At ONWA we will support women to take up their leadership roles in the family and in the community.
ONWA will support women’s leadership. To do that we have to ensure that our voices are heard. And we have to start by listening to each other first.
- To reclaim our voices we must have knowledge. Much of the knowledge we need to be strong leaders is rooted in the cultural teachings.
- To hear our own voices we must silence our pain and trauma and find a place for it in our lives that does not hurt us.
- Our self-esteem needs to be reclaimed.
So when we speak we will have a grounded, balanced, strong, kind voice.
To achieve our leadership roles we have to break the cycle of abuse that is part of our families and communities. To do that we will, through all of our actions and words, not carry forward the abuse.
We will speak the truth because we will know what the truth is. We will be forgiving and move forward after our truth has been shared. We will not use the colonization behaviours we have learned to hurt others. We will believe in our truth and respect it.
We will expect board members and our Executive Director to reflect this vision of behaviour. When they do not behave in this way we will gently ask them to realign their behaviour.
We will be focused in our work and not exhaust the staff or board. We recognize that any issue we chose to work on, with focused resolve, will support women to move forward in all issues, because all issues are interconnected.
In being leaders in our families our focus must be on the children:
- We take up our role for the children and address the child welfare system. We will build a child welfare system that is transformed and recognizes that the shattered, hurt parent needs love, care and attention, just as her children do. We will create new ways of healing families that are based on the cultural teachings. We help each woman change her life for the better.
- We take up our role for the youth and deal with the youth suicide. We will be good teachers and guides for our youth and make space for them in our work.
We will trust in ourselves and in each other that we can realize this vision. We will love and care for each other.
The Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) is a not for profit organization that empowers and supports Aboriginal women and their families in the province of Ontario.
Affiliated with the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), ONWA encourages the participation of Aboriginal women in the development of Federal, Provincial, Municipal/Local government policies that impact their lives and ensure issues affecting Aboriginal women and their families are heard at key government tables.
ONWA is committed to providing services that strengthen communities and guarantees the preservation of Aboriginal culture, identity, art, language and heritage. Ending violence against Aboriginal women and their families and ensuring equal access to justice, education, health, environmental stewardship and economic development, sits at the cornerstone of the organization. ONWA insists on social and cultural well – being for all Aboriginal women and their families, so that all women, regardless of tribal heritage may live their best lives.
Our Guiding Principle
ONWA’s guiding principle is that all Indigenous ancestry will be treated with dignity, respect and equality; benefits and services will be extended to all, no matter where one lives and regardless of Tribal heritage.
ONWA’s VISION is to be a unified voice for equity, equality and justice for Indigenous women through cultural restoration within and across Nations.
Our Aims and Objectives
- To build relationships with all levels of government and other organizations to collaborate on all socio-economic issues affecting the well-being of all Aboriginal women and their families. (physical)
- To increase Aboriginal women’s skills and capacity in planning, developing and managing an array of programs and services that directly impacts their lives and those of their families. (mental)
- To continue to work towards unity amongst Aboriginal women and their families to affect positive change in society in recognizing the importance of diversity and inclusion for all people.
- Through a communication strategy with our membership we will encourage a unified voice to fully participate politically to ensure Aboriginal women and their families are appropriately represented
- To promote and advance equality and social justice issues as they affect the realities of Aboriginal women’s lives. (emotional)
- Designing of resource materials and capacity development opportunities
- To preserve and promote the sacred roles of Aboriginal women and their families as valued and respected members in the community. (spiritual)
- Services are provided in a culturally respectful manner
- Provide opportunities for Aboriginal women to learn and teach traditional ways to future generations that are unique to Aboriginal culture.