Thunder Bay, ON – “As stewards of their lands and waterways, Indigenous women are at the forefront of action defending their territories from irreversible harm and have long recognized the urgency to maintain healthy relationships with Mother Earth." – Cora McGuire-Cyrette, Executive Director, Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA)
April 22nd is Earth Day, a day that celebrates and promotes environmental awareness and action. This year’s Earthday.org theme “Invest in Our Planet” is focused on engaging governments, businesses, and citizens to do their part – everyone accounted for, everyone accountable.
The Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) has long been invested in the protection of Mother Earth. ONWA knows that the wellness of the land is linked to the wellness of Indigenous women and their families, now and for future generations.
“Indigenous women and girls have the responsibility to protect and support Mother Earth. We must reconcile our relations with the water, land and with each other.” – Ingrid Green, Research Director, ONWA
ONWA recognizes the traditional and inherent rights of Indigenous women as water carriers and caretakers of their traditional lands and waterways. As stewards of their lands and waterways, the voices of Indigenous women must inform and lead the conversations around climate change and environmental justice.
ONWA is committed to developing an internal and external ME (Mother Earth) Strategy that reflects Indigenous women’s responsibilities, traditional ecological knowledge, and practices with measurable impacts, acknowledging our ancestors, future generations, and all our relations. The ME Strategy recognizes if Mother Earth is doing well, so are we and vice versa. Mother Earth is a reflection of us as Indigenous women and must be treated as such. The development of our strategy aligns with our membership’s resolutions and our ongoing support of local grassroots activities. ONWA’s Water Commission Toolkit created in 2014 to support local water protectors in their advocacy is an example of this work.
Protecting Mother Earth is everyone’s responsibility. Every small action against the compounding crisis of climate change helps. How do you care for Mother Earth and what actions are you taking to protect her? Submit a photo/video/story about what steps you are taking to protect Mother Earth at https://www.onwa.ca/honouring-mother-earth for a chance to win prizes! Deadline for submission is 11:59 PM EST, Saturday April 22, 2023.
For more information and media inquiries, contact:
Andre Morriseau, Communications Manager
Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA)