The Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic announced Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard as the 2018 Spirit of Barbra Schlifer Award recipient. The award, sponsored by Torys LLP, is given annually to a woman whose work is dedicated to improving the lives of women experiencing violence.
“This award is truly an honour, not for me personally but for all my Indigenous sisters at the grassroots who have been working tirelessly to end the violence,” said Dr. Lavell-Harvard, director of the First Peoples House of Learning at Trent. “This award is proof that we are making a difference - that people are starting to listen - and our efforts have not been in vain. There is still so much work to be done but moments like this give me the strength to continue in the struggle.”
Before joining the Trent community in her current role, Ms. Lavell-Harvard was the president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), where she played an instrumental role in the appointment of an independent commission to investigate the disproportionate rate of violence against Indigenous women. Along with her colleagues, she led a campaign to raise national attention and pressure on the federal government to recognize and act on the disparate number of indigenous women who had either gone missing or had been murdered. Her persistence, while presiding at NWAC, culminated in the launch of a national inquiry into Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women.
Dr. Lavell-Harvard will receive the award June 7, at the annual tribute, the largest fundraising event for the Barbra Schlifer Clinic.