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Senator Elder Nora Cummings

Ms. Cummings was born January 01, 1938 in Saskatoon, where she was raised and continues to dwell.  She attended St. Joseph School, married at an early age, raised nine children and presently has 28 grandchildren and 34 great grandchildren.

In 1969, she became a founding member of the Saskatoon Métis Society Local #11.  In the same year, she became a field worker for the Métis Society Local #11 until 1971.

In 1971, she became founder of the Saskatchewan Native Women’s Association.  In 1972 she was appointed Provincial Coordinator of the Association and eventually elected Provincial President.

In 1972, Nora was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Native Women’s Association of Canada.  She sat on the Board until 1975.

In 1973, she became a member of the Board of Directors for the Saskatoon Indian and Métis Friendship Center and was later elected chairperson.  Nora was the only woman elected to the Provincial Board of Directors for the Indian and Métis Friendship Centers across the province.

In 1973, she ran as a candidate for Saskatoon City Council.  Although unsuccessful in her bid, she was the only Aboriginal person who had ever done so.

In November of 1975, she was the only Aboriginal woman among the fifty women honoured for their contribution to the community of Saskatoon, as an International Women’s Year project by the City of Saskatoon.

From 1977 to 1983, she was employed by the Native Employment Services.  The period from 1983 to 1986 found Nora working as a Family Worker for the Saskatoon Métis Society Local # 11.

In 1987, she was elected President of the Saskatoon Métis Society Local #11.

In 1992, as well as 1995, she was elected to reside on the Election Commission for the Saskatchewan Métis Society for the Provincial Métis Election.  The Committee then elected her as Chairperson. 

In December, 1993, Senator Nora Cummings took the Oath of Office, as a Senator for the Métis Nation Saskatchewan Senate, where she still remains.

 

Awards and Medals:

Guy Bouvier Lifetime Achievement Award (year?)

Was bestowed the honour of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award for her services to Canada (2002)

Saskatchewan Centennial Medal (2005)

Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal (2003)

Blue Lantern Award (Heritage/Culture) (2003) Verify


Recognitions:

Recognized by the City of Saskatoon during International Women’s Year, 1975;

Mrs. Batoche, 1992 and 2005;

Honoured by the Province of Saskatchewan at the Legislative in Regina as an outstanding woman in the province, recognizing her achievements for Celebrate Saskatchewan;

Recognized as an outstanding woman in the Diefenbaker Centre with picture and biography displayed, 1986;

Appeared as an Elder in the 2006 CBC TV Movie “The Velvet Devil”(Andrea Menard)


Nora has been written about in several books:

“Some Outstanding Women: They Made Saskatoon a Better Community” (1976) (http://www.ourroots.ca) (International Women of the Year Project)

“A Pictorial History of the Métis and Non-Status Indian in Saskatchewan” (1976)) (Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission)

“Gabriel’s Children” (1983) (http://scaa.sk.ca/ourlegacy/permalink/2696) Rita Schilling, Turner-Warick Printers Inc.)

The Saskatchewan Encyclopedia (http://esask.uregina.ca/entry/cummings_nora_1938-.html)

 

Nora has had the honour and privilege of meeting, as well as working with several politicians such as:

Mayor Bert Sears

Senator Sid Buckwold

P.M. Pierre Trudeau

P.M. John Chretien

P.N. Joe Clark

Premier Roy Romanow

Governor General Ray Hnatyshyn

Pat Atkinson

Linda Haverstock (Vice-Regal)

Kieth Goulet

John Turner

Doug Richardson

Chris Axworthy

Ralph Goodale

Brian Tobin

Rick Laliberte

Senator Thelma Chalifoux

Mayor Jim Maddin

MinsterClay Serby

Premier Lorne Calvert

David Karwacki

 

 

Committee Member (add years of activity for each behind in brackets)

Citizen’s Advisory Board to the Human Resources Development Agency

Saskatchewan Native Housing Board

Legal Aid Board

Métis Family Justice Commission under the Métis Tripartite

Aboriginal Race Relations Sub Committee (Race Relations Committee)

Chief’s Advisory Committee on First Nations and Métis (Saskatoon City Police)

Chair of Métis Elders Council of Saskatchewan

Commanding Officer’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee – RCMP (Provincial and National Committees)

Regional Psychiatric Centre – Saskatoon (1993)

Elder-Métis Urban Self Government Council of Saskatchewan Inc

Aboriginal Healing Foundation – Elder (2003)

Elder- Restorative Justice Circles

Former Chair, Election Commission for Métis Nation-Saskatchewan Provincial Elections

 

Through the Saskatoon Native Women’s Association, Nora was instrumental in establishing Women’s Referral Centers in eight locations across the province, Half Way Homes in Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert as well as child care centers.

Nora Cummings has been a mentor in assisting Aboriginal women to become aware of their rights in the areas of housing and education, as well as issues such as discrimination, alcohol abuse and the care of Aboriginal foster children.

Her current activities include being an elder for 10 group homes where she provides support for young teens and unwed teen mothers whose children have been apprehended by Social Services.  She is currently involved with the Aboriginal Kokum and Mushum group in Saskatoon as well as sits on a number of community boards in the city of Saskatoon.  As an elder, she is invited to participate in various smudging ceremonies where she conducts the opening and closing prayers, smudging and traditional circles.