Welcome to NCNW’s Annual Fundraiser

Thank you to all of NCNW’s funders, sponsors, contributors, panelists, audience and team members working hard from behind the scenes who helped make the inaugural Blockers & Attackers fundraising event successful! 

For those of you interested in getting involved with our annual fundraiser, kindly contact Manvinder Bhamra (Resource Development) via email at RDasst.ncnw@gmail.com or call/text (905) 208-7060 for the next upcoming event and how you can participate. Download and share the Sponsorship Package here, or view our Sponsor Information page here!

 


ABOUT BLOCKERS & ATTACKERS

Due to the high number of clients in need, our registered charity provides critical programs and services even while lacking stable, ongoing funding. Thus, NCNW’s fundraising strategy has evolved to create a sustainable funding initiative which will allow the Chapter to continue its programs and services into a certain future. Through a multi-prong approach, we will be enhancing our fundraising strategy by offering our annual Indigenous Women in Sports Leadership event. This fundraising event engages the audience in an educational fundraising-style method. We will be showcasing talented female Indigenous athletes who will connect their identity and culture to their successes and share what challenges they faced in the process. This will allow the audience to experience how critical it is to maintain an Indigenous identity for a healthy self-esteem and lifelong success while bonding over the shared interest of sports.

We believe this event will better allow our speakers and audience to participate and engage in understanding Indigenous culture and associated hardship through a mutual love for sports and a healthy, active lifestyle. Join us for our second Blockers & Attackers event and directly support the ongoing programs and services we provide by ensuring the sustainability of our Chapter into the future. We can’t wait to see you there!

 


MEET OUR PRESENTERS

Take a look at our outstanding Indigenous female speakers! More to be revealed, check back often!

WATER POLO
HAMMER THROW
LACROSSE
VOLLEYBALL ROLLER DERBY & YOGA
 

MC: Waneek Horn-Miller
 

Keynote Speaker: Jillian Weir
 

Guest Speaker: Mackenzie Deleary
Guest Speaker: Amy Wilson-Hands
Guest Speaker: Jessica Ghosen
 

WANEEK HORN-MILLER hails from the Mohawk communities of Kahnawake and Ohsweken. As one of Canada’s few Indigenous Olympians, she has worked extensively in the both the Indigenous and non-indigenous worlds as a motivational speaker, facilitator and in business sales.  She has melded her love of all things Indigenous with her teamwork background, goal and excellence directed style to advance the goals of Reconciliation through social and economic development and advancement.

 

JILLIAN WEIR recently competed for Team Canada at the Tokyo Olympics in the women’s hammer throw finishing 19th overall in her Olympic debut. Jillian was the only known Indigenous athlete on Team Canada this year in Tokyo, Japan. Jillian has maternal Indigenous lineage and is a member of the Mohawks Bay of the Quinte, although she grew up in California, she has always been proud of her First Nations heritage. Jillian’s father, Robert Weir, was a three-time Olympian for Great Britain and has been a track and field coach throughout Jillian’s life so she grew up around a track watching athletes train and has always wanted to become an Olympian. 

 

MACKENZIE DELEARY is a varsity lacrosse player from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. Growing up in the small, rural, indigenous community of Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, Mackenzie found a passion not only for achieving success in various sports but also for pursuing higher education. Following her mother’s footsteps by attending Western University, Mackenzie is now in her fourth year of a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree and will be competing in her final year of OUA women’s field lacrosse.

AMY WILSON-HANDS is an Anishinaabekwe woman from Rainy River First Nations in Treaty 3 and resided in her hometown of Fort Frances, Ontario. She moved to the Greater Toronto Area in 2017 and is a proud wife and mother. Amy began her involvement in sports from a young age where she was introduced to all types of sports through her father. She competed in baseball, basketball, soccer and volleyball, the latter being very much a big part of her life in the way of coaching.

JESSICA GHOSEN is an All-Star Roller Derby athlete based out of Buffalo, NY. She spent nine years passionately giving her all to the sport; in any capacity she could. She has been a skater, captain, as well as a coach. Jessica began skating back in 2011 with Queen City Roller Derby and rapidly progressed year after year. In late 2013, she was drafted as a travel charter skater with the Lake Effect Furies. The Lake Effect Furies steadily climbed in the WFTDA’s rankings and were last placed at 23rd in the world at the start of the 2020 season. The Furies were on track to make the biggest waves they’ve ever imagined in 2020, before the pandemic shook the world, and brought everything to a halt.
 
 
 
 
 
 
“Similar to the arduous process of making wampum beads, the journey of that Waneek Horn Miller doesn’t begin and end with being a Olympic Water Polo athlete. A Mohawk from the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory near Montreal, Waneek was behind the lines during the Oka crisis in 1990 when she was stabbed by a Canadian soldier’s bayonet. It was a near-death experience that marked a turning point in her life. Waneek has overcome discrimination and violence to emerge as one of North America’s most inspiring female Indigenous speakers, facilitators and advocates with a compelling perspective and dynamic stories to share.

Her presentations and keynotes are aimed at bridging the gap and repairing relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. While she recently stepped down from her role as for the MMIWG Inquiry to focus on her family, she continues support the goal of the Inquiry and advocates on Indigenous issues in other ways to help build healthy and prosperous communities. Waneek is an advocate for building indigenous sport and has worked with the Assembly of First Nations to develop their sport, fitness and health strategy. Drawing on her experiences as the former co-captain of Canada’s Olympic women’s water polo team, Waneek shares her story and teaches how to build self-esteem through a balance of education and sport. Waneek  travels extensively from border to border,  speaking to Indigenous and non- indigenous audiences on issues of reconciliation, sport and why it is important we must all  strive for our dreams.”

 

In July, Weir spoke to The National Post about what it means to her to inspire Indigenous youth and she said, “If I can inspire any Indigenous youth, it’s hard to put into words what that would mean. Because I never saw Indigenous athletes in track and field competing at the Olympics when I was a kid. If I can be a model for anybody out there, that would be a big honour. For them to be able to see Indigenous athletes, whether you have Indigenous lineage or you’re full-blooded First Nations, I don’t think that really matters, just to have the representation out there is a big deal. A lot of young Indigenous people might not even know what the hammer throw is and aren’t familiar with all the different sports and events at the Olympics. The exposure to more sports will get more kids involved and lead to opportunity.”

Jillian had the privilege of exposure to many sports as a kid playing anything from basketball to wrestling to water polo in addition to track and field. Jillian started track and field in Grade 6 and she competed in running, jumping, and throwing events before focusing on the shot put and discus in high school, then added the hammer throw in university which she developed quickly and soon became her specialty. Jillian graduated from the University of Oregon in 2015 and has been competing in athletics professionally since. Jillian is now training for the next Olympics which will be held in Paris, France in 2024 where she will look to improve on her top 20 performance from her Olympic debut.

 

Serving as an attacker on the Western Mustangs lacrosse team, Mackenzie earned multiple starts in her first year, seeing the field consistently on a team with numerous OUA championships. In between seasons, she also competed in the U19 Canadian National Championships with Team First Nations. In her second year, Mackenzie was a starter attacker who largely contributed from behind the crease and helped capture bronze in the 2020 OUA Championships.

As a child, Mackenzie was introduced to a wide variety of sports growing up and competitively played ice hockey for most of her youth, also participating in the LNHL tournament annually. While attending elementary school off-reserve, she found many opportunities to try different sports that were not so mainstream in the community, such as high jump, soccer, basketball, and volleyball. Her older sister Taylor, convinced by her hockey teammates, decided to join one of London’s first all-female box lacrosse teams to play in the OLA. Not being afraid to try new things, Mackenzie decided to give box lacrosse a try later in elementary school, which fueled a passion for playing the medicine game.

Still continuing as a multi-sport athlete in high school at Saunders Secondary School, Mackenzie played on the varsity basketball team for 4 years, along with ice hockey, rugby. She continued to play competitive box lacrosse outside of school but soon faced a series of ankle injuries that greatly affected her sport participation. During this time, Mackenzie was invited to attend the All Canada Games for women’s field lacrosse, a version of the game that is unfamiliar to most of Southwestern Ontario. After attending this highly coveted event, Mackenzie was invited to play in large tournaments in upstate New York, Hawaii, and the infamous Lake Placid festival. Mackenzie would also play for Team Ontario in the NAIG 2017 games, capturing silver in U19 Female Box Lacrosse Championships.

In her volunteer work, Mackenzie uses her experience playing in the high-performance box and field lacrosse with ISWO to host multi-sport clinics. These clinics, offered to Indigenous youth in Ontario, aim to promote health and active living by providing organized sport and various activities. This volunteer work with youth inspired Mackenzie to pursue teaching lacrosse skills to local youth on the side, which eventually led to her applying and earning an Assistant Coach position for U19 Team Ontario in NAIG 2020 Halifax (now 2023).

 

Amy’s coaching career began with elementary, high school and club. In 2016, she was awarded an Aboriginal Apprenticeship for the 2017 Canada Games through the Coaches Association of Canada. Amy was on the Team Ontario Women’s volleyball bench which competed in Winnipeg, Manitoba and earned a fourth place.

Amy co-founded two volleyball clubs in Northwestern Ontario with the most recent in 2015. She is particularly proud of the Fort Frances Fire ‘n’ Ice Volleyball Club as 90% of the athletes and 100% of the coaching staff were Indigenous. Athletes from the ages of four to 18 were involved in this programming.

Amy was the head coach for the 16U Aboriginal Team Ontario Women’s volleyball team for the 2017 North American Indigenous Games as well as again with the 19U Aboriginal Team Ontario Women’s volleyball team for the 2020 North American Indigenous Games that were cancelled due to COVID.

Amy was also named to the Waterloo Warriors Coaching Staff in 2020 as an Assistant Coach and also is on the Team Ontario Mission Staff for the 2022 Canada Games in the Niagara Region. She was awarded the prestigious 2021 Sandy Silvers OVA Coach of the Year.

Amy’s passion is coaching, and creating ways to help athletes from the north learn and grow in sport particularly volleyball. Amy created the Northwestern Ontario Region Virtual Volleyball Academy where athletes from the North were able to learn from University, College & Club coaches on various volleyball topics. At the end of the Academy, the athletes were able to have a Q&A with Team Canada Players, Autumn Bailey & Courtney Baker.

Amy currently loves spending time with her family, refurbishing furniture and watching scary movies.

Jessica has also had the honor of being an active skater and participant with Team Indigenous Rising Roller Derby since 2017. Team Indigenous was formed to provide a space for Indigenous roller derby athletes to unite and motivate, share experiences, and feel seen and heard within the derby community. In 2018, they represented for the first time at the Roller Derby World Cup in Manchester, England where they placed 27 out of 38 in the tournament.
These experiences have helped Jessica dive deeper not only into her physical health but also her mental health too. In March of 2020, Jessica received her 250 hour certification as a registered Yoga Teacher through Evolation Yoga. For the past year, Jessica has been teaching Vinyasa Flow classes both online and in-person. She hopes one day to be able to offer free or donation based classes to communities that typically wouldn’t have access to this spiritual practice. She believes yoga has the ability to be life changing, transformative, and is something that has been a truly positive force within her life. This past May, she joined the worker-owner collective with Evolation Yoga, and has since been working to revive the studio that has been a pivotal component in her life over the last several years.
 
This past year has been filled with obstacles in so many ways. It has forced us to slow down, turn inward, and reflect on so many aspects of our lives. Jessica is grateful for the spiritual journey that Yoga has taken her on and feels that it has helped her on her path to healing in so many ways.
 
Jessica is unsure what the next chapter of her life looks like but she’s certain roller skating will continue to be an activity she leans into when needed. She currently enjoys leisure and park skating during her downtime and tries to take as many yoga classes as she teaches to stay balanced. When not partaking in these activities, Jessica enjoys being outdoors, hiking with her partner and dogs, connecting to nature, gardening, and is learning to connect with culture and herself through craft.

 


PROGRAM

Check back soon for updates!


OUR WONDERFUL SPONSORS

Click here to learn how you can become one!

Esteemed EAGLE FEATHER Sponsors    
Esteemed MEDICINE BAG Sponsors  
Esteemed MOCCASIN Sponsors  

 

This project made possible by and with our thanks to:

This is an alcohol and street drug-free event.