Cecily Heslett, Chair, LLLC Board of Directors
La Leche League Canada (LLLC), the English-speaking Canadian LLL
Canada is a land that stretches from “sea to sea to sea”. Our most westerly La Leche League (LLL) Group is in Haida Gwaii, a collection of islands in the Pacific Ocean. Our easternmost LLL Group is in St. John’s, Newfoundland, next to the Atlantic Ocean. Our northernmost group is located in Iqaluit, on Baffin Island, in the territory of Nunavut. This island stretches high into the Arctic Ocean. And our most southerly LLL Group is found in Windsor, Ontario, next to a large river that connects our Great Lakes. There are 38 million people in Canada and we currently have 340 LLL Leaders. That is one Leader for every 110,000 people. There are LLL Leaders in Canada’s biggest cities and in smaller cities and towns across our nation.
La Leche League Canada (LLLC) held its first LLL meetings in 1961 and we celebrated our 60th anniversary last year. By 1964, there were several LLLC groups across the country. And by 1970, with 20 groups and 50 Leaders, LLLC had its own coordinator, Margaret Bennet-Alder. 52 years later, Margaret is still a strong supporter of LLLC today. In 1987, LLLC became an affiliate of La Leche League International, when it signed its first agreement with LLLI.
“An important milestone”
In January 2022, La Leche League Canada reached an important milestone. We signed our second agreement with LLLI! The LLLC Board of Directors is feeling hopeful and proud about our work to finish and update our ‘Direct Connect Entity (DCE) Connection Agreement’. We know how important it is to protect the LLL brand and logo and the Board is updating the branding for all of the LLLC resources that we offer families. These include our courses, information sheets and social media posts. We also have a user-friendly website, which was completely redesigned last summer.
In May 2022, LLLC Leaders were allowed to host in-person meetings again. We have learned a lot since 2020, in particular how well online gatherings and conferences work for a country as large as Canada. We have LLL groups that will continue to offer virtual meetings. We will probably continue to offer our annual conferences for parents and health professionals online. Online LLL events, including our Prenatal Breastfeeding course, offer greater accessibility and convenience for mothers and families. We also provide Communications Skills Development courses online for LLL Leaders and healthcare professionals. We have all learned learned how to come together online, but everyone in LLL Canada is excited to gather again in homes, parks, libraries, and community centres (that’s the Canadian spelling!).
So as we enter our summer months in Canada, you can picture us outside in parks and backyards on blankets and lawn chairs. We will be surrounded by moms and babies and parents, enjoying our hot sunny days. Here in Canada, our winters are long and snowy – yes. But our summers are warm and our LLL Leaders and families make the most of them!
Find LLL support in Canada, and over 80 other countries here.