Sustaining our Lands and Waters
As Aboriginal women we have an inherent connection to the lands and waters that have always sustained us. Just as Mother Earth sustains us, we have a responsibility to protect her in return. We inherit our roles as caretakers and protectors of the lands and waters from our grandmothers and grandfathers who, by sustaining our traditional relationships of reciprocity with our lands and waters, ensured that the environment would continue to provide for us.
With an ever changing climate and the prospect of natural resource developments occurring in traditional territories across Ontario, it is clear that Aboriginal women have a continued and pivotal role to play in sustaining our lands and waters. With traditional relationships of reciprocity between humans and the environment often overlooked, there are increasingly negative effects on our lands and waters.
In ONWA’s Department of Policy and Research we advocate for the inclusion of Aboriginal women's voices in the development and analysis of polices and legislation that affect our lands and waters, commenting on documents such as Ontario’s Great Lakes Strategy, the Ontario Trails Strategy, and the federal Species At-Risk Act.
We also carry out research to provide Aboriginal women with the necessary information to carry out our roles as the protectors of our lands and waters. By advocating for the inclusion of Aboriginal women in maintaining our lands and waters, we continue the traditional relationships to the environment that were established by our ancestors.