Correction issued on October 28: MKO incorrectly identified Sherry Gott as the first Indigenous woman to be appointed to this role. The first Indigenous woman appointed to the role was in fact Elder Billie Schibler.
Sherry Gott is the first Cree woman to be appointed as the Advocate for Children and Youth.
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For immediate release
October 7, 2022
Treaty Five Territory, Thompson, MB – Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) is issuing this media statement to congratulate and recognize MKO staff member Sherry Gott. She is the first Cree woman to be appointed as the Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth.
“On behalf of MKO, I warmly congratulate Sherry Gott on being appointed as Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth. This is a significant achievement for an MKO citizen, and we are so very proud of Ms. Gott and her accomplishments. She serves as a role model for many people in our MKO First Nations,” stated Grand Chief Garrison Settee. “At MKO, we are inspired to see the accomplishments of our employees and our MKO citizens. It is a very proud moment for us to know that Sherry will be the first Cree woman to be appointed to this role. She is clearing a path for a new generation of leaders! On a personal note, I thank Sherry for her support and for being with me when I entered the pow wow circle as a traditional dancer for the first time in May 2022. Ekosi Sherry for your work in supporting children, youth, and families and for being part of the MKO team over the last year.”
Sherry starts her role as Advocate on October 17, 2022. Her role in Manitoba is essential for our children as she works on amplifying their voices and in advocating for all children. Ms. Gott graduated with a Master’s degree in Social Work in 2019. She thanks all the children, youth, and families who trust her to work for their best interest.
“This role allows me to develop those needed relationships with our people and communities to support the ongoing effort of keeping families together,” shared Sherry Gott. “In my career, I have seen many children removed from their families and communities, which has impacted their well-being. As for being the first Indigenous woman of Cree ancestry from Northern Manitoba taking on the role, this gives our people and Nations hope for the future. It paves the way and clears the path for the next generation to strive for roles like this one. We have a lot to offer. I am grateful if I can help to provide hope for our families.”
“It was so humbling to hear that Sherry Gott has been appointed as Manitoba’s Advocate for Children and Youth. As Chief of Sapotaweyak Cree Nation, I commend Manitoba’s choice in appointing her. They made an excellent decision,” said Chief Nelson Genaille of the Sapotaweyak Cree Nation. “Being a long-serving Chief in Manitoba, it is these type of individuals that I have faith in working alongside. I hope to be able to lobby with her in the political realm! For all children and also families, I now restore my faith in the process of truth and reconciliation in Manitoba in child welfare.”
An all-party committee recommended the appointment of Sherry Gott to her new role, which was confirmed by the legislative assembly. Ms. Gott is a member of the Sapotaweyak Cree Nation. She has been working with MKO as a central part of our Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Liaison Unit. Her last day of employment with MKO is today.
For more information:
Melanie Ferris, MKO Communications
Email: [email protected]