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Former CWEIA President Virginia Wabano to lead Women’s Shelter Project for CBHSSJB

November 02, 2015
Virginia Wabano

The Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay is proud to announce the hiring of Virginia Wabano as a program officer in charge of implementation of the Women’s Shelter project.

Emma Virginia Wabano, known to most people as Virginia Wabano, is a beneficiary of the James Bay Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA) whose affiliation is with the Crees of Waskaganish First Nation. Virginia is a member of the Moose Cree First Nation in Moose Factory, where she was born and raised when her parents, Oliver Kapashesit and Alice Katapatuk, moved from Rupert’s House, Quebec in early 1962.

Virginia is a mother to four children and a grandmother to four.

After obtaining post-secondary diplomas in business and social work, Virginia went on to earn two degrees from Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario: a Bachelor of Education with emphasis on Special Education, and a Bachelor of Arts degree.

She returned to her grassroots of Waskaganish in 2009 and worked for the Cree School Board as a teacher, resource/remedial teacher and Special Education Department head. Virginia became actively involved in advocating for her teaching colleagues as Union Advisor and a Native Committee Member for the AENQ Teacher’s union.

Virginia was elected President of the Cree Women of Eeyou Istchee Association in September 2011 and led the organization until the fall of 2015. CWEIA is a regional organization that advocates to bettering the lives of all Cree women and strives to work towards developing programs and services for women and children. Under Virginia's leadership, CWEIA was a strong advocate for the creation of emergency Women's Shelters to serve Cree women and their children. This project is now underway and involves a partnership between the Cree Nation Government, CWEIA and the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay (CBHSSJB).

In the fall of 2015 Virginia Wabano joined the CBHSSJB as a Planning, Program and Research Officer (PPRO) in Regional Miyupimaatisiiuun (health) Services. Her mandate with the CBHSSJB is to lead the implementation of the Women's Shelter project. Two shelters are being built to meet the needs of the women of Eeyou Istchee; one in Waswanipi, and the other in Waskaganish.

She is a strong believer in advocating for Native rights for a positive social, economic, cultural, and political well being of all Aboriginal peoples.

Virginia Wabano is currently working from an office at the Waskaganish Justice Facility at 2 Kapatagan Meshanu Street.