Diane Redsky, O.M.
Diane Redsky is an Indigenous advocate in Winnipeg’s inner-city and has worked to provide support to the community’s families and addressing violence against Indigenous women.
Redsky is a proud mother of three children and a kookum (grandmother). She is a band member of Shoal Lake First Nation #40 and has long worked to address the myriad of issues facing Winnipeg’s Indigenous community in all areas of health, justice, education and social services. She has served in both a professional and volunteer capacity with local, national and international agencies and has become a strong advocate for Indigenous children’s and women’s issues.
Through her leadership in several Indigenous-led, community-based organizations, Redsky has helped to create numerous innovative programs that have helped build healthy communities through promoting the growth and development of the urban Indigenous community, focusing particularly on the safety, protection and well-being of women and girls.
From 2011 until 2015, Redsky was project director for the National Task Force on Human Trafficking of Women and Girls in Canada. This role led her to work with experts in Canada and abroad to address the sexual exploitation/trafficking of Canadian women and girls. This meaningful work resulted in the National Task Force Report, with 34 recommendations to end sex trafficking in Canada.
Redsky is the executive director of the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata (Ma Mawi) Centre in Winnipeg. Ma Mawi, translated from Ojibway means, ‘we all work together to help one another.’ It is a community-based, community-led, Indigenous-driven family resource centre and a leader in care for children, youth and families in Winnipeg.
In 2012, Redsky received the YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction Award and Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work on addressing violence against Indigenous women in Canada. In 2013, Redsky was inducted into the Order of Manitoba for her leadership and significant contributions to improve the lives of women, children and Winnipeg’s urban Indigenous peoples.
She was invited to speak twice on the issue of human trafficking of Canadian girls and violence against Indigenous women and girls, before the United Nations in New York City and in Geneva, Switzerland. In 2016, Redsky was awarded the Leadership Award by the Joy Smith Foundation for her work on sex trafficking of women and girls.
Redsky was awarded the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case, for her national and local work on equality for Indigenous women and girls and, in 2017, the Senate of Canada Medal, and the Innovator/Visionary Award from the Joy Smith Foundation for her work to end sex trafficking in Canada. In 2018, Redsky was awarded the Paul Harris Award from the Rotary Club of West Winnipeg for her work to promote equality, end violence against women and improving the lives of vulnerable peoples.
Diane Redsky is an exceptional women, known internationally for her tireless work and advocacy for Indigenous women. Her advocacy speaks volumes to her heart for the trailblazing work that too often goes unrecognized.