Women's suffrage, My Grandmother's Kitchen, Girl's Empowerment Movement, Healthy Women Healthy Communities........gender community engagement session
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B.C. marks 100-year milestone of limited female suffrage

Asian and First Nations women were not given the right to vote until decades later

CBC News Posted: Nov 24, 2016 1:17 PM

The B.C. government is celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the right to vote being extended to some women, although full voting rights for all women would not happen until decades later. 

A century ago, using petitions, speeches and marches, suffragettes argued women deserved a voice and a chance to influence their country.

"They fought for many of the same things women fight for now. They fought for public health. They fought for employment equity for women. They fought for good social assistance and had an anti-violence agenda. They also fought for the vote."

Manitoba was the first province in Canada to grant suffrage in Jan. 28, 1916. Saskatchewan and Alberta followed suit later that spring.

In Sept. 1916, British Columbia held a referendum asking whether women should be allowed to vote. The vote was very successful, with a high turnout.

On Apr. 5, 1917, B.C. became the fourth province to grant limited suffrage to some women.

This law still excluded British Columbians of Japanese, Chinese, and South Asian descent as well as Indigenous Canadians from the vote. Asian women and men received the vote in 1948. By 1960, all Indigenous Canadians were finally allowed to vote.

It's good to reflect on our history, to remember how difficult it was to achieve those votes and how important it is to exercise those votes.

Touchstones Nelson Celebrates Women
In celebration of IWD (last month) and the 100 year anniversary of women getting the vote, Touchstones Nelson has a small collection in "Gallery C" (aka, Glass cases), which will be on display throughout the month.

The exhibit celebrates trailblazers like Annie Garland Foster and others, and includes material drawn from the boxes of archival materials recently contributed to Touchstones by the Women's Centre.
Come learn about some remarkable women in Nelson's past! 

(photo: Selkirk Nursing Practicum Students, Shannon & Ali who helped research, curate and hang the show at Touchstones).  Thank you both!

Spring Clothing Swap! 

On Saturday April 8 from 1-3 the Nelson and District Women's Centre will host a spring clothing swap.  
All the items will come from our free store, and there will be women's and children's clothing and footwear available. 

Please remember that the Women's Centre only accepts clean and gently worn women's and children's clothing for donations, as well as anything on our donation list.  

We do not accept: books, kitchen items, household items, toys, baby gear or anything other than clothing unless you have spoken to someone about it. 

We experience high levels of dumping on the weekends, which costs us a lot in time and money to take care of. Please respect our requests and bring your donations during Drop in Hours, Tuesday Wednesday or Thursday 12-4 or if you are a trans or non-binary person Fridays between 3 and 7pm. 

Know Your Flow A workshop exploring our relationship to inner & outer cycles

April 20,  5-7 pm 
Come join in a shared journey of self-discovery within the container of a circle, gaining tools for deeper connection with our bodies' sacred rhythms. We will look specifically at the dance of hormones in ovulation and menstruation, seasonal changes, and lunar cycles. An introduction to the Fertility Awareness Method of charting, used for both contraception and pregnancy achievement, will be offered. LGBTQ++ friendly 

Alison is a reproductive justice advocate & birth/earth wisdom keeper, with a flowering poet's soul. She is excited to share knowledge and experience charting cycles of ovulation & menstruation, ritual & ceremony connecting with the rhythms of la lune, & culture bending practices for reclaiming our bodies as a tool of sacred resistance. 


GEM Girls' Empowerment Movement 

The Girls' Empowerment Movement (GEM) Program is coming to Slocan, BC this spring!

Registration is open for girls ages 10 to 13 to join this arts- and outdoor-based program. In a series of six workshops, girls explore themes related to self-esteem, self-expression, relationships, personal power, growing bodies and changing feelings. In each session, a local woman presenter joins the program to offer activities, skills and wisdom.

Dates: Saturdays April 22, 29, May 13, 20, 27, June 3

Time: 10:00am to 2:00pm

Location: Slocan City Youth Centre, Slocan, BC

Cost: $30 for the whole program. Subsidies available, please inquire.

To register, contact Raina
Gardner: or 250-352-9949




The Trans and Gender Diverse Drop-In happening on Fridays from 3-7, is an open and safe space for anyone who identifies as trans and/or gender diverse to share community, resources, and food. The drop-in has been operating since mid-February and has drawn folks from Nelson, Castlegar, and Nakusp. A typical drop-in includes warm conversation, a shared meal, and discussion about local events.
contact for more information

Community Engagement Session

We will be hosting two Community Engagement Sessions on trans and gender diverse issues this Spring for all community members. The first session is scheduled for April 27th, time, and place yet to be determined.  Please check our calendar, Facebook or contact for event details. 

My Grandmother's Kitchen Rice Pilaf 

This month the kitchen at the Women’s Centre will continue the flavor extravaganza focusing on the cuisine of Northern India. The class will be led by busy local mom and home cook, Manpreet Minhas, who came to Nelson from the Punjab area of India. Originally learning to cook from her mother, Manpreet has remembered the recipes of home and added lifelong learning to the alchemy of spices and flavor of her native cuisine. Manpreet is back by popular demand, having led a class on making Pakoras last summer.

In this workshop Manpreet will share her family recipes for Rice pilaf dinner.

As always we will learn, cook and then get to eat together.

Please join us Wednesday, April 26th at 5:30-7:30 pm

$5 per person. Please pre-register with Jen:

Coordinating Collective 
Co-treasurer wanted

The Women's Centre is currently looking for a community member to join the coordinating collective. We are specifically seeking someone with a knowledge of finances/accounting who would like to share the treasurer duties as co-treasurer.
For more information please contact
April 5th Fundraising meeting 5-6 pm.  Help us plan our summer Women's weekend.  Women's Centre.  For more information contact

April 12- 5-7 pm Feminist Book Club! for more info. 

April 13- Volunteer Potluck and Skills Training: focused on practicing peer counselling skills . 5-7 pm

April 27 - Families welcome Volunteer Celebration- let's meet each other's families and share some food and social time!  5-7 pm 

May 10-June 21 Rooted in Community, Wednesdays from 9-11:30 am

May is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  Check the May newsletter for events happening throughout the month at the Women's Centre. 

Donation Wishlist

  • cash dontions
  • grocery store gift cards
  • pitch fork, and hand tools for the garden
  • fair trade coffee
  • toilet paper, paper towel, tampons and pads
  • seeds for the garden 
  • herbal tea
  • acrylic paints 
Submission by Amanda Patt: Warrior Goddesses of Infinity 

Can’t you tell the difference between XX and triple X?
The difference between our sex chromosomes and your pornographic minds?
No? Well, that shame does not belong to us or to our demographic
Just because the excess of your privilege finds us guilty before your court of stones
Does not mean we, or our sisters, ever did anything wrong
So, we suggest it is you who should atone,
Your stereotypes need to be redrawn or withdrawn
Because A, B, C, D, should be used as letters to comprise the words in poetry
or the notes within musical scales
Not to weigh women’s bodies, our breasts or our thighs,
We are neither yours to prize, nor to chastise,
your jests are in poor taste and your lingering eyes are not welcome here
how much skin we show was never your business,
nor does the height of our hemlines denote anything about our status
on your mythical spectrum of virgin to whore,
despite coercion, we know that the thinness or thickness of our bodies
is immaterial to the quality of our souls,
score us as you might from zero to ten,
it is a political act for us to defy your gender roles
thus, we will not render ourselves down into a small, easily understood integers
for the sake of your narrow mind, we will instead be irrational numbers
because our marrow is complex, beautiful, real and not easily expressed
not because we are irrational, as in hysterical, though we may be heretical
in suggesting that you should rethink the theoretical drink you’re about to buy one of us
when you whistled at us from across the room,
because we are unimpressed that you assumed
that your complimenting us on our appearance
somehow gave you clearance to touch us uninvited
or gave you control over the substances we will allow to enter our bodies
admittedly, critically imbalanced instances like this throw us off-centre,
especially when we reject you and your ilk, and we are met with disrespect
as you project onto us your ugly misogyny, smugly criticizing our bodies,
rather than your own shoddy social integration,
legitimizing your behaviour by your hasty determination that we are bitches
We’re trying to maintain our belief in humanity as we ditch this oppression
But even then, you and your outsized aggression sometimes follow us into the street
A campaign of abuse and disdain you hurl at us as if it was your right
We swallow our anger and our fear to turn and stare you down,
And as we surmised, that despite your veneer of bravado,
you are the zero, hollowed inside by your own hyper-masculine crown,
and it is now you who are afraid, betrayed,
because you just realized that the cocky ring of your parlance
lost any semblance of validity when it was arrayed before the stern gaze of
one of the warrior goddesses of infinity.
Copyright © *|April_2017* *Nelson & District Women's Centre", All rights reserved.

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Nelson, BC. V1L4R9

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West Kootenay Women's Association · 420 Mill St. · Nelson, British Columbia V1L 4R9 · Canada

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