Mona Stonefish has seen it all. Being taken from her family at a young age, forced into a residential school, she was forced to experience many. Horrors such as rape, sodomy, murder and many other things unimaginable to most. Yet, she still looks at Canada as one of the best countries in the world. “I look at this country as the most beautiful country in the world. And in this country, you can dream, and your dreams can come true”, she said. Stonefish also pointed to her wisdom coming from those in her aboriginal community, while she pointed to her grandmother as being her greatest female mentor.
Stonefish a long time Windsor resident and Mohawk elder sees a problem with the treatment of women in Windsor. Stonefish sees this in one of Windsor’s most prolific industries, the manufacturing sector. As she believes in this industry men control the managerial positions, thus, the have the high paying jobs. “We as women have always been put aside because it’s the old boys club that’s happening, and we’re not viewed as full human beings”, she said. Stonefish also brought up how men are making too many of the influential decisions in the city.
Stonefish does not believe the city has put enough work into changing its ways. “As long as we keep everything in the background, we are not going to be the successful city that we should be”, she said. She credited places like the University of Windsor for encouraging the growth of women, yet, she knows a lot of parts of the city still have a privileged attitude towards the growth of women. Stonefish knows there are women in this city making great changes in their life every day, but she knows nothing will happen quickly if the city stays how it is now.
Despite Stonefish’s attitude towards the job prospects and the treatment of women in the city. She still believes that there is hope for women in the rose city, and all over the world. Stonefish believes that women have to get past the stigma that they are only suitable to be employed in the service industry. Stonefish believes women are better than being just limited to service others. She believes that women are the backbone of nations all around the world. Yet, Stonefish still blames Windsor’s manufacturing basis for blinding a lot of people in this city from seeing the capabilities of women and pigeon holing them into certain roles.
Considering the obstacles Stonefish has faced people could have counted her out, she could have counted herself out. But, Stonefish doesn’t look at life this way. She acknowledges the obstacles that she faces in Windsor as an aboriginal and as a woman. However, she sees obstacles as something that can be overcome.
When asked what she would tell the upcoming generation of women in Windsor she was very strong in her message. “If you have it in you to succeed, you have it in you to dream. And I know that for sure. I know that because of my own life.”