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  • ONWA

Indigenous Mothers Lead with Love

Thunder Bay, ON – The Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) acknowledges that it takes a community to raise a child, and honours those who embrace this important role. This Mother’s Day, we wish to celebrate all mothers and caregivers who take on teaching and leadership roles, speaking out on the issues that are changing the lives of women and girls locally, nationally, and internationally.


Indigenous culture recognizes mothers and caregivers as the heartbeat of the family, leaders in the community, and role-models toward a better future for the generations to come. Reclaiming Indigenous women’s role as matriarchs (leadership) in their families and communities is one of ONWA’s key values. When women are healthy, they raise healthy children, which builds healthy communities, and shapes healthy Nations.


ONWA knows that the wellness of Indigenous women and their families is directly linked to the wellness of the land. The traditional roles of Indigenous woman are water carriers and protectors of Mother Earth. As water carriers, they also hold water in their wombs; as mothers they protect the water, are life givers and caretakers of life.


“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


Mothers are love. Today, take time to reflect on the compassion, encouragement, and leadership you received from the mother figures in your life. Let us remember the teachings they shared with us wrapped in the warmth of our memories. Let us carry in our hearts our mother’s love, as we honour those with us and remember those who have passed on to the Spirit World.


“As an Indigenous woman and mother, I see the future in the eyes and smiles of my children. My leadership journey is grounded in the optimism of love. Each day we are teachers passing on the living wisdom of our mothers and grandmothers. Happy Mother’s Day.” – Cora McGuire-Cyrette, Chief Executive Officer, ONWA.


For more information and media inquiries, contact:

Andre Morriseau, Communications Manager

Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA)

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