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ONWA is Spotlighting Membership during Women's History Month

ONWA Membership is our SHERO-kwe

The Ontario Native Women's Association (ONWA) is celebrating the achievements of women with our SHERO-kwe promotion throughout Women's History Month (March). This year ONWA is highlighting the strong warrior women organizations that are ONWA's Membership. ONWA’s membership consists of 12 Chapters and 21 councils representing ONWA’s four regional directions throughout the province.

ONWA recognizes that Indigenous women’s organizations are stronger together, and as a collective and we will work together to RECLAIM Indigenous women’s role as matriarchs in their families and communities, RESTORE Indigenous women’s identity and inherent rights beyond a jurisdictional approach, RECONCILE relationships to ensure that Indigenous women have a right to safety regardless of location and RECOGNIZE that Indigenous women are the medicine needed to heal ourselves, families, and communities. (Click to learn more about ONWA's values.)


Eastern Region Membership

All Our Relations

All Our Relations was formed in 2007 from relationships developed by working together at ONWA in the 1990’s. Since it’s inception, All Our Relations has worked together to support Indigenous women, children, and youth in Sudbury by providing them a voice and by upholding strong values within our membership.

Bawating Anishabeqwewok Members

Bawating Anishnabeqwewok focuses on safety for Indigenous women by networking with the local Anti Violence task force in Sault Ste. Marie. They also raise awareness of our human rights, culture, language, and history.

Georgian Bay Native Women’s Association (GBNWA)

The Georgian Bay Native Women’s Association was formed in the fall of 1989. GBNWA is based on is the unity of all Anishinaabe women and focuses on the preservation and promotion of Anishinaabe culture, language and heritage.

Indigenous Women On-Line

Indigenous women on-line serves Indigenous women and their families in all aspects of the medicine wheel. Their goal is to strengthen and empower Indigenous women in Peterborough for the next 7 generations.

Kingston Thunder Women

Kingston Thunder Women focus on community needs and work to effect positive change for the local Indigenous community and their families. They build relationships with all agencies and organizations in Kingston to support Native-positive policy and protocol development. All Nations are welcome.

Lovesick Lake Native Women’s Association (LLNWA)

Lovesick Lake Native Women’s Association was founded in 1982 by a group of local women inspired by the overwhelming needs for services in their community. The organization became a non-profit corporation in 1984. LLNWA provides culturally appropriate programs and services for Indigenous persons, combining traditional health and Western medical practices, and aims to improve the social supports and conditions that affect long-term health.

Minwaashin Lodge

Minwaashin Lodge provides a range of programs and services to First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and children (regardless of status) in Ottawa who are survivors of domestic and other forms of violence, and who may also be suffering the effects of the residential school system. All programs and services are provided in the context of cultural beliefs and values to ensure a holistic approach is used as part of the healing journey.

Niijkiwendidaa Anishnaabekwewag Services Circle (NASC)

Established June 1994, NASC is dedicated to the development and delivery of healing services for Anishnaabekwewag (Indigenous women) and their families in Peterborough who have experienced violence or are at risk of experiencing violence. Therapeutic healing work is conducted using Anishnaabe practices, blended with community-centred and client-centred methods of healing.

Orillia Native Women’s Group (ONWG)

Established in 2001, the Orillia Native Women’s Group is an Indigenous governed agency committed to the growth and empowerment of Indigenous women. ONWG strengthens and supports the wellbeing of Indigenous women and their families by creating a safe space for community to engage, connect, heal, and preserve Indigenous knowledge, culture, and traditions.

Rainbow Women

Rainbow Women supports Indigenous women in the Sault Ste. Marie area.

Tyendinaga Native Women’s Association

Tyendinaga Native Women’s Association supports the community by catering funeral luncheons and providing monetary donations to graduating students. They preserve and protect their culture by offering teachings on the preparation of traditional foods at local events, beading and hosting workshops that meet the needs of the community.

Waibejawong Anishnabequek

Waibejawong Anishinabequek was formed in Little Current in 1972 by Linda Thibodeau to support women who were forced to leave their communities due to marrying non-indigenous men. 50 years later, they honour Linda's legacy by continuing her work to support women and their children by providing support to ensure the protection of our culture and our traditions.

Wiikwemkoong Anishnawbekwek

The Wiikwemkoong Anishnawbekwek formed in the late 1970's to eliminate the discriminatory sections of the Indian Act, section 121B. During the last 20 years, stopping violence against our women and girls, raising awareness of our human rights, culture, language, and history through workshops and engagements has become the focus.

Southern Region Membership

Deshkan Zii Bi Indigenous Women’s Association

Deshkan Zii Bi Indigenous Women’s Association works towards advancing the collective causes of improving the status of Indigenous women in the urban and on-reserve populations in London, Ontario. Additionally, they take an active role to personalize the goals of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada.

Hamilton-Wentworth Chapter of Native Women Inc.

The Hamilton- Wentworth Chapter of Native Women was founded in 1976. They provide assistance to Indigenous families in the Hamilton area by identifying their needs, advocating on their behalf, and establishing programs and services to meet their needs.

Indigenous Women of Niagara

Indigenous Women of Niagara started with a committee of 2 members and is now 7 members strong. This council of serves Indigenous women and their families in St. Catharines in all aspects of the Medicine Wheel as it pertains to them.

Métis Women’s Circle

The Métis Women's Circle comprises a dynamic group of women who share Indigenous heritage and honour their traditional teachings. They work to build community amongst urbanized Indigenous women and their families in Hamilton and nationally, and conduct research projects to deal with social issues impacting Indigenous women.

Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto

The Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto (NWRCT) began when a dedicated group of Indigenous women recognized the need for a gathering place in Toronto, to share resources, support one another, and practice their traditional ways. The Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto provides a safe and welcoming environment for all Indigenous women and their children in the Greater Toronto Area, providing programs that offer wrap around blanket services to address and support Basic Needs, Housing, Families, Advocacy, Employment, Education, Healing from Trauma, and Access to Ceremonies and Traditional Practitioners/ Healers.

Niagara Chapter Native Women Inc.

Niagara Chapter – Native Women Inc. is a fully registered not-for-profit charitable organization and was incorporated in 1983. They offer a friendly connecting place and to support Indigenous women and their families through access to culturally relevant services and programs. Current initiatives include a strong interface with education, justice, health, and child welfare issues from infancy to beyond middle age.

Western Region Membership


Beendigen has been providing support to women and children in Thunder Bay since 1978. The agency was established to provide temporary shelter for Indigenous women and their children who were dealing with abuse and needed food and shelter. Over the years, Beendigen continues to evolve to provide support services to abused women and their families.


Biidaajiwun aims to educate and promote the history, values, culture, language and traditions of the Anishinaabe people and to create an awareness of our proud heritage for the next seven generations. Biidaajiwun programs for the social, cultural, educational training and economic advancement of Anishinaabe women and youth in Thunder Bay.

Grassy Narrows Women’s Group

Grassy Narrows Women’s Group have been on the front lines of the movement to defend Mother Earth and to uphold indigenous self-determination, culture and spirituality.

Mindemoweyag Women’s Group

Mindemoweyag Women’s Group supports Indigenous women and their families in Dryden, Ontario. They raise awareness on Indigenous issues, and advocate and support for Indigenous women in need by connecting them to local agencies and accessing clothing and necessary household items.

Sunset Women’s Aboriginal Circle

Founded in September 2011, Sunset Women’s Aboriginal Circle (SWAC) is a family-centred organization that delivers culturally appropriate supports and programs based on traditional and modern teachings for Indigenous women and their families in Sioux Lookout. Programs include Health Outreach, Mental Health, Youth in Transition, Pre and Post Natal Support, Circle of Care Program, Aboriginal Healthy Babies, Healthy Children, and Sexual Assault support services.

Northern Region Membership

Anishnawbequek Timmins

Anishnawbequek Timmins supports Indigenous women by focusing on justice issues, capacity building, cultural teaching and events.

Aroland Ladies of 242

The women's group was reignited by several women interested in advancing women's issues in our community of Aroland First Nation #242.

Constance Lake Anishinawbe Quek

Constance Lake Anishinawbe Quek raises awareness of issues pertaining to Indigenous women and their families.

Kateri Anishnabekwe Association

Kateri Anishnabekwe Association serves Indigenous women, children, and youth in Greenstone. They focus on reconnecting with the land by doing medicine picking and teachings, and conducting craft circles making ribbon skirts and regalia.


Mamowedow supports Indigenous women and their families in the northern region of Cochrane, Ontario to preserve and protect our culture, language, and heritage.

ONWA Leadership

Debra Vermette, President, ONWA

Debra Vermette is a member of the Wahpeton Dakota Nation. She is the current president of the Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA). She has been supporting and inspiring Indigenous women for decades. Her work centres on the safety, well-being, and empowerment of Indigenous women and the irrefutable importance of strong female leadership at the heart of families, communities and organizations.

Cora McGuire-Cyrette, Executive Director, ONWA

Cora McGuire-Cyrette is a proud Anishinaabe woman and the Executive Director of the Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA). She champions advocacy and justice for Indigenous women and bringing forth impactful systemic change on a micro and macro level. She is motivated to see change for future generations.

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