The 2018 recipient of the Spirit of Barbra Schlifer Award was Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard.

Dawn is the Director of the First People’s HouseDr Dawn Lavell-Harvard of Learning at Trent University. Previously, she was the President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), where she played an instrumental role in the appointment of an independent commission to investigate the disproportionate rate of violence against Indigenous women.  Along with her colleagues, she led a tireless campaign to raise national attention and pressure on the federal government to recognize and act on the disparate number of indigenous women who had either gone missing or had been murdered. Her persistence, while presiding at NWAC, culminated in the launch of a national inquiry into Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women.

“We couldn’t conceive of a more deserving candidate to receive the Award this year,” says Amanda Dale, the Clinic’s Executive Director. “Dawn has dedicated not only her work but her life to improving the conditions experienced by Indigenous women drawing critical attention to their heightened risk for violence. Her formal advocacy began in 1994 as a youth director on the board of the Ontario Native Women’s Association, and she has not looked back since.”

Read more about Dawn!

 About the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic

The Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic is a specialized clinic for women experiencing violence, established in the memory of Barbra Schlifer – an idealistic young lawyer whose life was cut short by violence on the night of her call to the bar of Ontario on April 11, 1980. In her memory, the Clinic is a multi-disciplinary, front-line service provider that assists more than 7,000 women a year to build lives free from violence through counselling, legal representation, and language interpretation. Since it was founded in 1985, the Clinic has assisted more than 67,000 women.

Previous Award Recipients

Deepa Mattoo from Schlifer Clinic
Fay Faraday
Loly Rico, 2017 Award Recipient
Dr Dawn Lavell-Harvard

Spirit of Barbra Schlifer Award Recipients, left to right: Leilani Farha 2013; Geri Sanson 2014, Deepa Mattoo 2015, Fay Faraday 2016, Loly Rico 2017, Dawn Lavell-Harvard 2018