22 Contributing Authors

A. Brenda Anderson grew up on Treaty 4 land without knowledge of her Canadian history. She speaks from an ally position whose responsibility it is to use the privilege she was given at the expense of others to stand alongside, to listen and to make space for change to happen. Brenda is an associate professor in the department of Gender, Religion and Critical Studies at Luther College at The University of Regina. Her work focuses largely on the intersections of racism and sexism in colonialism both past and present, specifically Muslim women and Indigenous women globally. The work of resistance and advocacy amongst and between groups of women, and the role that spirituality/religions play in these responses, is of particular interest to her research. Brenda was co-editor of the first edition of this book, Torn from our Midst: Voices of Grief, Healing and Action from the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Conference, 2008, a conference which Brenda co-chaired with Rev. Carla Blakley.

Barbara Tomporowski is the Director of Restorative & Indigenous Justice with Saskatchewan Integrated Justice Services, serving the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General and the Ministry of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety. She is passionate about communities and the possibility of change. She co-chairs the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Working Group on Restorative Justice, and previously taught classes for the University of Regina Department of Justice Studies. Barbara is the Chair of the Saskatchewan Missing Persons Partnership Committee.  She has volunteered with local, provincial, and national organizations, and is honoured to have received the John Howard Society of Canada Award for Community Service in 2013, and the National Ron Wiebe Restorative Justice Award in 2018.

Betty McKenna, our Guiding Elder, is Anishnabae from the Shoal River Band #366 who, with her husband Ken, has had three children. Elder Betty lent her wisdom to the 2008 Conference and subsequent book, and continues to care for all of us on these difficult topics.  She is an Elder for First Nations and Métis education at the Regina Public School Board, a lecturer of Indigenous Health Studies in social work and biology, and guiding Elder for many research projects, including Elder for IAPH and Research and Education for Solutions to violence and abuse. She has co-authored several peer-reviewed publications and is an editor of the book, Listening To The Beat Of Our Drum. She has served on the College of Physicians and Surgeons and National Elders Advisory Corrections Canada. Elder Betty was the recipient of the Queen’s Gold and Diamond Jubilee medals and Excellence in Health award.

Betty Ann Pottruff graduated from the College of Law, University of Saskatchewan in 1977 and worked until June 2018 in a range of positions with Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice and Attorney General, including Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives/Policy from 1987-2014, Children’s Counsel from 2014-2018, and Senior Advisor in 2018. Betty Ann was a co-chair of the Provincial Partnership Committee on Missing Persons.  In 2019 she was awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Award of the Saskatchewan Regional Group of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada. She also received the Premier’s Award for Innovation in 2011 for leadership of the Provincial Partnership Committee on Missing Persons, the 2007 Saskatchewan Healthcare Excellence award to acknowledge her role in creating the Regina Drug Treatment Court, and the 2003 Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal from the federal government for service to communities and families. She is currently appointed to the National Parole Board, Prairie Region, as a part-time Parole Board Member.

Crystal Giesbrecht is a volunteer fieldworker with Amnesty International Canada and members of Regina’s Amnesty International Community Group (Group 91).

Cynthia Berajano, a native of the southern New Mexico border, received her BA and MA from New Mexico State University and her Ph.D. from Arizona State University in 2001. She joined the Department of Criminal Justice at New Mexico State University, where she was a professor until 2014, and then joined the Interdisciplinary Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies Department as a Regents Professor.  She is the Stan Fulton College of Arts and Sciences Endowed Chair since 2010 and the 2021-2022 College of Arts and Sciences Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Fellow.  Cynthia’s research focuses on border violence, youth cultures, immigration and migration issues, and gender-based violence at the U.S.-Mexico border. She is the author of the book “Qué Onda?” Urban Youth Cultures and Border Identity, published by the University of Arizona Press (2005) and the co-editor of an interdisciplinary anthology with Rosa-Linda Fregoso titled, Terrorizing Women: A Cartography of Feminicide in the Américas published by Duke University Press (2010), and in Spanish by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico. She has numerous single and co-authored articles, essays, and chapters in journals and books like Aztlan, Race and Ethnic Studies, and recently in the Handbook on Human Security, Borders, and Migration. She was the co-founder of Amigos de las Mujeres de Juárez, an organization that worked to end violence against women in Chihuahua, Mexico, and the borderlands. In 2014, she served as one of five tribunal judges specializing in international human rights and gender-based violence for the Tribunal Permanente de los Pueblos in Chihuahua City, Chihuahua, Mexico. Her current research projects include two co-edited books tentatively titled, “Mothering while Brown: The Everyday Challenges of Child-Rearing in Militarized Spaces” with Cristina Morales, and GATHERING TOGETHER, WE DECIDE: Dene Nde’, Dispossession Memories, and Resistance Methodologies, 2007-2017 with Margo Tamez and Jeffrey Shepherd.

Danielle Jeancart is originally from northern Saskatchewan, Treaty 6 Territory, and is of French-Métis, nehiyaw, and Ukrainian ancestry. She holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Regina and an MA in Indigenous Studies and Canadian Studies from Trent University. Her graduate work focused on Indigenous history and conceptions of Indigenous masculinity in Canada. Passionate about Indigenous education, Danielle has worked as an Instructor, curriculum developer, and program coordinator for over a decade. Since January 2019, she has been working in Education and Training with the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres – a non-profit organization based in Toronto that advocates for urban Indigenous peoples across Ontario.

Darlene M. Juschka is an associate professor in the Department of Gender, Religious and Critical studies. Her areas of interest are semiotics, critical theory, feminisms, and posthumanism. Some of her more recent work includes: The Construction of Gendered Identities in Myth and Ritual. In Companion to Global Gender History (2nd edition). 2020; Feminisms and the study of religion in the 21st century. Berlin Journal of Critical Theory. Vol. 3, No. 2 (April, 2019); Faller, Y. N., Wuerch, M. A., Hampton, M. R., Barton, S., Fraehlich, C., Hungler, K., Juschka, D., Moffitt, P., Zederayko, A. (2018). A web of disheartenment with hope on the horizon: Intimate partner violence in rural and northern communities. Journal of Interpersonal Violence; Feminist approaches to the study of religion. In Richard King, (ed.), Religion, Theory, Critique: Classic and Contemporary Approaches, 2017; Indigenous women and reproductive justice – A narrative. In Carrie Bourassa, Betty McKenna and Darlene Juschka (eds.) Listening to the beat of our drum, 2017; “Feminism and Gender”. In Steven Engler and Michael Stausberg (eds.), The (Oxford) handbook of the study of religion, 2016. She has also published four books, Contours of the Flesh: The Semiotics of Pain (2021); with Carrie Bourassa, Betty McKenna (eds.) (2017). Listening to the beat of our drum: Stories in Indigenous parenting in contemporary society, Political Bodies, Body Politic: The Semiotics of Gender (2009) (Translated and published in Chinese in 2015) and Feminism in the study of religion: A reader (2001).

Gordon Barnes is a volunteer fieldworker with Amnesty International Canada and members of Regina’s Amnesty International Community Group (Group 91).

Jennifer Brant,  (She/Her) Kanien’keh:ka (Mohawk Nation) is a mother-scholar and assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Jennifer writes and teaches about Indigenous maternal pedagogies and Indigenous literatures as liberatory praxis. Jennifer is the co-editor of “Forever Loved: Exposing the Hidden Crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada.” Jennifer positions Indigenous literatures as educational tools to foster sociopolitical action and calls for immediate responses to racialized, sexualized, and gender-based violences. 

Boozhoo, Aniin Keesis Sagay Egette Kwe nindiznikaaz (greetings,my name is First Shining Rays of Sunlight Woman).  Dr. Jennifer Leason is a member of Pine Creek Indian Band, Manitoba, and the proud mother of Lucas and Lucy. Dr. Leason is a Canadian Institute of Health Research(CIHR), Canada Research Chair, Tier II, Indigenous Maternal Child Wellness, and an Associate Professor at the University of Calgary. Dr. Leason is an Associate Member of the CIHR College of Reviewers and Associate Editor of the Canadian Journal of Public Health. She is the recipient of a CIHR New Investigator Award (2017-2020); New Frontiers in Research Fund Award (2019-2021); and CIHR Operating Grant (2020-2023), among other Patient-Oriented Research grants and partnerships. Her research aims to address perinatal and maternal-child health disparities and inequities by examining maternity experiences, healthcare utilization, and social-cultural contexts of Indigenous maternal-child wellness. The editors are grateful to Jennifer who is the artist of our book cover and has included curatorial notes on the image.

Judy Hughes is the former President of the Saskatchewan Aboriginal Women’s Circle Corporation (SAWCC).  Throughout her tenure there, she took a pivotal role in securing supports and services for women and their families facing violence, poverty, unemployment, food and housing insecurity.  She served as SAWCC’s principle non-legal advocate during the Canadian pre-Inquiry and National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.  This involved supporting families, preparing and presenting oral and written submissions to the Truth Hearings and co-authoring a report on recommendations for the 231 Calls for Justice.  Judy now serves as the Chief Strategist for Capacity Building, Infrastructure and Community Safety for the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC).  Judy contributed the NWAC Sisters in Spirit chapter to Torn from our Midst, and reflected along with Brenda Anderson for the Afterword in this volume.

Kim Erno is an ordained pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). He has over 20 years of parish ministry experience that include the formation of a Latino ministry in the Washington, D.C. area inspired by the base ecclesial communities of Latin America and the worker-priest movement. For eight years Kim was the director of a global studies program in Mexico for the ELCA. He is the producer of a documentary film on the U.S./Mexico border and immigration called “El Muro y El Desierto” (The Wall and the Desert). Kim has many years of solidarity activity in Latin America that include human rights work in El Salvador. He recently retired after serving as director of the Franklin Alliance for Rural Ministries (FARM) an ecumenical ministry in northwestern Vermont that serves migrant farm workers. In Mexico Kim continues to collaborate with a collective, CREAR, to create global solidarity through experiential education, critical analysis and cross-border organizing.

Leonzo Barreno, PhD, an Indigenous K’iche-Mayan from Guatemala, is a Sociology Assistant Professor at Mount Royal University, Calgary, AB. He came to Canada in 1989. His research and teaching experience focuses on Mayan Studies, Indigenous Sociology, International Indigenous Studies, Justice, Genocide, Colonization and Decolonization Studies. Leonzo’s work experience include coordinating and directing international Indigenous programs and an International Indigenous Center (1994-2005). In 1999, with the guidance of an Indigenous Elders Council, he developed the concept, goal and activities of the Aboriginal Youth Leadership Development Program (AYLDP). Leonzo taught the Course “International Indigenous Issues” from 1997 to 2004 at the SIFC Regina and Prince Albert campuses and two First Nations communities. From 2003 to 2019, he served on various terms (part-time) as the “CanGlobal Television Chair” (now the Asper Chair in Journalism) for the School of Journalism, University of Regina. Leonzo has given presentations about Indigenous related topics in Chile, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, and Mexico and to the Inter American Development Bank in Washington. He authored Higher Education for Indigenous people in Latin America (2003) used as a working document by IESALC-UNESCO/Latin America during the gathering of experts in Guatemala in April 2002. In May 2016 he moderated the workshop “Global Citizens as Stewards of the Planet: Energy, Environment and Climate Change,” during the Sixty-sixth United Nations/Non-Governmental Organizations Conference, United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI)/Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) in Gyeongju, Republic of South Korea.

Marta Perez is an activist and public speaker from Mexico who was part of the San Salvador Atenco attack.  The recording of her talk given at the 2008 Missing Women’s Conference is included in this book.

Mary Rucklos Hampton recently retired as a professor and renowned researcher at Luther College at The University of Regina. Mary was the Provincial Academic Research Coordinator for RESOLVE Saskatchewan and a registered clinical psychologist. She had a career of tender and gentle caring for all who experienced trauma, especially sexual violence, in their lives. We are honoured that Mary rounded out her career with work on this book. Mary was instrumental in the 2008 Conference and a co-editor of the first edition, Torn from our Midst: Voices of Grief, Healing and Action from the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Conference, 2008, as well as numerous other publications.  Despite grave health restrictions, Mary continues to inspire us with her love and grace and witty zingers. A woman of immense strength and fortitude, she reflects the warrior spirit we wish for ourselves and for all our readers.

Melissa Wuerch, PhD, is a clinical psychologist (supervised practice) in Ontario, Canada. Her clinical focus includes working with children, adolescents, and adults coping with mental health concerns. She graduated from the clinical psychology doctoral program at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada in October 2020 and continues to focus on research examining intimate partner violence in rural and northern communities.

Morningstar Mercredi is an author, poet, artist, researcher, social activist, producer and actress. She authored Morningstar: A Warrior’s Spirit, and Fort Chipewyan Homecoming and is launching her new book in the fall of 2021, Sacred Bundles Unborn. Her background is in multimedia communications. She produced and hosted a half hour radio program on CKUA Radio, in Edmonton Alberta. “First Voices”, explored and celebrated Indigenous artists throughout Turtle Island. Her documentary, Sacred Spirit of Water, premiered at the United Nations Permanent Forum for Indigenous Peoples in New York in 2013. She is an ACFN member in Treaty 8 Territory. Morningstar’s advocacy work expands over forty years, as a frontline worker raising awareness on MMIW, girls, and the LGBTQ community. She continues to advocate to criminalize forced coerced sterilization of Indigenous women in Canada.  

Paula Florés Bonilla was born in El Salto, Pueblo Nuevo, Durango, in 1957. She emigrated to Ciudad Juárez in 1995 with her husband, a son and six daughters. Following the disappearance and murder of her 17-year-old daughter, María Sagrario González Flores in 1998, Paula and her eldest daughter, Guillermina, organized with several mothers who were in the same situation to initiate the first group of mothers: Voces sin Eco, Voices without Eco in Ciudad Juárez. Paula remains active in the fight so that crimes against women aren’t forgotten.  For two decades, Paula and her family and supporters have painted black crosses on pink backgrounds across wooden posts and light posts in Ciudad Juarez, and each year Paula and her family touch up the crosses that are on the main avenues and in the downtown area of Ciudad Juarez. This iconic image has come to symbolize feminicides/femicides in Chihuahua, Mexico and beyond. Paula continues to collaborate with other families whose daughters have disappeared or who have been found murdered in Ciudad Juarez and with women’s rights and human rights defenders across Mexico. For years, she has helped to lead protests against femicide, she has placed missing fliers of girls and women across the City and has planted trees with other mothers representing their daughters at government offices. She has given her testimony before entities as varied as Amnesty International, members of the Mexican and U.S. Congress, UN Special Rapporteurs, international and national organizations. She also founded the Fundacion Sagrario, a neighborhood association to help improve the lives of others in her community of Lomas de Poleo where she helped to open a local kindergarten that carries her daughter’s name, Jardin de Ninos Ma. Sagrario. She has also attended the Marcela Lagarde y de los Ríos Cátedra.  Paula was one of the mothers who brought her story and offered her leadership at the 2008 Conference in Regina, Saskatchewan, and her story in this book updates us on her tireless efforts for justice.

Rhonda Kronyk is a Dene/settler research, writing and editing consultant. A member of the Tsay Keh Dene Nation (Treaty 8), she calls amiskwaciwâskahikan on Treaty 6 lands home. As a founding member of the Indigenous Editors Association and an editor who specializes in manuscripts by and about Indigenous Peoples, Rhonda works from within the Canadian publishing industry to advocate for the publication of culturally respectful stories by and about Indigenous Peoples.  As a community consultant, Rhonda works with arts and heritage organizations to ensure that diverse peoples from traditionally underrepresented communities are included in community research in a meaningful way. She currently sits on the Grand Council of the Lodgepole Arts Alliance and the Indigenous Advisory Circle of the ArtsHab Community Infrastructure Project.  Rhonda has worked on manuscripts by some of Canada’s best known Indigenous authors, including Rene Meshake, Blair Stonechild, Monique Gray Smith, Richard Van Camp, and Buffy Ste. Marie.  The editing team thanks Rhonda for her copyediting work on this book.

Shauneen Pete, B.Ed, M.Ed, PhD ​is a professor (1-year term) in Educational Psychology and Leadership Studies at the University of Victoria.  She is on leave from her role as Indigenous Resurgence Coordinator in the Indigenous Education Department, Faculty of Education (UVic).  Dr. Pete has worked as a professor and university administrator for over 20 years. She served as Executive Lead: Indigenization at the University of Regina.  She also served as both Vice-President (Academic) and Interim President at First Nations University of Canada.  Dr. Pete continues to provide consulting services that advance both indigenization and decolonization in Canadian higher education.

Sylvia Smith is an educator with over three decades of classroom experience. The major focus of her pedagogy is to elicit authentic student engagement, with the goal of turning knowledge into action in the vital area of social justice. In recognition of her educational approach, she was awarded a Governor General’s Award for Teaching Excellence in History in 2011. In 2015, Sylvia was inducted as an Honorary Witness to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for her work in developing and popularising Project of Heart, a Canada-wide teaching module dedicated to teaching the truth about the Indian Residential School era. Sylvia believes it is essential for education to be responsive to the concerns of the original people upon whose territory the learning takes place and that they be part of the reform so badly needed. Sylvia makes her home in Ottawa, on unceded, unsurrendered Algonquin territory. She lives with her partner, two adult daughters, and one very special grandson.

Tracy Knutson was raised in rural Saskatchewan and has had the privilege of working in many roles, primarily in the area of community and social development.  Through these opportunities, she has learned from the best teachers – the amazing diversity of people in our communities who share the gifts of experience, wisdom and hope.  Having worked for 25 years in community and social development, Tracy brings a wealth of skills, experience and knowledge to her work.  Her deep appreciation of the power of relationship and the strength of people to create change is central to her work and life.  Tracy serves as Executive Director with STOPS to Violence.  In her ‘other life’, she supports groups and individuals to create paths to community, connection and wellness through capacity building, facilitation, team building, coaching and healing practice

Wendee Kubik is a retired professor of Women’s and Gender Studies. She is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Regina and Brock University and The Environmental Sustainability Research Centre at Brock University. Wendee was co-editor of the first edition of this book, Torn from our Midst: Voices of Grief, Healing and Action from the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Conference, 2008.


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Global Femicide by Brenda Anderson; Shauneen Pete; Wendee Kubik; and Mary Rucklos-Hampton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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