In January 2010 the Yellowknife Women’s Society celebrated its 20th anniversary. Over the past two decades the Centre has developed and implemented programs that support the health, social, cultural and economic autonomy of women in a way that is inclusive of their families. The Centre has been acknowledged by community people from across the North, decision-makers and contributors from the private sector as an essential service, unique in its approach to supporting marginalized women and their families. That recognition culminated in the awarding of the Order of Canada to its Executive Director in 2009.
The Yellowknife Women's Society was established to support and assist women in empowering themselves so they can develop and achieve their goals, embrace wellness, enjoy equality and be recognized for the contribution they make in the community.
Statement of Principles:
The Yellowknife Women's Society recognizes the diversity of women and the validity of their views and goals. The Society will serve as an umbrella for many types of charitable activities without trying to rationalize them in terms of any single philosophy.
The Yellowknife Women's Society is governed by principles of:
C. Peaceful co-existence
D. The individual is valued
The Objects of the Society are:
1. To provide accommodation and counselling services to women suffering poverty as a result of emotional, substance, physical, or sexual abuse or trauma and housing for children.
2. To promote health by providing families with information on proper nutrition, early childhood development, healthy recreation, parenting skills, and positive family relationships.
3. To provide culturally appropriate education, wellness programs, counselling and other support services, employment training, job search programs, translation services, and information programs on Canadian culture and life.
The Yellowknife Women's Society operates several programs meeting the needs of disenfranchised peoples of the North.
- The "Centre for Northern Families" is a family resource centre that provides services to women and their families who have been marginalized. The majority of families are First Nations, Inuit and Metis. It also runs Daycare services, programs for Pre and Post natal mothers, and other projects.
- The Women's Centre houses two homeless shelters for single women: the Emergency shelter that houses 23 women and the Second Stage program which has 8 private units (for longer term residents). The Centre strives to provide a broad range of programs that are delivered from a strengths-based perspective - one that recognizes the innate resiliency of women and their built-in strategies to handle the challenges of life.
Other programs offered by the Yellowknife Women's Society include:
- a drop-in medical clinic
- Housing First (focussing on getting homeless men and women housed first, and then assisting with other issues as needed)
- Street Outreach (focussing on providing safe transportation for individuals who are homeless, intoxicated, or otherwise needing assistance.)
- Common Ground (focussing on assisting individuals, often homeless and marginalized, in gaining work experience)