Kokums to the Iskwêsisisak

COVID-19 and Urban Métis Girls and Young Women

in Girlhood Studies
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  • 1 School of Social Work, University of Victoria, Canada carlyrjones@uvic.ca
  • 2 School of Public Health and Social Policy, University of Victoria, Canada rmonchalin@uvic.ca
  • 3 Seventh Generation Midwives Toronto and Midwifery Education Program, Ryerson University, Canada cbourgeois@sgmt.ca
  • 4 Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, and Well Living House, Canada janet.smylie@utoronto.ca
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Abstract

The national COVID-19 pandemic response presents a sharp contrast to the matrilineal social kinship and knowledge exchange systems that Métis women and girls rely on for safety, security, and wellbeing. In this article, we demonstrate that while Métis women and girls have been left out of the national pandemic response, they continue to carry intergenerational healing knowledges that have been passed down from the kokums (grandmas) to the iskwêsisisak (girls). We show how urban Métis girls and women are both managing and tackling COVID-19 through innovative and community-based initiatives like Well Living House and the Call Auntie Hotline.

Contributor Notes

Carly Jones (ORCID: 0000-0001-8445-7494) is Métis and Ukranian. She is a master's candidate in the School of Social of Work at the University of Victoria. Email: carlyrjones@uvic.ca

Renée Monchalin (ORCID: 0000-0002-3676-1405) is Scottish, Anishnaabe, Métis, and French. She is an Assistant Professor at the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria. Email: rmonchalin@uvic.ca

Cheryllee Bourgeois is Cree and Métis. She is a midwife and co-founder of Seventh Generation Midwives Toronto and a Faculty Member in the Midwifery Education Program at Ryerson University. Email: cbourgeois@sgmt.ca

Janet Smylie is Cree and Métis. She is a Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at University of Toronto and the Director of the Well Living House. Email: janet.smylie@utoronto.ca

Girlhood Studies

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