Published on September 29, 2023

Na’kuset plaque

As we approach Orange Shirt Day, we would like to reflect on the recent honour bestowed on Na’kuset, a federate member and MCW 2014 Woman of the Year, on Wednesday, September 27. A plaque in honour of Na’kuset was unveiled on the Human Rights Walkway in the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park in Cote Saint Luc, memorializing her and her work on behalf of Indigenous peoples and others needing care, counselling, food and lodging in Montreal and her efforts on behalf of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW). Several members of the Montreal Council attended the ceremony, including Linda Serpone, Brenda Panunto and Rena Entus.

Na’kuset with group Na’kuset with MNA Elisabeth Prass and Mayor

Na’kuset, a “60’s Scoop survivor”, is from Treaty 6 Lac La Ronge. She is the Director of the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal and co-founder of Resilience Montreal (a non-profit day shelter in Cabot Square).

We want to congratulate Na’kuset on behalf of all our members and federates. She has turned a devastating lived experience into a lifetime of helping others in need. Na’kuset spoke about the influence of her grandmother in motivating her to strive to achieve and the importance of mentors in our lives, women helping women. She urged those gathered not to diminish the impact we could have on others.

Na’kuset talked about the desperate need for more housing for people experiencing homelessness and how she hoped to raise funds to build more spaces. She mused that at one time, Indigenous people helped colonialists, clothed, fed them, and guided them through their land. Now, these people had no land, no homes and no hope. She encouraged everyone, according to their ability, to find a way to campaign and raise funds to help in their efforts to expand their services to those in need.

As we approach the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation known as Orange Shirt Day – we recognize the tragic legacy of the Canadian Indian Residential school system. We encourage you to learn more about the ramifications of our colonial history and contribute what you can to help build more much-needed shelters and provide care and hope to those who need it.

Here are links to The Native Women’s Shelter in Montreal and Resilience Montreal, where you can donate on their websites. You can also arrange to donate other items, such as clean clothing, directly to Resilience Montreal in Cabot Square.

Wear your orange shirt on Saturday– every child counts!

Linda Serpone, MCW President


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