Cherry Smiley

Cherry Smiley
Position:
Biographical Information:Cherry Smiley is an abolitionist, artist, activist and feminist. She is a collective member of the Aboriginal Women's Action Network, an organization that is an independent voice against injustice to Aboriginal women. AWAN began in November 1995 as a result of concerns about the hierarchical and patriarchal power structures, which can serve to silence Aboriginal women. Most recently, AWAN has taken a stand against the total decriminalization or legalization of prostitution. "The Aboriginal Women's Action Network (AWAN) was formally established in 1995 in response to a pressing need for an Aboriginal women's group to provide a much needed voice for Aboriginal women's concerns regarding governance, policy making, women's rights, employment rights, violence against women, Indian Act member ship and status, and many other issues affecting Aboriginal women in contemporary society. The founding members of AWAN conceived of themselves as salmon swimming upstream with determined vision to create new life, and therefore, renewed hope and possibilities for our children. For members of AWAN the Salmon Nation's legacy of survival depends on an unwavering commitment to future generations, a commitment which serves to guide AWAN in our political involvement and quest for social justice for Aboriginal women and children."