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ONWA at UNPFII23

Updated: Apr 29

The Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) is attending the 23rd session of the United Nations (UN) Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII23).


Highlights

Here are some highlights from our time there (click to jump to section):


 

ONWA Events


You are invited to attend ONWA's Side Event at UNPFII23

Unbraiding Colonization through the Restoration of Indigenous Women’s Leadership


15:00 - 16:15 (3:00pm - 4:15pm EST)

Monday, April 15, 2024

In-person: UNHQ Conference Room F


Left to right: Cora McGuire-Cyrette, Chief Executive Officer, ONWA; Ingrid Green, Director of Research & Evaluation, ONWA; Joan Riggs, Partner, Catalyst Research and Communications

Indigenous women and the organizations we choose to represent us have the right to be at all levels of decision making on issues that impact our lives.


Yet, globally, Indigenous women have to fight for our voices, experiences and solutions to be heard. In many cases, current government systems and policies exclude Indigenous women and our organizations from engagement processes, policy development, program design, and funding models.


This is in direct contradiction to UNDRIP and propagates paternalistic, racist, and sexist tactics that have long contributed to silencing Indigenous women and marginalizing our leadership. Significant systems change is long overdue.


We invite Indigenous women and their organizations to join us in conversation on how we collectively restore Indigenous women’s leadership.


4.A. ONWA Side Event_Unbraiding Colonization___V2
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Download PPTX • 76.39MB


 

You are invited to attend ONWA's Side Event at UNPFII23

Collective Solidarity with Indigenous Women and Youth


13:15 - 14:30 (1:15pm - 2:30pm EST)

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

In-person: UNHQ Conference Room F


Left to right: Cora McGuire-Cyrette, Chief Executive Officer, ONWA; Ingrid Green, Director of Research & Evaluation, ONWA

The Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) recognizes that Indigenous women and youth worldwide are connected through shared experiences of systemic discrimination, violence, and the impacts of colonization. We know that Indigenous women and youth hold the solutions to the issues that impact their lives.


Indigenous women hold the responsibility to mentor and support our next generation of leaders. Through collective advocacy, we amplify Indigenous knowledge and expertise, strengthen Indigenous women-led institutions, and work in solidarity.


We invite Indigenous women and youth from across the globe to join us in this workshop as we propose solutions and co-develop advocacy positions to collectively amplify Indigenous women and youth’s voices and influence change.


4.B. ONWA Side Event_Collective Solidarity-V2
.pptx
Download PPTX • 28.58MB




 

Press Release


Amplifying the voices of Indigenous youth at the United Nations




The Ontario Native Women’s Organization (ONWA) is proud to join thousands of Indigenous Peoples at the 23rd session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII23). The session is taking place April 15-26, at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.



 

In the News


Coming soon!


 

Why We Are Attending the Conference



Inspiring Change

ONWA's Impact at UNPFII23 In our ongoing commitment to empower Indigenous women and their families, ONWA is participating in the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (#UNPFII23). This event provides a platform to amplify Indigenous voices and advocate for change. Stay updated as we share insights from our parallel events and interventions. We're also excited to announce that one of our Youth Council members will be attending, representing the future of Indigenous leadership. Together, we can inspire change and empower Indigenous communities worldwide.


 


Supporting UNPFII23

Amplifying Indigenous Voices Join us in supporting the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (#UNPFII23) through the development of communications and daily marketing activities/initiatives. Together, we can amplify Indigenous voices and advocate for change. Stay tuned for updates on our efforts to support this important event.


 


Sharing Insights

UNPFII23 and ONWA's Mission At ONWA, we're dedicated to sharing key insights from the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (#UNPFII23) through onwa.ca/unpfii23, social media, and international media outlets. Join us as we connect these insights to ONWA's activities, position, and initiatives, aiming to educate and empower our communities. Stay tuned for more updates!


 


 

At the Conference - Day 1

Monday, April 15, 2024



Leadership Delegation

Meet our incredible leadership delegation at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (Left to Right): Joan Riggs, Catalyst Research and Communications; Cora McGuire-Cyrette, CEO, ONWA; Ingrid Green, Director of Research, ONWA; and Debra Vermette, President, ONWA. They are committed to using a human rights framework, with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as their foundation. Join us in supporting their work to amplify Indigenous voices and advocate for change.


 


UNPFII23 Theme

This year's theme at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (#UNPFII23) is "Enhancing Indigenous Peoples' Right to Self-determination in the Context of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Emphasizing the Voices of Indigenous Youth." At ONWA, we are committed to empowering Indigenous youth and ensuring their voices are heard. Follow our journey at UNPFII23 as we work towards a more equitable and just future for Indigenous youth worldwide.


 


Spotlight on ONWA Youth Leaders

Join us in celebrating our ONWA Youth Leadership team at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (#UNPFII23): Shanayah Echum, Hunter Corbiere, and Alana Robert. They are representing ONWA and advocating for Indigenous youth voices to be heard on the global stage.


 


"Now as one, we will walk in a good way on this earth, the right way."


Chi miigwetch to Tadodaho Sid Hill, Chief of the Onondaga Nation for opening the UNPFII in a good way with his ceremonial welcome.


 


"We are here to ensure this forum contributes to the rights of Indigenous people all over the world and we must show up for the youngest generations. Youth are urging us to build a world of peace and youth will be at the heart of this Permanent Forum" Ms. Hindou Oumorou Ibrahim, nominated by Indigenous Peoples' Organizations.


ONWA believes that Indigenous women and girls hold inherent individual and collective rights to safety, equality, and dignity; and have the right to reclaim our leadership roles in our families, communities, and nations.


 


"Living in a world separate from Mother Earth is not living well... let the earth show us the path under our feet." Vice President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, H.E. David Choquehaunca.


 


Ms. Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, chair of the 23rd Session, called on Indigenous women to join her for a group photo opportunity, highlighting how acts of inclusion lead to group solidarity.


At ONWA, we believe in the power of youth leadership and inclusion. As we participate in the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (#UNPFII23), we are proud to support our youth leaders Our youth leaders like Shanayah Echum and Hunter Corbiere who were honoured to be a part of this photo opportunity. It is important to ensure their voices are heard. Together, we can create a more inclusive and equitable future for all.


 

At the Conference - Day 2

Tuesday, April 16, 2024



Acknowledging Our Speakers

We want to express our gratitude to our speakers, Cora McGuire-Cyrette, Chief Executive Officer of ONWA; Ingrid Green, Director of Research & Evaluation at ONWA; and Joan Riggs, Partner at Catalyst Research and Communications, for their insightful contributions to "Unbraiding Colonization through the Restoration of Indigenous Women’s Leadership" at UNPFII23. Your wisdom and expertise have enriched our discussion and inspired us to continue advocating for Indigenous women's leadership.


We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who joined us for "Unbraiding Colonization through the Restoration of Indigenous Women’s Leadership". It was an inspiring and thought-provoking discussion on the importance of Indigenous women's leadership and the need for systems change. Let's continue to amplify Indigenous voices and reclaim our leadership roles together!


 


Youth voices

📢 This morning at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, ONWA's youth representative Hunter Corbiere had the opportunity to join representatives from organizations worldwide in making a statement. It was a powerful moment of solidarity and advocacy for Indigenous voices.


 


At the UNPFII23, ONWA is proudly showcasing the importance of Indigenous youth leadership and empowerment. Through a series of social media posts, ONWA highlighted the vital role that youth play in advocating for Indigenous rights and self-determination:


Spotlight on ONWA Youth Delegation 🌟

ONWA introduced its inspiring youth delegates representing the organization at UNPFII23: Shanayah Echum, Hunter Corbiere, and Alana Robert. These young leaders are advocating for Indigenous youth voices to be heard on the global stage.


Empowering Through Mentorship 🌟

Cora McGuire-Cyrette, CEO of ONWA, was highlighted as a guiding force for the youth delegates, emphasizing the importance of mentorship in empowering the next generation of Indigenous leaders.


Behind the Scenes: Fun Moments with our Youth Delegation 🌟

The series showcased a lighthearted moment with Cora McGuire-Cyrette and the youth delegation, highlighting the importance of building connections and fostering leadership in a joyful manner.


United for Change 🌟

In a group photo featuring Cora McGuire-Cyrette, Debra Vermette, and the youth delegation, ONWA emphasized the importance of Indigenous youth voices in advocating for self-determination and empowerment.


Honoring Intergenerational Wisdom 🌟

Grandmother Katherine (Kitty) Everson shares her wisdom with our youth delegation at UNPFII23. Elders like Grandmother Kitty play a crucial role in guiding and inspiring the next generation of Indigenous leaders. Their knowledge and teachings are invaluable in shaping our future.


Overall, these posts reflect ONWA's commitment to amplifying Indigenous youth voices and advocating for their rights at UNPFII23. Through mentorship, support, and empowerment, ONWA is paving the way for the next generation of Indigenous leaders to make a positive impact on their communities and the world.


 

At the Conference - Day 3

Wednesday, April 17, 2024



Interview with APTN News

In an interview with APTN News, Hunter Corbiere, ONWA Youth Director and Cora McGuire-Cyrette, CEO of ONWA talked about the importance of protecting and caring for Mother Earth to ensure the next generation can continue to build upon solid foundations when taking up their leadership roles. 📽️ https://bit.ly/3W9vreO


 


Building Bridges: Networking at UNPFII23 🌟

ONWA's leadership delegation is connecting with Indigenous leaders from Mishkeegogamang First Nation and representatives from Incomindios. Networking with local and international organizations is crucial for amplifying Indigenous voices and advocating for meaningful change.


 


Spotlight on Paula Whitlow, ONWA Southern Region Director 🌟

Paula Whitlow, Southern Region Director, is a vital part of ONWA's leadership delegation at UNPFII23. Her dedication to Indigenous rights and empowerment shines as she advocates for change on the global stage.


 




Youth Advocacy in Action 🌟

Alana Robert and Hunter Corbiere, part of ONWA's inspiring youth delegation, engaged with Geoffrey Roth, UNPFII member for North America. These connections foster understanding and promote Indigenous rights globally.


 


Youth Leaders Meet Global Advocates 🌟

Hunter Corbiere and Alana Robert, part of ONWA's passionate youth delegation, had an enlightening meeting with Ms. Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Chair of UNPFII23 from Chad.


Their dialogue contributes to a brighter, more inclusive future.


 


Amplifying Youth Voices 🌟

Shanayah Echum, ONWA's Youth Director, showcased the power of youth leadership by presenting an intervention at UNPFII23. This highlights the importance of including youth voices in decision-making for a more inclusive and equitable future.


 




Empowering Youth Voices: Shanayah Echum's Intervention at UNPFII23 🌟

Watch as Shanayah Echum, Youth Director at the Ontario Native Women's Association (ONWA), delivers a powerful intervention at the 23rd session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII23). Shanayah's insightful remarks highlight the importance of including youth voices in decision-making processes for a more inclusive and equitable future. Join us in amplifying Indigenous youth leadership and advocacy.


 


A successful side event


Chi Miigwetch to everyone who attended our side event, "Collective Solidarity with Indigenous Women and Youth," at UNPFII23. Your presence and engagement made the event a success! We recognize the interconnectedness of Indigenous women and youth worldwide and the importance of amplifying their voices. Let's continue to work together in solidarity to create positive change.



 

At the Conference - Day 4

Thursday, April 18, 2024




Forming Connections with Indigenous women from across the globe


Part of attending the UNPFII is forming connections with Indigenous women from communities across the globe. Debra Vermette, ONWA President, had the honour of meeting Margaret Lokawua, Director of the Indigenous Women Environmental Conservation Project in Uganda, is vital. These connections allow us to share experiences, knowledge, and solutions, strengthening our collective voice for Indigenous rights and environmental conservation. Let's continue to build bridges and support each other's causes.


 


🤝Networking for Change 🤝


Alana Robert, part of ONWA's inspiring youth delegation, engages in the important tradition of gifting tobacco to Aluki Kotierk, Chair representing Indigenous People's Organizations from Nunavut. This exchange symbolizes the importance of networking and building relationships with Indigenous leaders nationally and internationally. Together, we can create positive change and amplify Indigenous voices.


 

At the Conference - Day 5

Monday, April 20, 2024




Megan Fowler, Policy Analyst at the Ontario Native Women's Association had the opportunity to deliver a statement at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Her address is available on our YouTube channel:




 

At the Conference - Day 6

Tuesday, April 20, 2024


Hunter Corbiere, Youth Director at the Ontario Native Women's Association had the opportunity to deliver a statement at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. 📽️ Watch here:



 



ONWA had the privilege of attending the side event "Ka’au Hua, Ka’au Ola: Envisioning our future" at UNPFII23. We learned from passionate teachers about Aha Punana Leo, a model for language revitalization that serves as an inspiration locally, nationally, and internationally. Language is a key part of Indigenous identity and preserving it is crucial for our future generations.

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