- By Stephanie Wesley
2016 marked the 45th year that the Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) has been the voice of Indigenous women in the province.
ONWA held its Annual General Assembly (AGA) in Thunder Bay from September 30th to October 2nd. The theme of the AGA was Reconciliation with Indigenous Women.
In a media release issued by ONWA, it stated that ONWA would support women to take up their leadership roles in the family and in their community.
A highlight at this year’s AGA included accepting
the strategic plan. The strategic plan includes works from a holistic, community based approach with culture at the center of all that we do, supporting families of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, and building relationships with our allies and partners.
Dr. Pat McGuire spoke about the Education Curriculum being developed to bring change to the way not only Canada views Indigenous women, but also the way Indigenous Women view themselves. The Educational Curriculum will help engage women in study to understand fundamental truths about themselves, the world they live in and where they come from.
A traditional mini-powwow was held to wrap up the AGA at the ONWA site in Thunder Bay.
Dignitaries like Fort William First Nation Chief Peter Collins, Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day, Minister of Status of Women Patty Hajdu, and Minister David Zimmer attended the powwow, which honoured Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.