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

Submitted

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

PHOTOS: Nelson climate strike packs downtown to demand action

An inter-generational crowd staged a ‘die-in’ as part of the global strike Friday

Nelson’s Cedar Grove Estates affordable housing site to receive $3.2 million in renos

The project was made public during the Nelson CARES annual general meeting

Kootenay Lake ferry to shut down Saturday afternoon

Service to resume Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m.

Mystery illness killing Kootenay bees

Samples being sent to laboratories for analysis

Woman stabbed in downtown Nelson

Victim is in hospital, suspect is in police custody

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Most Read