Community Development Institute  in Sechelt, BC Jul 27-Aug I.The CDI  brings together people of all ages and  sectors for an exchange of information and  skills on local leadership for sustainable  communities. Co-op development for  women, women and unpaid work, and  social justice will be some of the topics  covered in the 78 workshops. A limited  number amount of bursaries are available.  For more info call Zarina Mulla at (604)  736-5576.  WOMEN  IN  PRINT  BOOKS & OTHER MEDIA  5566 West 4th Avenue  10-6 Daily •  12-5 Sunday  Discounts foi  book dubs  Special orders  welcome  WOMEN'S LEGAL CLINIC  Battered Women's Support Services in  Vancouver and the University of British  Columbia Law Students Legal Advice  Program are co-sponsoring free legal  clinics for women until Aug 13 to be held  Wednesdays from 2-7pm. For more info or  to make an appointment call 687-1867.  WOMEN'S FIGURATIVE ART GROUP  A Women's Figurative Art Group will be  held on Tuesdays from 2-5pm at Basic  Inquiry Studio, 5-901 Main St in Vancouver.  The weekly session is designed to provide  a woman-centered, supportive, cooperative  environment for women to explore their  creativity through painting or drawing the  figure. All levels welcome and encouraged.  Cost is $28/month. For more info call 738-  0708.   POWELL STREET FESTIVAL  Powell Street Festival, an annual celebration in Vancouver of Japanese Canadian  art, culture and history, is looking for  volunteers before and during this year's  event. The festival will take place Aug 2-3  in Oppenheimer Park (Powell and  Dunleavy) and in various location around  the park. To volunteer call 739-9388.  WOMYN WARRIORS  The Womyn Warriors, a predominantly  women of colour baseball team who play in  the non-competitive division of Vancouver's  lesbian Mabel League [see centrespread],  is seeking donations so the team can go to  the 1998 Gay Games in Amsterdam next  August. To make a donation, please send a  cheque or money order to The Womyn  Warriors, c/o Paulina Tin, 2213 Newport  Ave, Vancouver, BC, V5P 2J1.  OBAA  Obaa, a woman of colour program on Coop Radio CFRO 102.7 FM, is currently  seeking new members to help produce the  weekly public affairs show. Over the seven  years of its existence, Obaa has covered a  range of issues from indigenous struggles  around the world, new reproductive  technologies, racism in the school system,  to the impact of cuts to social programs on  women of colour. Obaa features interviews,  speeches, commentaries and analysis, and  well as music by women of colour. Obaa  airs every Tuesday evening from 7-8pm.  Women of colour interested in joining Obaa  are invited to call during or just after the  show, 684-8494. Training and support on  various aspects of radio broadcasting are  provided.  RAPE RELIEF  Vancouver Rape Relief and Woman's  Shelter needs women who are interested  in volunteering for their 24-hour crisis line  and transition house for women and  children. Training sessions are on Tuesday  evenings. For more info and for a training  interview call 872-8212.  CONSTRUCTION WOMEN  The Canadian Construction Women, an all-  Canadian association based in Vancouver,  focuses on the promotion and education of  women in construction and related fields.  Dinner meetings are held on the 4th  Tuesday or Wednesday of each month,  featuring a guest speaker or a tour of a  local construction project or manufacturing  plant. The next meeting is on Wed Jul 23 at  5:30pm for a buffet dinner at the Hastings  Park Race Course. The cost is $25 for  members, $30 for non-members. For more  info or to make a reservation call Anne  Mason at (604) 671-8164 or Marg Latham  (604) 631-6212.  CHILD APPREHENSION  CIRCLE (Children in Really Caring Loving  Environments) is a support group in  Vancouver for parents and children caught  up in the BC government's child apprehension industry. The purpose of CIRCLE is to  provide mutual emotional, intellectual and  practical support; information-sharing and  education regarding parenting skills, legal  proceedings and bureaucratic policies; and  lobbying and educating politicians and the  public for the elimination of the government's child apprehension industry. The  group meets every Sat from 11am-1:30pm  at the Champlain Place Common Room,  3305 E. 58th Ave. Children are welcome.  For more info call (604) 254-9636.  NATIVE WOMEN INTHE ARTS  Aboriginal women artists in Vancouver are  organizing events to be held in the fall and  spring. The programming will feature  workshops, performances, readings,  displays and more. If you would like to be  part of the co-ordinating group for these  exciting events, come to a planning  meeting to brainstorm some ideas. For  more info or the date of the next planning  meeting, call Michelle at (604) 251-4621.  LIBERTY VOLUNTEERS  Volunteers are needed for the Liberty Thrift  Store, 1035 Commercial drive, Vancouver  for various hours and jobs, Mon-Sat 10am-  5pm, Sun 12pm-5pm. Liberty Thrift is a  non-profit charitable organization whose  mission is to provide women and their  children with the resources to help them  live lives of liberty and independence, free  from violence. Store profits aid women and  children to live free from violence. Liberty  Thrift is also looking for houseware items—  dishes, irons, kettles, linens, pots and  pans, lamps, radios, blankets—to provide  hampers to help women and children start  over. To volunteer or for more info call 255-  3080.   VCN VOLUNTEERS  The Vancouver CommunityNet, a community-based internet service provider, is  looking for 10-15 community minded  volunteers to work with community groups  interested in getting online and to conduct  basic internet introductions. Some internet  and other skills training provided. Interpersonal communication skills a must. Call  Katherine on Mondays at 257-3811 or Ian  at other times at 257-3872.  FEMINIST NETWORKING GROUP  Vancouver feminists are invited to participate in the Feminist Networking Group  (FNG). The group, comprised of individual  feminists and feminists working in women's  organizations, meets monthly to share  information and skills, discuss political  issues and analyses from feminist perspectives, and plan actions and strategies. For  the next meeting date or for more info call  the Vancouver Status of Women at 255-  6554.   WOMEN AGAINST APEC  Women interested in the fight against  APEC (the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation) and MAI (Multilateral Agreement  on Investment) and other trade liberalization agreements are invited to participate in  the organizing of the Second International  Women's Forum Against APEC. The next  organizing meeting is on Mon Jul 7, 7pm  at SFU Harbour Centre, Room 2945, 515  W Hastings St, Vancouver. The Forum will  be held in Vancouver on Nov 17-18, as  part of a People's Forum, and will coincide  with the meeting of leaders of the 18 APEC  nations. The Women's Forum is being  coordinated by a coalition of women's  groups in BC, and is spearheaded by the  National Action Committee on the Status of  Women. For more info, call (604) 291-4023.  OUT ON SCREEN  Out on Screen, Vancouver's 9th Annual  Queer Film and Video Festival is currently  seeking volunteers to work on various  aspects before and during the festival in  August. Anyone interested in helping out  should contact Jennifer Fisher or Ava  Samuel at (604) 844-1615 or fax (604)  844-1698, or drop by the office at 408-207  E. Hastings St.  MOTHERS ARE WOMEN  Mothers are Women (MAW) want to  develop a process to impress upon  governments the importance of taking into  account the relevance of unpaid work in  public policy. They are inviting women's  organizations to participate in a working  group in preparation for a national symposium in fall 1997. For info contact Evelyn  Drescher, When Women Count Project,  Mothers are Women, P.O. Box 4104,  Station E, Ottawa, Ont, K1E 5B1. Phone  (613) 692-2439, fax (613) 692-1388, e-mail  evelyn.dreescherl.  IMIIIIMIIIIMI  Sangam Croat R.P.c.  REGISTERED PR0FFESSI0NAL COUNSELLOR  1 rivate Practitioner,  Workshop + Oroup Therapist  phone (604) 253-5007  whee the mesh changes se dees the dance...  Beyond Begr  JpeNexiWave  October 24,1997  Johnston Heights Secondary School  15350 - 99 Avenue, Surrey  Schedule for the Conference, Oct. 24  8:00 - 9:00 a.m.   - Registration & Networking  Light Breakfast provided  9:00 -10:00 a.m. - Opening & Keynote:  Rosemary Brown  "The Importance of the  Women's Movement"  10:00-10:15a.m.- Break  10:15-12 noon   - Workshop Session One  12:00 -1:30 p.m. - Lunch, Networking &  Displays  1:30-3:30 p.m.   - Workshop Session Two  3:30 p.m. - Wine & Cheese Social  Info: Judy De Vries  Langley Meadow School  2244 Willoughby Way  Langley, B.C. V2Y 1C1  Tel: (H) 604-856-7131, (W) 604-530-4101.  Or fax to: 604-530-3751  3  JULY/AUGUST 1997 Bulletin Board  SUBMISSIONS  WOMAN AND THE LAW  The UBC Law Review is seeking submissions for a special issue dedicated to  Women and the Law. Professors, practitioners and students are encouraged to submit  articles on a diversity of subject and  approaches to any area of the law. Articles  should be in English and not exceed  15,000 words. Deadline Sep 1. For more  info call Kirsten Jenkins or John Caldwell  at (604) 822-3066.   WOMEN'S HEALTH NEWSLETTER  The Canadian Women's Health Network is  seeking submissions of articles, news  items, art work and graphics for the winter  issue of their newsletter Network. Network  features critical debate, lively discussion  and timely news on topical women's health  issues. Relatively short pieces are sought:  500 words for articles, 100-250 for notes,  resources and announcements. Deadline  for proposals Aug 1, for submissions Sept  2. For proposals and info contact Sherry  Galey at (613) 233-2105; fax  (613) 233-4425; or e-mail  newslet@cwhn.ca or sgaley@cyberus.ca.  CHILDREN OF EXILE  Carol Camper, creator and editor of  Miscegenation Blues: Voices of Mixed  Race Women, is seeking submissions for  an anthology of women and men of colour  who were raised in white families or  institutions, titled Children of Exile. Essays,  articles, letters, journals, artwork, photography interviews, et cetera are welcomed.  Send submissions to Carol Camper, c/o  Sister Vision Press, PO Box 217, Stn E,  Toronto, ON, M6H 4E2. Deadline is Sep 30.  VIDEO PROJECT PARTICIPANTS  South Asian women who have experienced  or borne witness to child sexual abuse in  South Asian communities are being sought  for participation in a video project on  incestuous sexual abuse of girl children.  The video—The Children We Sacrifice—is  being produced by Grace Poore, a  Malaysian-born South Asian video maker  currently living in the US. Poore is also an  activist working to end violence against  women and girl children. She is looking to  speak with women who were sexually  abused, women who are related to a child  who is or has been abused or advocates  who work with adults who have been  sexually abused as children. For more info  contact: Grace Poore, Shakti Productions,  6-8403 16th Ave, Silver Spring, Maryland,  20910-2831, USA. E-mail:  gipooe@aol.com attn: Shakti Productions.  VANCOUVER FOLK FESTIVAL  The 20th Annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival will be held  July 18-20 at Jericho Beach Park. Listen to the sounds of  women singing—from the gospel of LindaTillery and the  Cultural Heritage Choir and Jane Sapp to the Lillooet songs  of Tzo'kam, the Mideastern sounds of Ma:  ia's Bisserov Sisters. Hear harmony with a purpose with  Seattle's Rebel Voices and England's Norma Waterson and old  songs made new by Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer [pictured  above]. Renowned vocalists Ani DiFranco and Buffy Sainte- Ticket prices and passes range from $28-95.  Marie will be featured in evening performances. For tickets and more info call (604) 876-6777.  The astonishing Latin singer Lhasa de Sela and her band will      Tickets are available from the Folk Festival  perform, as will as the Cuban Las Perlas Del Son, a seven office, 2nd floor, 436 W. 2nd St, Vancouver,  woman son band. Vancouver's own Kinnie Starr and Veda Hille     BC, and from various outlets around the city.  and her Stnokin' Combo will be showcased, as will many new  songwriters including Dee Cartensen [pictured right] and Oh      Photos by Dane Penland and courtesy Exit  Susanna. Other highlights of the weekend festival will be the      Nine Records.  stories of Vancouver's Kiss andTell with Emily Faryna, and the  movement performance by Kokoro Dance.  Photos by Dane Penland and courtesy Exit  Nine Records.  CLASSIFIEDS  AFFORDABLE CERTIFIED REFLEXOLOGIST AVAILABLE  R.A.C. Certified Advanced. Professional  and experienced. Experience and enjoy  this natural healing art for better health.  Releases stress and tension and toxins  that have built up in your body. Feel deeply  relaxed, nurtured and a wonderful sense of  well-being. Be good to yourself—you  deserve it. Ask about "specials". For info  and appointment, please call Leta at (604)  291-2019. Treat yourself or someone you  love. Also a great gift idea! Gift certificates  available.  CABIN ON GALIANO  Cabin on Galiano Island (in the Gulf  Islands between Vancouver Island and the  BC mainland) for rent on weekends or by  the week. Close to ferry, or, if you're coming  without a car, we will pick you up. Call (250)  539-5844.  Don't finance what you don't support..  the bottom line  isn't just the profit line  At CCEC we are dedicated to  community economic development:  » all types of loans -  business, personal,  lines of credit  * chequing and savings  accounts  » travellers' cheques  ► term deposits  • RRSPs  • ATM card /credit card  • mortgages -  residential and  recreational property  • lower interest rates  on loans to co-ops  and societies  Call CCEC at 254-4100  CCEC Credit Union  *£Ulftar*&ATltt4§k</fll*tfimn^^  CLASSIFIEDS  LAURA JAMIESON COOP  Laura Jamieson Housing Co-op is accepting applications for 1,2 and 3 bedroom  units. Monthly housing charges from $559-  821. No subsidy available. Active participation is enjoyable and necessary. Share  purchase ($1500) required. Great eastside  location and wonderful people. For an  application, send SASE to: Membership  Committee, 100-1349 E. 2nd Ave, Vancou-  ver, BC.V5N 1C4.   COUNSELLING FOR WOMEN  A feminist approach to sexual abuse,  depression, grief and loss, sexual orientation issues and personal growth. Sliding fee  scale. Free initial appointment. Call Susan  Dales, RPC, at 255-9173.   WOMEN'S SELF-DEFENSE  Women Educating in Self-defense 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.  NEEDTO RAISE MONEY?  Are you ready to act now? Consider this  ethical small home-based business in the  self development field. No pyramid, no  MLM. Powerful income potential with small  investment. Support and training provided.  Call 1-888-452-2907. Leave a message  and we'll call you back.   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.  SASE 530 Ginger Dr, New Westminster  BC, V3L 5K8.   WOMEN WRITERS GROUP  Looking to join a lesbian friendly women  writers group in Vancouver. Phone Barb  734-8761.  CLASSIFIEDS  KARATE FOR WOMEN  Karate for Women offers beginner's classes  Mondays and Thursdays 7:15-9:15pm at  the YWCA, 535 Hornby St, Vancouver.  Learn personal safety skills, basic karate  techniques, develop fitness, self-confidence and have fun. Female black belt  instructors are Karate BC affiliated and  NCCP certified. Beginners welcome. For  more info call 228-1244.   EASTSIDE COLLECTIVE HOUSEHOLD  Two rooms available. Live with politically  active, queer/immigrant friendly feminist  women and men and two cats. One block  west of Nanaimo Skytrain Station and all  buses. Parking, w/d, cable, big yard and  common areas. Smoking okay. Rent,  utilities, food $545/month. Call 874-9048.  NEED A SUMMER ESCAPE?  Spinstervale women's farm on Vancouver  Island has rustic retreat cabins for rent.  $7.50 night per person, $30 night for small  groups of friends. Work exchange for room/  board (3 hours day) available. Also, want  farm hand for a few months, small stipend  and room/board. Call (250) 248-8809.  WOMEN AND SOCIAL CHANGE  COURSE  Sex, Race, Class and Global Dimension:  What's a Girl to do? APEC, social service  cuts, increasing poverty, Mcjobs: how are  women's movements organizing internationally? Classroom exercises, readings,  field trips and practical project. WS 272, 13  Thursday evenings in fall semester. Second  year university-transfer credit. Prerequisite:  first year Women's Studies or permission of  instructor. For more information, contact  Dorothy Kidd, Women's Studies Program,  Langara College, 323-5788.  JULY/AUGUST 1997 Swing Into SumnK.  LIBRARY PROCESSING CTR - SERIftLS  2286 EAST MflLL, U.B.C.  :R, BC VfeT 1Z8  with a subscriptionto Kinesis  One year D Cheque enclosed   For individuals who can't afford the full amount 3  □$20 + $1.40 GST     □ Bill me for Kinesis subscription, send what you can. *  Two years □ New Free to women prisoners. J?  □$36 + $2.52 GST     □ Renewal Orders outside Canada add $8. 1  Institutions/Groups   □ Gift Vancouver Status of Women Membership  (includes Kinesis subscription) |  □$30+$1.40 GST  □$45 + $3.15 GST     □ Donation  Name   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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