Kathryn McCooeye has been named co-executive director of the Nelson and District Women’s Centre. Photo submitted

Kathryn McCooeye joins Nelson Women’s Centre as co-executive director

McCooeye is an Elder raised in the Gitksan culture


The Nelson and District Women’s Centre welcomed Kathryn McCooeye as its new co-executive director as of April 15.

McCooeye is from Huron, Celt and African ancestry, but was raised in the Gitksan (Coast Salish) culture in a remote village in northwest B.C. She is a Chanumpa (Sacred Pipe) Carrier in the Lakota tradition, having apprenticed with the late Grandfather Wallace Black Elk (Lakota). McCooeye has dedicated her life to serving Mitakuye Oyasin (All My Relations) and is a much sought after Indigenous cultural consultant, elder, traditional knowledge keeper, outdoor Indigenous educator and ceremonial facilitator.

“Intersectional feminism directly aligns with our traditional First Nations sacred women’s laws in meeting our responsibilities by ensuring that the needs of everyone in the village and natural environment are met,” said McCooeye.

“I look forward to working as co-executive director of the Nelson and District Women’s Centre and I am honoured to be entrusted to ensure the inclusion of our self-identified women, trans, cis, non-binary, two spirited and queer women of colour in our services.

“Too often women’s centres are places that cater only to the settler population so I would like to extend a warm welcome to the Indigenous and other women of colour in the community who require services, support or just a cup of tea to come on over. You will be included in our space with warmth and respect.”

Reasha Wolfe was hired in February 2018 to share the position with Kori Doty, who resigned in October 2018 following over six months of controversy and harassment regarding their gender expression.

“I was deeply honoured to be partnered with Kori and honestly I was shattered by the bullying they experienced and that they weren’t safe in their position at the Women’s Centre. It has taken a lot of work to create a safer working environment since then, and I was overjoyed to receive Kat’s application.”

Wolfe added: “I think this may be the first time in the 45-year history of the Women’s Centre that an Indigenous woman is in leadership, and I am overjoyed about the opportunity to work with Kat and learn from her.”

The Nelson and District Women’s Centre is also known as the West Kootenay Women’s Association, a feminist organization with a volunteer board of directors called the co-ordinating collective, two drop-in co-ordinators, Zaynab Mohammed and Nichola Cornell, a volunteer co-ordinator and youth co-ordinator, Axel McGowan, another youth co-ordinator, Raina Gardener, a bookkeeper, Clelie Murray Chevrier, and a housekeeper, April Isnardy.

Sometimes there is one executive director and sometimes there are two. Membership has grown by over 300 per cent in the last year. Members are feminists from near and far who support the society’s work.

Just Posted

Nelson holds the line on property taxes

No increase this year thanks to deal with RDCK on park funding

Company granted leave to appeal Lemon Creek charges

Executive Flight Centre won a decision in the BC Court of Appeal

Police: cougar still wandering Nelson

The cougar was seen in Lakeside Park

Burlesque fundraiser to benefit Sinixt

Reclaim: A Powerful Evening of Indigenous Burlesque Art runs May 29 at the Capitol Theatre

Nelson to hire climate change co-ordinator

The new position is being funded by a $125,000 grant

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Crackdown on money laundering does not include federal public inquiry: minister

An independent report commissioned concluded $7.4 billion was laundered in B.C. last year

Trudeau’s action plan on climate change brings B.C. politician out of retirement

Terry Lake, a former B.C. health minister, is running for federal office in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo

Survey finds minimal progress in Canadian military’s fight against sexual misconduct

1.6 per cent of regular-force members — 900 military personnel — reported having been victims of sexual assaults over past year

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Most Read