Niagara Chapter - Native Women Inc.

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News Release

Ontario Announces Members of New Indigenous Women’s Advisory Council

June 21, 2020

Members will help address issues of violence affecting their communities

Toronto — Today, the Ontario government announced members of the new Indigenous Women’s Advisory Council. The Council includes First Nations, Métis, Inuit, and LGBTQ2S leaders on violence prevention who will provide input on issues impacting their communities such as human trafficking and child, youth and family well-being. Today’s announcement is being made on National Indigenous Peoples Day.

“For culturally relevant and effective changes to occur in Ontario, Indigenous women must lead the development of our policies so we can truly support their communities,” said Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues. “The Council will be key to ensuring Indigenous women’s voices guide Ontario’s priorities on a range of critical issues.”

The Council will be co-chaired by Cora-lee McGuire-Cyrette, Executive Director of the Ontario Native Women’s Association. The other co-chair will be selected at the Council’s first meeting in early July 2020.

Other members of the Indigenous Women’s Advisory Council include:

  • Sylvia Maracle, Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres
  • Sandra Montour, Six Nations of the Grand River
  • Lyndia Jones, Independent First Nations
  • Jennifer St. Germain, Métis Nation of Ontario
  • Teresa Sutherland, Nishnawbe Aski Nation
  • Amanda Kilabuk, Tungasuvvingat Inuit
  • Marina Plain, Union of Ontario Indians/Anishinabek Nation
  • Tracy Antone, Chiefs of Ontario

“I’m honoured to accept this position and work with our Indigenous partners and the Ontario government. It will take everyone working together to address issues of gender-based violence and systemic racism,” said Cora-lee McGuire-Cyrette, Council Co- Chair and Executive Director of the Ontario Native Women’s Association. “I want to thank Associate Minister Jill Dunlop for this opportunity and her leadership in making this space possible. The Indigenous Women’s Advisory Council is building on the foundational work the province has been leading and the work of the Council is critical to ensuring the issues Indigenous Women face daily will be a priority.”

“I’m pleased Cora-lee McGuire-Cyrette has agreed to provide her leadership and expertise and I look forward to hearing the voices of these incredible individuals on how we can work together to prevent violence in all its forms,” said Minister Dunlop.

“Indigenous women, communities and organizations have been working tirelessly to address violence against Indigenous women, and the knowledge and expertise of the Council will be instrumental in ensuring our province’s continued response is effective and collaborative,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs.


  • Indigenous women in Canada between the ages of 15-24 are more than three times likely to experience violence than non-Indigenous women.
  • Indigenous women in Canada are two-and-a-half times more likely to experience spousal violence.
  • Currently, there is no dedicated provincial forum for Indigenous women and LGBTQ2S leaders and experts to engage on violence prevention issues.



Alex Spence
Minister’s Office

Kristen Tedesco
Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
416 803-6153

Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services


MORE ABOUT: Coralee McGuire-Cyrette, Executice Director at Ontario Native Women’s Association

I am proud of the work we do on behalf of Indigenous Women and families in Ontario.  My knowledge has grown over the years as have my life experiences and personal growth leading this extraordinary organization.

My undergraduate degree in Bachelor of the Arts, with a double major concentration in Indigenous Learning and Sociology from Lakehead University has supported my passion for creating safe spaces for Indigenous women and families in our communities. Bringing forward the original teachings keeps me grounded in our culture and is a driving force in my work

As lead Manager of the Summit to End Violence Against Aboriginal Women, the foundation of the Strategic Framework to Ending Violence Against Aboriginal Women in Ontario, to addressing human trafficking of Indigenous women and girls while creating strategies for the elimination of human trafficking, my role as ED keeps me front and centre of the issues affecting Indigenous women and families in Ontario. 

I have participated at numerous provincial and National tables to create policy change, address systemic discrimination and advocating for gender equality and equity. This includes participating at the National Roundtable for Missing & Murdered Indigenous women, National Indigenous Women’s Summit, Provincial Summit on Sexual Violence and Harassment, Joint Working Group on Violence Against Indigenous Women, Indigenous Human Trafficking Committee, Urban Indigenous Policy Engagement Table, Indigenous Housing Strategy, Special Priority Policy Table, Ontario Indigenous Housing Support Services Board of Directors and the Urban Indigenous Health Table. 

These are some of the areas that I have successfully championed through a culturally relevant gender based analysis.

I am confident that our website will open a window of understanding for you into the programs, services and work that ONWA is engaged in throughout the Province of Ontario throughout the year.


COVID-19 UPDATE: NCNW services continue remotely. Our phone line is being monitored as well our general email Please note that staff will get back to individuals when they can.

Thank you to all the Health Care professionals and volunteers working to keep the community safe at this time.

For more information regarding resources, assistance, and updates about the COVID-19 virus, please click here.

For those affected by COVID-19 related matters, apply for benefits using the links below:

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan (support for individuals, businesses, and industries)

Apply for Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) with CRA (those employed/self-employed and have/will stop working due to COVID-19)

Niagara Region – Social Support (connecting residents to resources, services, programs and support during the pandemic)

April 17 – News Release by Ministry of Education: Ontario Establishes Key Partnerships to Make Home Learning More Accessible


April 4, 2020ONWA Celebrates the life and contributions of Elder Elize Hartley.

Update: May 7, 2020


On Behalf of the Board of Directors, the employees, and myself, we hope you know how important you are to us as we serve you, our valued participants and community members, during this trying time. Together, the Board and staff continue to make every effort to ensure everyone’s safety and security is looked after. We know how difficult it is at this time to not be able to gather together and want to assure you that this will pass and we will soon be able to venture out once more and see each other. Until then, we must visit via phone, virtually through a computer or tablet, or occasionally through a “porch visit.”  We can do this.

There are many helpers in our community, each providing various roles according their gifts. We want to acknowledge each and everyone of you. You know who you are. Additionally, we wish to thank all those whom have participated in our Sundays at noon Flame of Love events.  This weekly event was picked up by Ontario Native Women’s Association and it has brought much comfort to so many across and beyond our region to know that we have been continuing with this event for some seven (7) weeks now. MiiGwetch.

Today, Thursday May 7, many Pipe Carriers have been asked to raise their pipes in prayer and thanksgiving. Across Turtle Island we can all join in. We know some pipes were raised in Niagara and nearby. Then on Sunday, Mother’s Day, we will participate together for one last time in our Flame of Love event as we join with many Elders from across Turtle Island who will now light their Sacred Fires. Join us if you can for these two events. See the notice here.

We also wish to thank our community members whom have stepped up to tidy up the Garrison Road property, feed our Grandfather Cedars and ensure our Teaching/Healing Garden is getting as good a start as possible. MiiGwetch.

As some of you know, we have been attending many virtual meetings, case conferences, and teleconferences with community members, other agency workers and our TEAM. If you haven’t already, you too may also be able to attend virtually on your own cell phone, tablet or computer so we encourage you to examine your devices to see if you can navigate for this. We have been able to assist with some communications for individuals or families so if you require tutorials or assistance, reach out to us and let us know. We can have someone work to ensure you can do this.  

Our services continue under the enacted “Work From Home Plan” (which is part of our Work Continuity Policy). You can leave a message on the office phone, (905) 871-8770 or send an e-mail to Both are being monitored. Your Board of Directors has stepped up to help out since the beginning and has ensured assistance on the USA side through working with NACS and our resident Board Members.

As valued community members, we request that you listen to Public Health and follow instructions during this time. If you need anything at all, let us know. We are also working with FENFC, assisting with support for the FOOD Pantry (as well as NACS in Buffalo) so if you require food drop off, feel free to contact them at 905-871-8931 and let them know we sent you. Alternatively, let us know if you are residing stateside as we have provisions to assist there as well.  

MiiGwetch ~ Wendy Sturgeon, Executive Director


Niagara Chapter – Native Women Inc. ( is an autonomous provincial Chapter of the Ontario Native Women’s Association, which is affiliated with the Native Women’s Association of Canada. The NCNW encourages Native/Indigenous Women to become active participants in society while remembering and honouring our unique cultural and spiritual beliefs. Our organization is here to offer a friendly connecting place and to support Native/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. Our organization is built on the dedication of our members and volunteers. 

The Chapter receives no core or ongoing funding. We are fully owned and operated by Native/Indigenous women from our community. Niagara Chapter – Native Women Inc. is a fully registered not-for-profit charitable organization and became officially incorporated in 1983. We welcome your donations to help us continue providing programs and services for our people, and to assist in our growth through volunteerism to continue these much-needed provisions.

New members are always welcome! Click here for our membership form. To stay updated with our work, sign up to our newsletter here.

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