It is with a heavy heart that the Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) shares our condolences for the loss of Knowledge Keeper and ONWA Honourary Grandmother Dorothy Wynne. Creator gifted us Dorothy’s kindness, generosity, love, and leadership. Family, friends and community will greatly mourn her loss as she travels to the Spirit World.
Born in 1934, on her father’s trapline in Hannah Bay (south of James Bay), Ontario, Dorothy proudly used her Cree language to build a bridge between her people and her life’s work helping others; she had a special place in her heart for children. Dorothy called Kapuskasing/Moosonee home, and shared her life there with her husband Ken, her seven children, and the countless foster children she embraced through her work with the local Children’s Aid Society.
Dorothy was instrumental in building the foundation that would become ONWA. Using her determination, inherent leadership and strength, Dorothy forged paths forward that changed and empowered the lives of many Indigenous women and families.
Dorothy often shared teachings with others. She gifted ONWA with a teaching her father shared with her as a little girl. Following a terrifying experience canoeing through heavy rapids, Dorothy’s father built a fire to warm and calm her. Sitting together, he showed her the palm of her hand. “There is the Creator, God, Jesus, people know him by different names. That is our Creator.” Taking a pebble from the sandy beach, he placed it in her hand and said, “This pebble is you. As long as you have that faith and you think of him all the time and thank him for your life, he’s always going to be there for you.”
Today, Dorothy joins Creator in the Spirit World, and now Creator holds Dorothy in the palm of his hand.
For more information:
Andre Morriseau, Communications Manager
Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA)