Trudy L. Lavallee
Trudy is the Executive Director of Ikwe Widdjiitiwin, predominantly an Aboriginal women and children’s domestic and family violence crisis shelter in Winnipeg. Ikwe provides crisis residential services, transitional interim housing and follow-up support services to women (their children) who escape violence in their lives, seek safety and endeavour to seek positive changes within their lives. This is Trudy’s second year participating in the CEO Sleep Out! Trudy has also worked in the field of First Nation Child and Family Services at both the First Nation and Federal political levels and CFS front line for over 25 years. Ms. Lavallee originates from Northern Ontario and is a Treaty member of the Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabe First Nation, (formerly Gull Bay), Robinson Superior Treaty. She has resided in Winnipeg since 1987. She spent 9 years as the Senior Policy Analyst/Negotiator and Advisor on First Nation children’s policies and programs with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs working closely with the Manitoba Chiefs and the Grand Chiefs. During this time she was the First Nation representative and member on the Children's Inquest Review Committee. Prior, she spent 12 years with the federal Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (now AANDC) in similar policy/negotiation type of work for on reserve social services. Ms. Lavallee is a graduate of Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario and was in the Naval Reserves, Canadian Armed Forces as a Medical Assistant for 9 years. Trudy has been involved in numerous national and regional initiatives that have resulted in major government policy and funding changes which address the well-being of First Nation children, women and families. The major highlight being “Jordan’s Principle”. Trudy published an article in the Paediatrics & Child Health – The Journal of the Canadian Paediatric Society “Honouring Jordan: Putting First Nations children first and funding sights second”; November 2005, Volume 10 Number 9. “Jordan’s Principle” has recently been the impetus used in a successful federal court case ruling that says the federal government is obliged to uphold Jordan’s Principle – an agreement that First Nations children should get the public help they need, regardless of jurisdictional disputes between governments about who should pay. Recently, Ms. Lavallee has been identified as one of 50 stakeholders and experts across Canada, who works with families who face homelessness. Trudy will contribute to this upcoming National Child and Family Homelessness Stakeholder Summit (Raising the Roof) in September 2015 in Toronto. Ms. Lavallee endeavours to continue to advocate on behalf of and promote the needs of Aboriginal women and children to ensure parity of access to services that promote and protect health and well-being by instilling hope, faith and pride. Most of all Trudy is a proud single mother of 2 exceptional daughters.