Niagara Chapter - Native Women Inc.

The Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) recognises the importance of sharing our teachings and culture. They have coordinated a "10 days of Teachings" event that gives you the chance to win a $100 prepaid visa or a gift basket of the same value. It is in this spirit, ONWA is asking membership and community members from all Nations to share with them Teachings that are meaningful to you. Niagara Chapter - Native Women Inc. (NCNW) would like to invite you to become a sponsor for our inaugural event, Blockers & Attackers: Indigenous Women in Sports Leadership. Your support is key in aiding a magnitude of individuals, families, and children who seek assistance through our Chapter. We know that we can count on you to help us make this event our best one yet! For 37 years Niagara Chapter-Native Women Inc. has been undertaking projects, programs and services that have made a tremendous difference in their lives and the lives of their families. We continue to progress and evolve with the times, always keeping their best interests at heart. I invite you to come take a look and walk the journey with us. The report aims to highlight the gaps within Niagara Region Public Health and Emergency Services programs and services, explore how to improve collaboration between the local Indigenous organizations and local health organizations, and ensure dedication to the calls to action. A highly recommended local Indigenous Consultant, Kelly Fran Davis, used Indigenous research methods and consulted with various stakeholders, including staff from across Niagara Region Public Health and Emergency Services, community partners from across the region, staff from four local Indigenous organizations, and community members through an online survey. Ontario's Associate Minister of Children and Women's Issues Jill Dunlop, seen here at legislature on June 25, 2020, told The Globe that the government is issuing the directive as part of efforts to address systemic racism in the province’s child-welfare system. STEVE RUSSELL/THE CANADIAN PRESS Welcome to our July 2020 newsletter - you don't want to miss out! As always, happy reading!

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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, Executive 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)

Interesting News

(July 14) The Globe and Mail: Ontario issues directive to end controversial practice of issuing birth alerts in the province

(July 14) ONWA: Ontario listens to Indigenous women in new directive ceasing the practice of Birth Alerts

(June 24) CTV News: Millions of dollars in COVID-19 fines disproportionately hurting Black, Indigenous, marginalized groups: report

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

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

Update: July 17, 2020

Boozhoo and Greetings,

Congratulations to all of us. It’s been a long, and trying time for many however, for the most part, children, individuals and families have remained safe and sound, at home during the worst initial part of this pandemic. A great big thank you, Chi Miigwech, goes out to all the runners, helpers, community callers and supporters who have been and continue to be instrumental in keeping us all safe physically, mentally, intellectually and spiritually. A shout to our NCNW staff, board members and volunteers, who have more than risen to the challenges.

Memorial Page

Our hearts go out to those who also suffered loss during this time. All our loved ones will be sorely missed and lovingly remembered. We need to celebrate their lives, times and what they have shared while with us on Mother Earth. That’s why we are initiating a Memorial page on our website, specifically so you can share something you may want to about your loved one, if you wish to do so. You will be able to send your information to and we will have it posted on the page. This will be for expressions related to those whom have passed on since March 15, 2020. The only restriction is to kindly keep it to about 100 words and one or two photographs. We hope in some small way this will help ease some of the loss.

Return to Workplace – Early Phase 1

Ontario is not fully into Stage 3, particularly our Niagara Region. Our Board of Directors has approved an ‘organic, flexible’ return to workplace plan. By ‘organic’ and ‘flexible’ we mean that this plan can change quickly at any point in time. It is designed to be responsive in order to ensure everyone’s safety and health. So, on a phased in and staggering basis, some employees will be returning to the office location on limited days only. Each employee is screened daily upon entry and we have a designated individual responsible to ensure this is done. The office has been deep disinfected and each employee will be responsible to maintain their own work station daily disinfection now. A strict procedure is in place for use of any common areas such as washrooms. Each workstation has been distanced the appropriate area as required. Plexi Glass sneeze guards have been installed on the front desk and we have a couple more for portable use as needed. No one is sharing an office with anyone else. Each has their own phone for their use only. The office is not yet open for drop in visits. Please continue to connect with us through the usual means you hvae been using, and those of you enrolled in a program will still be able to receive your Home / Porch / virtual visits.

We are continuing to monitor this first phase of the plan and will not be moving any further for some time until we know how this is working. Thank you for your patience as we begin this ‘Return to Workplace’ plan.

Annual General Meeting

People are wondering about our AGM. A survey is coming soon so please participate and a decision will be forthcoming.

Until next time, stay cool and stay safe.

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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We are not a “core-funded” organization and do all of our own fundraising. We are a fully registered charity with Revenue Canada. If you wish to donate directly to us, 100% of your donation goes directly into our work and stays in Niagara! Alternatively, is an online donation service that retains 4% of all donations for administrative costs. 


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