The Women's Secretariat of the Métis Nation of Ontario (WSMNO)

WSMNO 2014
WSMNO at the 2014 MNO AGA. (Left to right) Back row:
the late Barbaranne Wright, Pearl Gabona
(Regions 5 and 8), and Shirley Lynn Pantuso (Regions 1 and 7).
Front row: Roz Calder (Regions 2 and 6) and Sharon McBride
(WSMNO Spokesperson).

The Women’s Secretariat of the Métis Nation in Ontario (WSMNO) is comprised of  Métis women from Ontario who are committed to promoting women’s issues and  advocating on their behalf within the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) community. The WSMNO also advises the PCMNO on matters pertaining to women and works with community councils, Aboriginal boards, government bodies and women’s groups to assist Métis people with issues of concern specific to women. This work includes policy development and review, coordination, consultation and education. The main goal of the WSMNO is to encourage the full participation of all women within the MNO in helping to build a strong and healthy nation.

The Women's Secretariat of the MNO works with the Women of the Métis Nation.

Click here to view the WSMNO Terms of Reference.

Sharon McBride - WSMNO Spokesperson

Sharon McBride has served as PCMNO Vice-Chair and spokesperson for the Métis Nation of Ontario Women’s Secretariat (WSMNO) since 2008. She became actively involved in Métis politics in 1999 when she first learned of her Métis ancestry. She was Founding President of the Credit River Métis Council based in Brampton and has served as Regional Councillor for Region Eight. Her work on behalf of the WSMNO is focused on securing the funding required to carry out the important advocacy and public awareness role of the Women’s Secretariat.

Sharon, who’s Métis roots have been traced to Penetanguishene, was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and has lived in Germany, Nova Scotia and Ontario. Her contributions to the Métis community include work on several different boards and committees and she is committed to ensuring the voice of the Métis Nation is heard throughout the province. Sharon received the Ontario Heritage Trust Award in recognition of her work with Mississauga Heritage and the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. She has also earned one of the highest honours that her community can bestow; two eagle feathers.

VACANT - Representative (responsible for regions 3, 4 and 9)

Pearl Gabona - Reprensentative (responsible for regions 5 and 8)

Contact e-mail:

Pearl is a retired Police Detective who only discovered her Métis ancestry in the past decade. Since then she has embraced her Métis culture and discovered many new family members.

Pearl and her husband of 39 years live in Bowmanville, Ontario. She was born in Peterborough and raised in Scarborough. Pearl worked as an elementary school teacher before turning to police work. As a detective she spent several years investigating physical and sexual assaults against women and children.

An avid reader and scrap booker Pearl and her husband winter in their RV in Florida.

Shirley Lynn PantusoReprensentative (responsible for regions 1 and 7)

Contact e-mail:

Shirley Lynn is a proud Métis woman, mother, daughter and sister who hopes one day to add Grandmother to the list. She has been the women’s representative on the Ottawa Métis Council for the last six years and is pleased to be able to work on behalf of other women.

An active participant in the Métis community since becoming a citizen, Shirley believes  elders are our teachers and aspires to follow in the footsteps of family members Senators Lois McCallum and Reta Gordon.

A single parent with three children, Shirley has overcome many challenges, often working two jobs just to make ends meet.  More than full time work did not keep her from volunteering with Brownies, Girl Guides and Beavers, coaching baseball and cheerleading and helping to raise money for football and hockey teams and other school activities.

Even the stroke Shirley suffered in 2006 could not keep her down for long. Instead she used her recovery as a time to explore her culture by incorporating  Métis beading into her therapy. It is a skill she has since passed along to other Métis citizens.

Rosalyn Adele Calder - Representative (responsible for regions 2 and 6)

Contact email:

Rosalyn Adele Calder is an active volunteer in her Métis community in Fort Frances. She has been a member of the MNO Sunset Country Métis Council since 1997 and has been active on its Board of Directors since 2005. Calder is also a volunteer with MNO Victim Services in Fort Frances. Additionally, Calder is very committed to the Special Olympics and has been volunteering with the organization for many years.

Calder is very proud of her family. She is a mother of three and grandmother of six. She enjoys spending time with her grandkids, kids, family and friends. Calder is the daughter of Gordon Calder who was the recipient of the MNO Suzanne Rochon-Burnett Volunteer of the Year Award in 2012.

Results of WSMNO Representatives Election

WSMNO Vacancy Results (2014)