Thunder Bay, ON – Today, on the United Nations International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) acknowledges the voices of Indigenous woman and girls. To eliminate violence against Indigenous women and girls, we must begin by restoring their voices and inherent leadership roles. To eliminate violence against Indigenous women and girls, we must recognize Indigenous women as experts in their lives.
“Woman is the centre of the wheel of life. She is the heartbeat of the people. She is not just in the home, but she is the community, she is the Nation, one of our Grandmothers. The woman is the foundation on which Nations are built. She is the heart of her Nation. If that heart is weak the people are weak. If her heart is strong and her mind is clear then the Nation is strong and knows its purpose. The woman is the centre of everything.” (The Woman’s Part, Art Solomon, Ojibwa Elder)
As part of our work to address violence against Indigenous women and girls, ONWA recently released the Reconciliation with Indigenous Women, Changing the Story of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (2020) report. This report is a summary of over 5,700 women over 50 years who spoke specifically with ONWA on the issue of violence against Indigenous women. As a Nation we need to say yes to meaningful, relevant solutions that end violence against Indigenous women and girls and stop them from being missing and murdered.
Tonight, ONWA and community are gathering virtually to raise our voices and raise awareness of violence against women at ONWA’s 5th Annual Strong Hands Stop Violence Poetry Night. Thank you to everyone bravely using their voice to eliminate violence against Indigenous women and girls. Today we honour you.
For more information:
Andre Morriseau, Communications Manager
Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA)