The Yellowknife Women’s Society, which oversees the operation of the Center for Northern Families, was established as a nonprofit organization in 1990. Its mandate is to support women in empowering themselves so they can develop their goals, achieve wellness, enjoy equality and be recognized for the contribution they make to the community. The Society functions by consensus, and seeks to come to decisions in a way that respects the experiences and world view of all women. Its operating principles are based on a positive agenda that recognizes the worth and validity of divergent perspectives and serves as an umbrella for many types of activities without trying to rationalize them to reflect any single philosophy.
In January 2010 the Yellowknife Women’s Society celebrates its 20th anniversary. Over the past two decades the Society, through the Centre for Northern Families, has developed and implemented programs that support the health, social, cultural and economic autonomy of women in a way that is inclusive of their families. The Society has also formed local, territorial, national and international partnerships to highlight the particular needs of Northern women. The Centre has been acknowledged by community people from across the North, decision-makers and contributors from the private sector as an essential service, unique in its approach to supporting marginalized women and their families. That recognition culminated in the awarding of the Order of Canada to its Executive Director in 2009. As the Society moves into its third decade, it faces significant challenges that threaten its future. At the same time, it is presented with substantial opportunities for growth. A concerted effort by the Board of Directors, the staff and supporters of the Centre is focused on addressing risk factors that jeopardize the Centre and building on facets that contribute to its success as a catalyst for social development in the North. Women's empowerment, trauma recovery, Indigenous communities