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Visit ONWA's Media Centre regularly to keep up to date with the latest news regarding Indigenous women and their families, and what ONWA has been doing.



April 3, 2019

April 3, 2019

Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) Calls to Individuals, Communities and Systems to Work in Unity Towards Change

Ottawa, ON – June 3, 2019 Today Canada received the much-anticipated National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) Final Report, Reclaiming Power and Place.

ONWA acknowledges the families that have chosen to participate in this process and those who have not. “We need to begin to look at how we work together, we need to rebuild our relationships as agencies, community members and systems. We need change now,” stated ONWA Executive Director Cora McGuire-Cyrette. ONWA has seen how effective holistic strength-based services, combined with Indigenous ways of knowing and being are in providing wrap around services to Indigenous women and families which mirrors many of the recommendations within the Inquiry Final Report.

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Read Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Read Journey to Safe SPACES: Indigenous Anti- Human Trafficking Engagement Report

May 29, 2019

Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) Releases Journey to Safe SPACES: Indigenous Anti- Human Trafficking Engagement Report

Thunder Bay, May 29, 2019 – ONWA released the survivor and community led Journey to Safe SPACES: Indigenous Anti- Human Trafficking Engagement Report at a press conference held in Thunder Bay today. The report, funded in collaboration with the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and Minister Responsible for Women's Issues, provides a pathway for new collaborative and integrated working relationships in Ontario.

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Read Report

May 23, 2019

The Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) will be holding a press conference to publically release the Journey to Safe SPACES: Indigenous Anti- Human Trafficking Engagement Report 

Date: 11:00 AM on May 29th, 2019

Location: Galileo Hall, Italian Society of Prince Arthur132 S. Algoma Street, Thunder Bay, Ontario .

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May 12, 2019

First Nation Grandmother and Daughter Activists United in Call for Gender Equality on Mother's Day

Renowned and respected First Nations activist, mother and Grandmother Jeannette Corbiere-Lavell, C.M. and her daughter Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard, Director of the First People’s House of Learning at Trent University and current President of the Board for the Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA), are a mother and daughter committed to ending all gender-based discrimination and inequities that remain within the Indian Act.

This Mother’s Day we would like all Canadians to recognize the unbelievable fact that in 2019, all mothers in Canada are not equal under the colonialist system that created the Indian Act.

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March 18-20, 2019

NationTalk Interviews from 2nd Annual She Is Wise Conference (Toronto, ON)

ONWA Day 1, She is Wise Conference - Keynote Speaker: Fay Blaney

Fay Blaney, Xwemalhkw (Homalco) Coast Salisho was raised by her great grandparents, speaking her own language until the age of 7. She and 4 generations of her family attended residential schools in BC. She is a graduate of Simon Fraser University, a founding member of the Aboriginal Women’s Action Network, and has been involved with the Women’s Memorial March in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver for over 25 years. She is a post-secondary educator in Women & Gender studies, and facilitates cross cultural sensitivity training and reconciliation dialogue circles. Currently Ms. Blaney represents the Aboriginal Women’s Action Network as an expert witness to the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. 

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ONWA Day 2, She is Wise Conference – Keynote Speaker: Kathy Abolson-King

(Minogiizhigokwe – Shining Day Woman) Anishinaabe, a member of Flying Post First Nation, is a Kokum, mother, daughter, auntie, sister. She works as an Associate Professor and Director of the Centre for Indigegogy, Faculty of Social Work, at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her academic and cultural work has been in restoring, reclaiming, re-righting Indigenous history, knowledge, cultural worldviews and making the invisible visible. She is author of “Kaandossiwin, How we come to know” (2011) and most recently has been gathering stories of resistance and resilience from her mother, a survivor of the St. John Anglican Residential School in Chapleau, ON. Kathy shares with us the resilient wisdom of her mother and how important it is to listen to the stories of the many wise women in our lives. 

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ONWA Day 3, She is Wise Conference - Keynote Speaker: Sandi Boucher

Sandi Boucher of Thunder Bay and a proud member of Seine River First Nation in Treaty 3, is a dedicated author, activist, and a strong advocate for respectful cross-cultural relationships that honour wisdom and not just education. The host of “The Learning Curve” on Shaw Community TV, Sandi is known for her passionate and empowering style that speaks “to hearts, not minds.” Sandi’s audiences include elementary, secondary, and post-secondary schools; colleges and universities; First Nation communities and agencies; mainstream municipalities and businesses. In 2016 Ms. Boucher was named both the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year and the Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund Business Woman of the Year. 

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ONWA Day 3, She is Wise Conference – Nationtalk speaks with Elder Mariea Linklater

Elder Mariea Linklater is Nehiyowskewe from Thunderchild First Nation, Saskatchewan and lives now in Saskatoon,. After 8 years in residential school, she went on to marry her husband of 59 years Walter Linklater, who passed away in 2018; in addition to raising their own 7 children, they fostered over 300 children, and 20 adopted grandchildren. Mariea received a Women of Distinction award in 2016On day 2, She is Wise Conference, Elder Mariea was our keynote speaker. We invite everyone to listen. 

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March 8, 2019

#safeSPACES a Key Strategy for Reflection on International Women’s Day

On March 8th the Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) celebrates International Women’s Day as a way to inspire and honour achievements, while encouraging greater advancements and equality.

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February 21, 2019

ONWA Supports Human Trafficking Awareness Day

The Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) fully supports Human Trafficking Awareness Day (February 22nd) as a vital tool in the effort to bring visibility to the scourge of pain and suffering taking place in the shadows of daily life across Ontario.

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December 14, 2018

MMIWG Inquiry will fail women and families if it does not address Human Trafficking

Thunder Bay, Dec-14-18 – The MMIWG Inquiry is hearing closing submissions in Ottawa today before moving on to drafting the Inquiry’s final recommendations. The Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) is voicing deep concern that you can’t talk about MMIWG without addressing the crisis of Human Trafficking.

We know that Indigenous women and girls are over-represented in Human Trafficking and they continue to be societies most vulnerable and targeted group due to systemic racism and gender discrimination.

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December 13,2018

ONWA Compels MMIWG NI Commissioners to be brave

OTTAWA, Dec-13-2018 - Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) Executive Director, Cora Lee McGuire-Cyrette inspired the heart and honoured the families of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls National Inquiry (MMIWG-NI) in Ottawa today.

ONWA does not speak on behalf of Indigenous women, we speak to Indigenous women’s issues. The organization has always spoken from the perspective of what can we do to help in the daily lives of Indigenous women; “We talk with Indigenous women. We listen to them. And then we take action.”

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December 12, 2018

ONWA views OIPRD Review of TBPS as an opportunity to build trust

The Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) is committed to working with Thunder Bay Police Service (TBPS) to ensure the recommendations of the Broken Trust report, released today, are fully implemented. The report acknowledges something we already know - Indigenous women and girls confront racism every day and that racism ends in violence and injustice.

The independent review examined 37 sudden death investigations conducted by the Thunder Bay Police Service (TBPS).  Gerry McNeilly, Independent Review Director, recommends that nine of those cases be re-investigated.  Four of the nine cases put forward to be re-opened, involve the deaths of Indigenous women.

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December 6, 2018

All Women are Sacred

Today, December 6th known as White Ribbon Day, we remember the women who have lost their lives to violence and we pay tribute to those women. Twenty nine years after the 1989 Polytechnique massacre in Montreal we continue to live in fear of violence every day. This is our reality. But it does not define who we are. We are strong, we are sacred, we are medicine.

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