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ONWA Mourns Mackenzie Moonias

Thunder Bay, ON – The Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) is deeply saddened by the disappearance and recent discovery of deceased 14-year-old Mackenzie Moonias of Neskantaga, and we express our condolences to her family, friends, and community.


As an Indigenous women’s organization informed by Indigenous matriarchal ways of knowing and being, we recognize the inherent gifts that every Indigenous child holds. We grieve the loss of Mackenzie alongside all those who knew her and mourn her bright future that was cut short.


When we are confronted by a tragedy such as this, it emphasizes the critical need for Indigenous women and girls’ safety to be prioritized.


While we do not fully understand the circumstances surrounding the tragic passing of Mackenzie, we are deeply concerned by the realities of systems that fail to protect Indigenous women and girls.


In seeking to continue their education, Indigenous youth are forced to navigate the perils of attending high school in larger communities such as Thunder Bay. Indigenous youth’s lives are just as important as those of any other young people in Canada.


ONWA continues to advocate for the implementation of the recommendations from the inquest into the deaths of seven First Nations youth in Thunder Bay. ONWA recognises that a multitude of systemic issues are directly related to the ongoing national crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two spirit people. It is every person’s responsibility to prevent and address this national crisis.


“Mackenzie, you are seen and you are loved, we extend our deepest condolences to your loved ones. As a community, we in Thunder Bay need to do better to protect Indigenous women and girls.” – Cora McGuire-Cyrette, ONWA CEO


For more information and media inquiries, contact: 

Andre Morriseau, Communications Manager

Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA)

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