HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
Two women living in Labrador are among recent appointees to the Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women.
Raelene Vickers is Executive Director of Mokami Status of Women Council in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
Originally from Corner Brook, she has Metis status (her maternal grandmother is from the south coast of Labrador).
Vickers earned a bachelor of social work from Memorial University and a masters of social work from the University of Toronto.
In a news release about the new appointments, Vickers is described as a fierce feminist who challenges society’s expectations and a passionate advocate for gender and sexual diverse populations.
Working as a frontline social worker has given her experience working with children in care, foster parents, as well as women experiencing intimate partner violence.
Vickers also served on the board of Libra House (a women’s shelter in Happy Valley-Goose Bay) for several years.
Upon convocating from her social work studies at Memorial University, Vickers was recognized by her classmates with an award as biggest social advocate.
“My parents (Beverley and Raymond Vickers) raised me to be passionate and to be involved in volunteer work even from a young age… I’m really looking forward to representing the women of Labrador (on the Advisory Council) the best I can. And I’m sure Elizabeth (Evans-Mitchell) is as well,” she said.
Elizabeth Evans-Mitchell was born and raised in Makkovik, Nunatsiavut.
She has a bachelor of arts in education from Memorial University and a diploma in kodaly music from Acadia University.
Evans-Mitchell retired from a 30-year teaching career (in her hometown) four years ago. During three of those years she also served as the school’s principal.
Evans-Mitchell served as a community councillor for many years and as North Coast vice-president for the Combined Councils of Labrador.
She also volunteered with the Makkovik Museum Committee, Makkovikimut Trust, AnanauKatiget Timingit and Makkovik Chapel Servants - Acolyte for the Moravian Church.
Evans-Mitchell said there is often a disconnect, or lack of communication, when it comes to the voices of women in Labrador being heard.
“It’s so important to bring issues women in Labrador communities face to the provincial level. I feel the (Advisory Council) plays a key role in advising government on issues that are significantly impacting women. Their issues, concerns and suggestions definitely need to be put forth and lobbied for,” Evans- Mitchell said.
Issues specific to Labrador, she said, include violence and bullying, children in care, health, residential school survivors, missing and murdered aboriginal women, food security, housing, employment and job security.
Evans-Mitchell said she would like to thank her mother, Annie Evans (a former Advisory Council member), and her grandmother, 101-year-old Muriel Andersen, for being such positive role models in her life.
“They have instilled in me a desire to help others wherever I can,” she said.
Other appointees to the Advisory Council include Barbara Agnes Barker, Arlene Blanchard-White, Erica Hurley, Kelly Hynes-Curties and Abigail Steel. Vanessa Jo McCarthy and Carmichael Polonio have been re-appointed for a second term.
For more information on the Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women, visit pacsw.ca.