2017 EPC Nominee: Lorelei Williams

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Everyday Political Citizen Tuesday, October 31, 2017 View Count = 633

2017 EPC Nominee: Lorelei Williams

Lorelei EPC

 

Lorelei Williams of Vancouver, BC, was nominated by Junaid Zaidi 

In the last 40 years, over 1200 Indigenous women have gone missing or have been murdered in Canada. Lorelei Williams is an Indigenous activist who is fighting for the rights of Indigenous women throughout Canada. Williams is the founder of the dance group, Butterflies in Spirit, which she began in order to empower Indigenous women in her community. It was also a way for her to raise awareness about her Aunt Belinda Williams, who went missing in 1978, and her cousin Tanya Holyk, who was murdered by serial killer Robert Pickton in 1996. Beyond managing Butterflies in Spirit, Lorelei Williams is the Women’s Coordinator at the Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre. This non-for- profit organization addresses Indigenous social justice issues, and works to build stronger relationships between the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) and Indigenous communities through promoting education, awareness and open dialogue. Williams also volunteers for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Collation in Vancouver, which is a diverse group of more than twenty-five urban community and political advocacy groups and family members of the missing and murdered. 


Lorelei was also nominated by MP Jenny Kwan

Lorelei Williams is a young single mom from the Skatin Nations on her mom side and Sts’Ailes on her dad’s side. To commemorate Aboriginal female victims of violence, Lorelei founded Butterflies in Spirit, an Indigenous women’s dance troupe, consisting of family members of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.  To date, they have staged over 70 awareness-raising performances for organizations such as Amnesty International and Canada’s Assembly of First Nations.  

They have also traveled internationally performing at the International Women’s World Peace event in Bogota, Colombia. She started this dance group as a way to get attention to her missing Aunt Belinda Williams picture and honour her cousin Tanya Holyk who was murdered by serial killer Robert Pickton. Lorelei has volunteered at Vancouver’s Battered Women’s Support Services as a crisis line support worker.   She is also an active member of the missing and murdered Indigenous women’s coalition.

Lorelei works for the Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre as a Women’s Coordinator where she works with families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, women in violent situations, and women in the Downtown Eastside.  Her primary responsibility is to address social justice issues and improve safety for Indigenous women, youth and girls, and to try build positive relationships between Vancouver Police Department and the Aboriginal Community, through a program called Circles of Understanding, which offers cultural awareness training and education to groups of local police cadets about Canada’s residential school system.  

She sits on the Sisterwatch Committee with the VPD and is also a helper with a program called Aboriginal Focusing Oriented Therapy on Complex Trauma which is a program that uses Focusing-Oriented Therapy as a safe and effective method of working with clients who experience complex trauma.  Right now she is attending school taking the Aboriginal Justice Studies program where she’s increasing her knowledge about the structures and processes in the Canadian justice system from an Indigenous perspective with an emphasis on decolonization.  Lorelei is dedicated to ending violence against women and girls in the world.


Do you know an #EPCitizen like Lorelei?
Nominate them today!

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Samara's Everyday Political Citizen celebrates positive political role models and builds a culture of positive politics in Canada. Conducted coast-to-coast-to-coast, the contest aims to recognize the rich diversity of politics and democracy in Canada, crowdsourcing hundreds of nominations from Canadians like you. Read more about Everyday Political Citizen, see more nominations, or submit your own nomination.


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