The Victoria Forum 2024
The Victoria Forum 2024 - Building Trust for a Shared Future

Diane is a proud mother of three children and a Kookum (grandmother).  She is a First Nation member of Shoal Lake First Nation #40 in Treaty #3 territory with German ancestry and has long worked to address the myriad of issues facing Winnipeg’s urban Indigenous community in all areas all areas of health, justice, education and social services. She has served in both a professional and volunteer capacity with local, national and international agencies and has become a strong advocate for urban Indigenous children’s and women’s issues.  Through her leadership in several Indigenous led community-based organizations, she has helped to create numerous grassroots innovative programs rooted in Indigenous values that have helped build healthy communities through promoting the growth and development of the urban Indigenous community particularly the safety, protection and well-being of women and girls.

She spent most of her career leading the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre – the largest non-mandated, non-profit, urban Indigenous-led organization in Manitoba and is a community-based, community-led, Indigenous-driven family resource centre that is a leader in community-based care for Indigenous children, youth and families in Winnipeg. She was instrumental in increasing investments from 1997: $1.8-million and 1-location to 2022: $22-million and 18-locations and rooting these services through honouring Indigenous knowledge and values. Diane answered the call to come home following the completion of Freedom Road which connects Shoal Lake 40 First Nation to Highway #1 and is the CEO of Kekekoziibii Development Corporation which is the economic arm of the Shoal Lake 40.

2011-2015, Diane was Project Director for the National Task Force on Human Trafficking of Women and Girls in Canada.  This role led her to work with experts in Canada and abroad to address the sexual exploitation/trafficking of Canadian women and girls.  Together, we can give a voice to survivors, end this extreme form of violence against women and girls and stop this violation of human rights.  This meaningful work resulted in National Task Force Report with 34 recommendations to end sex trafficking in Canada.

In 2018, Diane testified at the MMIWG2S+ National Inquiry on the epidemic of sexual exploitation and sex trafficking in Canada and brought with her Winnipeg Police Chief to present on promising practices when police and community work in partnership to protect vulnerable women and girls.  Currently she is Chairperson of the MMIWG2S+ Urban Working Group that launched their National Action Plan entitled: Urban Path to Reclaiming Power and Place, Regardless of Residency on June 3, 2021 and is currently working on an implementation plan.  Dr. Diane Redsky is also part of the Manitoba MMIWG2S+ Coalition made up of MMIWG2S+ family members, survivors and various community-based organizations throughout Manitoba and is the Chair of the Indigenous Women’s Circle that gives advice and direction to WAGE-Women and Gender Equality Department of the Government of Canada.

Dr. Diane Redsky has been acknowledged: Honourary Doctorate Degree in Law from the University of Winnipeg, Order of Manitoba, Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal, Leadership and Innovator/Visionary Award by Joy Smith Foundation, Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case, Senate of Canada Medal, YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction Award, Rotary Paul Harris Award and 150 Manitoba Trailblazer Award from the Nellie McClung Foundation.

Diane’s belief in the inherent strength of the community continues to guide her along her life’s journey.

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