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

Members of the WSMNO with the President of Les Femmes Michif
Otipemisiwak at the 2016 AGA. (L-R) Suzanne Jackson, Representative;
Sharon Cadeau, Spokesperson; Melanie Omeniho, Les Femmes Michif
Otipemisiwak President; Pearl Gabona, Representative; Katelyn Lacroix,
Representative; and, Cora Bunn, Representative. Click here to view a larger

The Women’s Secretariat of the Métis Nation of 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 Cadeau - WSMNO Spokesperson

Sharon Cadeau 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, whose 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.

Pearl Gabona - Representative
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.

Suzanne Jackson - Representative
Contact e-mail:

Suzanne has served as Chair of the MNO Clear Waters Métis Council since 2013 after joining the Council in 2008. 

Eleven years ago, while working on family genealogy, she first became aware of her Métis lineage after identifying an ancestor shared with Louis Riel. Born and raised in Alberta, she was unknowingly steeped in the culture which was never identified by name.  

Her Mamère's experiences in the Duck Lake Residential school solidify a great concern that the past be remembered.

Women and children's needs have always been a primary focus in a career spent primarily as a Labour and Delivery Doula with training in healing methods such as Bowen Therapy.  She and her husband share seven children and 10 grandchildren between them.

A teacher at heart, ongoing outreach activities include school and women's groups' visits to further the knowledge of Métis history and traditions.

Immersion in the Aboriginal arts has taken her from beadwork, drum making, moose hair tufting, porcupine jewelry, etc., to where she is now learning the process of turning animal hides into useful items.  Moccasin making came first, followed by brain tanning the hide.  Next objective is a hunting licence and achieving a first animal harvest. 

Cora Bunn - Representative 

Biography to come soon.

Katelyn Lacroix - Representative

Biography to come soon.

Updated on: August 30, 2016