Indian Time - A Voice from the Eastern Door

Diva Dinner hosted by CCE

Akwesasne young women invited to attend


The Coalition for Community Empowerment hosted their second ‘Diva Dinner’ last night at the Hogansburg-Akwesasne Volunteer Fire Department Station #1. The purpose of this dinner is to provide young women between the ages of 13-22 an opportunity to learn about dating violence prevention in a relaxed and informal setting. On the agenda this time was Nurse Practitioner Beverly Cook and Sexual Assault Advocate Amie Barnes.

This event was coordinated through the efforts of the CCE who are a volunteer group made up primary of front line social services workers. Between available resources within their respective programs and personal contributions the CCE pulls off amazing projects throughout the year.

“One worker had helped a young girl get through problems with her abusive boyfriend,” said CCE member Mel Back. “She wrote a letter to us saying that she thought it would be great to have a sit down dinner and to bring in speakers to talk to young girls about these problems and maybe have some share their own stories.”

The first Diva Dinner had an excellent turnout and there were many requests to host another one. Specialized invitations were given out to young women within the targeted age range by CCE members and information also traveled by word of mouth. An open invitation had also been aired on 97.3 CKON and in the Indian Time Newspaper to let the community know about this upcoming event.

Once Cook and Barnes had finished with their presentations a fashion show was organized as a way to make the event fun and memorable. Models for the event included Teiosontathe Herne, Frankie Davis, Brooklyn Johnson and Crystal Loran. Bags were given to each of the attendees that contained gifts for the young women along with informational brochures of services that they can access for more information.

“We ask that it just be the young women who attend without their mothers,” said Back. “We want to make sure that all of the young women present feel comfortable to ask questions in this safe setting.”

The CCE will also be having a Cookies & Crafts event at the St. Regis Mohawk School in the coming month. They are an open group that always accepts volunteers to their different events. They have a planning meeting the first Wednesday of every month at the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Alcohol and Chemical Dependency Program office beginning at 9:00pm.


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