The Gwen Cook Memorial Award was created to honour the memory of Gwen Cook – Bimosekwe – who was one of the founding Grandmothers of the Manitoba Moon Voices Grandmother Advisory Circle.
Gwen was a proud Mashkego Anishinaabe ikwe who was born in The Pas, Manitoba and grew up in Flin Flon and Cranberry Portage. She was a loving mother, sister, grandmother, and friend who had a strong and gentle spirit. Education was always important to Gwen as she pursued and attained her Bachelor of Social Work degree, Masters of Social Work, and was pursuing a Doctoral degree. Gwen worked in Winnipeg for forty years at various organization where she loved her work with people, facilitating, counselling, and teaching. Gwen contributed to the community by volunteering with various boards including Ka Ni Kanichihk and Grandmothers Working for Good Life council where she provided expertise in the area of social services and shared her traditional knowledge. Gwen was also a committee member with the Masters of Social Work Indigenous Knowledge Program. Gwen was also an active member of the Three Fires Midewin Lodge for well over twenty years and was a fourth degree Midewin woman. Reclamation of our Anishinaabe traditional way of life was essential to her life and she encouraged others to work at that in their own healing. Gwen was a leader in the community who adhered to traditional practice, values, and leadership.
The Gwen Cook Memorial Award will be awarded to an Indigenous woman who is enrolled in post-secondary studies in Manitoba who is a member of Manitoba Moon Voices and exemplifies these qualities. The award will recognize a deserving woman who is making a difference in promoting traditional and cultural values as these were all important aspects in Gwen’s life. The award is intended for a woman who is enrolled in post-secondary studies with a minimum 60% cou