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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.



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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November 27, 2018

Indigenous Women Fight Everyday to End Violence

Indigenous women in Ontario are on the front line of a daily battle against violence in their lives that so many Canadians don’t see and don’t understand.

As the executive director of the Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) I’ve witnessed our organization grow into a force that provides a respectful safe place for Indigenous women as safety is paramount to healing and addressing violence.

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November 20, 2018

ONWA at Healing Our Spirit Worldwide Conference in Sydney, Australia

The Ontario Native Women's Association (ONWA) from Ontario, Canada will be attending the Healing Our Spirit Worldwide ( conference in Sydney, Australia November 26-29, 2018.

ONWA is a not-for-profit organization that was established in 1971 to empower and support Indigenous women and their families through cultural restoration. As an agency, ONWA supports and empowers youth to have a voice.

“The Eighth Gathering of Healing Our Spirit Worldwide will bring together Indigenous peoples from around the world to celebrate the power of Indigenous knowledge and wisdom and to share stories with pride and purpose”.

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November 13, 2018

Invitation to Poetry Night

ONWA is hosting a Poetry Night on Friday, November 23, 2018 at 380 Ray Blvd from 6:00-9:00 PM to raise awareness of Violence Against Women in support of the United Nations International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women #orangetheworld campaign.

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November 6, 2018

Building Our Bundles Art Installation Launches November 8, 3:30 - 5:30PM at Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Community Room

Thunder Bay, ON - Come see the Building Our Bundles Art Installation, A project of the Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) presenting stories of women in the Robinson Superior region in various mediums including books, painting, video, and audio. Feature artists include Candace Twance, Vanessa Willow, & Tony McGuire.

Date(s): Tuesday November 8 – Sunday December 2, 2018

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Are you interested in submitting an article for our next Minwaajimo Newsletter?

ONWA is always looking for articles to publish in our Newsletters. If you are interested in submitting an article for our next Newsletter we are excited to hear from you!

To submit an article, please complete the Minwaajimo Newsletter Submission Form (avaliable for download below) and email it and any photos/images to ONWA Communications at

Please keep articles between 100-300 words. ONWA reserves the right to edit articles for space and content. Any articles received after the submission date may be held until the next month’s publication. While we welcome all submissions, we do not guarantee that an article will appear in the Newsletter. All appropriate submissions will appear in our newsletter provided there is enough space for the article(s).


Minwaajimo Newsletter Submission Form

To submit a Newslette Article please download and complete this form. Then email it and any photos/images to ONWA Communications at

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