Women’s Week: Cynthia McCutcheon, a long line of Strong Kwe

Cynthia McCutcheon joins SaultOnline for a second time!

Cynthia McCutcheon is the health educator and promoter for the Maamwesying North Shore Community Health Services.  She leads healthy eating, active living, diabetes education and prevention, smoking education and prevention and cessation, youth leadership and she is a certified yoga instructor. She is a jack of all trades; a regular superwoman if you will!

I wanted to have Cynthia back during our Women’s Week to discuss Matriarch in Indigenous communities to get her perspective on what that looks like.

Cynthia is from Red Rock Indian Band, but she has been living in the Sault for over 10 years.

Cynthia comes from a long line of strong kwe (women). Her great-Granny Marie Wawia had 16 children and was recognized as the first female Chief of Canada by INAC.  She served for 3 terms as chief, and another 14 years as band manager.  The township was named in her honour, Wawia Township.

Cynthia’s Granny Dolores Morriseau, went back to school for Police Foundations in her 50’s.  Cynthia shares that her Granny was “tough-as-nails”, and able to physically outperform many of her younger counterparts in the program.

Althea Morriseau, Cynthia’s mother is a cancer survivor with numerous chronic health conditions.  She has also been hit by a car and yet, Cynthia shares “ she’s the hardest worker and the most giving woman that I know.”

Cynthia shares that when asked for this interview, “I thought to myself, who am I? What do I know?” The Matriarch’s that came before her are key in situating herself within the line of strong kwe.

All women should be celebrated this International Women’s week, and everyday for that matter, as we reflect upon the Matriarch’s that came before us.  These women are inspiring through their strength and resilience. They are life givers, caregiver’s, and as Cynthia states, “our strength amazes me.”