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Phoenix Nakagawa in front of the Parliament Building during her visit to Ottawa

Daughters of the Vote brings together young women leaders

Agroecology student travels to Ottawa for political leadership program

April 2, 2019 — 

There is a special gathering happening this week in our nation’s capital.  One delegate aged 18 to 23 from every federal riding in Canada has been chosen to represent their community and vision for Canada for the “Daughters of the Vote in Ottawa” (DoV) which runs April 1-4.

The program is coordinated by Equal Voice to give 338 young women leaders, the opportunity to become familiar with Canada’s political institutions, equipping and inspiring them to participate in the formal political sphere and take action in their local communities in the years and decades to come. 

The group’s activities include sitting in the House of Commons with an opportunity for statements, attendance at Question Period, leadership and policy workshop sessions, an Indigenous and networking opportunities with elected officials of all parties.

Among the DoV Manitoba delegates is Phoenix Nakagawa, a third-year Agroecology student at the University of Manitoba, who is representing Winnipeg Centre.

She speaks fluent Japanese and is half Indigenous Amami, and can trace her ancestors to the island of Tokunoshima, Japan, where she still has family living today. Phoenix is also a trans-woman of colour who continues to outwardly speak about the systemic discrimination of institutions for disabled, queer, and people of colour communities.

“It has been an absolute honour and joy to be at Daughters of the Vote. I am very honoured to be able to talk to fellow delegates and to the Standing Committee on Woman,” said Phoenix.

According to Phoenix’s profile on the DoV website, she enjoys “looking at agricultural and food production practices of the past and how colonialism changed and impacted agriculture and environmental management for indigenous groups world-wide, including looking at the biodiversity of crops, soil health and degradation, local and regional environmental health and management, and insect pest problems and their control (especially within animal production).”

Phoenix says she is also interested in the intersection of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and social science and humanities, and in particular the effects of scientific colonialism and the lack of understanding within STEM field workers of societal and cultural traditions and values.

Another important topic for her is the representation and participation of minority groups such as disabled, people of colour, and queer groups within media and film, mostly with representations of minorities within Manga, Anime, and light novel mediums in Japan.

Phoenix is also an accomplished athlete, and competed in the Canada Games in rowing in 2017.

Equal Voice is a bilingual, member-based, multi-partisan organization that – since 2001 – has been advocating for the equal representation of women in Canada’s Parliament, in provincial and territorial legislatures, and on municipal and band councils.

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