"We do not want riches but we do want to train our children right." Red Cloud
"In the beginning was only the drum, having come from a woman it was sacred, along with the pipe." Anishinawbek Creation Stories
Welcome to ONWA's site for finding resources about using a strength based approach to end violence in our communities. What does this mean? It means finding strength in the history that is revealing indigenous women played vital roles in their communities as politicians, leaders, healers and traders.
It means taking a proactive approach to educate and recreate these historical roles within our communities while also facing up to the realities in our communities. Violence of all types end with educating the people facing the violence and those committing it, this is a long term view towards how we change our communities but it is necessary and it has to be led by us and our communities.
We created this site as a living document that will update and change over time just as the stories and duties we possess will always change over time. Feel free to share, to comment and/or message us on what you would like to see as we move forward. We also have video projects that are starting to finish up that provide much needed tools to educate youth of any culture.
For over 46 years, The Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) has advocated for safety, equality and justice for Indigenous women. Our 1989 groundbreaking report, Breaking Free, exposed the true extent of the violence indigenous women faced. After building on this work for nearly another three decades, ONWA was pleased at the announcement of Walking Together in 2016, and the opportunity for partnership with Ontario to address the issue of violence against Indigenous women.
ONWA advocates an approach that does not only focus on educating the outside world on our missing and murdered women but we also place efforts on healing the members in our community. Men are as much in need or re-education of the roles women once held in indigenous communities as are children and the mainstream world.
"When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful." Malala Yousafzai
Special Thanks to Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc. for their Toolkit.
A piece of Anishanwbek oral history related in a short film type piece about the role women played with the 1850 Robinson Superior Treaty signing that allowed Canada to exist.
Collin Graham relates about the Red Dress Project. Part 1 of 2.