Executive Director Message - July 17, 2020

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

The Great Canadian Giving Challenge - June 2020

FACS Niagara Memo of Understanding

2nd gathering at Rama First NationWendy Sturgeon E.D. accepted the invite of FACS Niagara to attend the 2nd gathering at Rama First Nation sponsored by OACAS, Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies.  This year’s gathering was themed around “Bringing Indigenous Children Home” and working together to do that.  One of the activities was for all participants to make a small bracelet with beads. When joined together, it forms an image of the Two Row Wampum Belt.  Teachings on its meaning were shared. 

These gatherings by OACAS are meant to build on the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action and the Nine point commitments of OACS.  We participate due to our long time partnership and commitment to working together for our children and families. 

We base this on the first signed commitment locally with FACS which took place at FACS Niagara June 21, 2016.  This was followed by our Memo Of Understanding signed this year June 21, 2018 on National Indigenous Day and strengthening this commitment.

"Kiigiigidomi" ("We Are Talking") Side by Side program

Mothers and Children’s Group partnering with Family Counselling located in the Centre of Niagara. Native Facilitators and offered on seasonal basis. 
Specific criteria for enrolment.  Call for more info: 905-871-8770


As declning enrolment in our child programs continued throughout 2008-10 we finally closed it down and during this same time period several other centres around the Niagara Region also had to close. This gives an outline of the program for the Archives.

An Aboriginal Educational, Arts and Culture After School Program designed to foster Learning, Pride and Academic success! Okwaten:ro Ne:ki:ken is a licensed, non-profit, after school child care program. It is open to all children from age 4.5 yrs.  -12 yrs. old.  It was owned and operated by Niagara Chapter – Native Women Inc.  It operated  Monday – Friday: 3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

We had the capacity to accommodate up to 20 school age children and  limited spaces are available for 4 and 5 year olds.  Fee Subsidy through the Regional Municipality of Niagara is available.  It was a licensed program which ensured that all provincial standards under the Day Nurseries Act are being maintained. This includes Fire and Safety Procedures, teacher/child ratios, safety of play equipment, as well as the hiring of qualified teaching staff. 

We offered “Homework Time” plus culturally relevant educational games, activities, books and computer time. We offered culturally specific teachings through visitors, games and field trips. We are closely involved with parents, local schools and other Native organizations. First Nations Language Teachings when available, through song, drumming, dance, storytelling and the internet.  Transportation was offered from area schools, to the program site. We provided a culturally appropriate relaxed environment for children.

2010 Annual General Meeting

We had a Great Meeting….

Our Annual General Meeting was held Sept. 12, 2010 and was attended by many voting members and guests. We presented our Annual Scholarships as well as our Native Woman of The Year Award; (photographs forthcoming!)  

We enjoyed a delicious brunch, loonie auction and door prizes.  Thank you to everyone who attended.


Thank you to everyone that attended and sponsored our  3rd Annual “ABORIGINAL FESTIVAL”

SATURDAY, MARCH 27TH, 6:30 P.M. @ Garrison Rd. P. S. IN FORT ERIE!

It was an awesome event, enjoyed by all.  Our Youth Art display was a huge hit as was the Maple Syrup storytelling, tasting and all the Maple Flavoured treats!

We appreciate the support of:  Ontario Arts Council, RBC, Niagara Parks, G LONGVAL PHARMACY LTD., Fort Erie Chamber of Commerce, Ontario Native Women’sAssoc., FACS Niagara,  Niagara This Week, Kim Craitor MPP, First Nation, Metis, & Inuit Student Services Niagara College, CAW LOCAL 199 Women’s Committee, Ont. Trillium Foundation, Foundation for Rural Living, District School Board of Niagara, Hon. Rob Nicholson MP, The Williams Funeral Home, Brock University Women’s Studies, South Coast Cookhouse, Canadian Tire F. E., Haven Global Gifts, Beatties Stationary, OLG Slots F.E., Peacock School of Dance, The Barrel Pizza Parlour, Ming Teh Restaurant, Yoga For Fitness Centre, The Old Bank Bistro, Pharmaplus Pharmacy, Subway, Sobey’s F.E., Curves F.E., Baggia G Edwards, Ridgeway IDA, Coffee Culture, Netstart, Staples, Bridgeburg Spa.

2009 2nd Annual Aboriginal Spring Festival Sponsors

Thank you to the following for helping to make our event a success!

Eagle Feather Sponsors $1,000 or over
The Ontario Arts Council

Big Drum Sponsors  $400.- 999.
Xerox Corp. 2009

Moccasin Sponsors  $100. – 249.
Niagara College Aboriginal Student Services
 Brock University Aboriginal Student Office


Leslie White – Eye 
District School Board of Niagara 
Community Supporters  $25. – 99. 


Curves for Women Fort Erie
O.L.G. Fort Erie Slots
Yoga For Fitness Centre – Niagara Falls
Wendy Sturgeon
Penny Bowers Massage

Media Sponsors
Fort Erie Chamber of Commerce 

25th Anniversary Annual General Meeting

Sunday, Sept. 14, 2008
12:00 noon  – 3:00 p.m.

Optimist Hall
Gilmore Road, Fort Erie
RSVP please 905-871-8770

Announcing:  Vera Hill-Sharrow Award Recipient
Post Secondary Scholarships Award Recipients

25th Anniversary Celebration

MARCH 15, 2008

St. Paul’s Anglican Church
4:00 p.m.

This was a great event and fun was had by all!!! The hall was packed, we had to bring more chairs!

We’re starting out with a Storytelling and Dance workshop presented by Ojibway Storyteller, Aaron Bell and the White Pine Dancers.
Then….we’re “Honoring our Founders”. Cynthia Lickers-Sage, a Mohawk artist from Six Nations and Executive Director at Association for Native Development in the Performing and Visual Arts (ANDPVA) is our Guest Speaker.

The White Pine Dancers will perform. April Doxtator will perform solo from her work in progress “generational roots”, Maajii Maadzi emerging women’s hand drum and singing group, and the Youth Troupe of the Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre will help round out the evening for us.

There will be draws and door prizes.

Thank you to the Ont. Arts Council, our many sponsors, supporters, members, and our youth volunteers!


S.O.A.R.  School Outreach And Remedial – After School 1996-2008

NCNW had operated the SOAR program from 1997 to 2006 when due to declining enrolment we re-structured the program into strictly an Aboriginal educational, arts and culture after school program designed to foster Learning, Pride and Academic success.  However, due to declining enrolment, the advent of full day learning in Ontario Public Schools which is providing before and after school care as well as the establishment of two native specific and operated child care programs within the community, we decided there was not enough need and closed our program.

NCNW Learner’s Academy 1989 – 2002

NCNW has operated various child care services since 1989 when we purchased a for-profit child care centre and converted it into a non-profit high quality child care centre. We operated the full-time child care centre until 2002 when we had to close the center as a result of declining Bingo revenue. 

Conference Childcare Services 1996 – 2000

NCNW once offered conference childcare services, high quality child-care on-site. This was available, as needed, for parents to attend meetings, conferences, banquets, weddings and more. This was an excellent and very convenient service for families visiting the Fort Erie area. Unfortunately, this service is no longer available as a result of dwindling funds. 

ECE Teacher Training 1994 – 2000

In 1994, NCNW started a collaborative training project with Niagara College of Applied Arts and Technology (Welland campus) to educate Native women and afford them the opportunity to attain their Early Childhood Education diploma (also known as ECE). Successful candidates gained valuable on-the-job training/experience at our daycare while participating in academic classes part-time to attain their ECE diplomas. This training consisted of fifty percent (50%) theory and fifty percent (50%) practicum at our daycare. Four Native women successfully completed this excellent program. Unfortunately, as the result of the loss of our daycare, the Early Childhood Program has been discontinued.

Previous Board Members & Summer Students

Previous Board Members

Corine Nanticoke
Arlene Isaacs
Fran Davis
Cynthia Dockstader
Renee Sowden
Dianna Sowden
Sabrina Shawana


Past Summer Students

2013 Summer Student:
Mark Hupkowicz: Fundraising / maintenance

2012 Summer Students / Trainees
Natasha Jeffrey: Community Garden & Maintenance

2011 Summer Students / Youth Trainees
Mark Hupkowicz: Peace Projects Research Asst.

2010 Summer Students
Natasha Jeffrey: Abor. Child Welfare Asst.
Mark Hupkowicz: Maintenance

2009 Summer Students
Patrick Martin: Maintenance Asst.
Ali Fyke: Fundraising and Events Asst.
Sydney Porter: After School Program Asst.

2008 Summer Students
Mark Hupcowicz: Maintenance
Maxwell Hill: SOAR Asst.
Sidney Porter: Events & Fundraising Asst.
Dallas Sowden: Events & Fundraising Asst.


April Doxtator

April Doxtator is a contemporary/traditional dancer from the Oneida of the Thames and her native name in English means “She Dances”. She was born and raised in small town, Fort Erie where she trained at the Peacock School of Dance in ballet, jazz and tap for fourteen years. She also toured Spain with the company in 2000. Upon graduating, April pursued her passion in the Dance Performance program at George Brown College in Toronto. April has performed four times at the Aboriginal Achievement Awards, 2002 in Winnipeg, 2003 in Ottawa, 2005 in Saskatchewan and 2006 in Vancouver broadcast by CBC and Global.

She also danced the premiere of Kaha:wi, a dance production by Santee Smith, in June 2004 and performed Kaha:wi excerpts in Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Manitoba and throughout Ontario. In August 2004 April made a guest appearance, dancing a solo in The New World, a major motion picture by Terrance Malick. In May of 2005 she performed the lead in The Hidden at the Banff Centre for the Arts in the Aboriginal Dance Program. August 2005 April danced the lead in Kanata, an exciting variety program televised by APTN and performed as a guest artist with the Canadian Children’s Theatre 2005/2006.

April was also a dancer in the powerful dance piece Agua with Earth in Motion World Indigenous Dance in Mexico City, 2005 performed in a pool of water. April recently showcased her choreography in a new work, currently in workshop stage, exploring the evolution of aboriginal culture and the beauty of expression through music and dance. It shows how our indigenous culture has transformed to become the hybrids of modern sounds and movements we recognize today. She performed this creation at the Art of Peace Festival 2006 in St. Catharines, Ontario and continues to develop it further.

April Doxtator

Seven Generations Native Crafts

Seven Generations Native Crafts

It has been a long term goal of NCNW to establish a means for Native women crafters to display and market their goods. In 1997, a project of NCNW referred to as Seven Generations Native Crafts attempted to organize and establish a retail/gallery outlet which allowed an avenue for our crafters to display their crafts and utilize the skills taught in the craft workshops such as entrepreneurship and management skills. The intent of the project was to purchase items from local artists to sell through a catalogue venture, wholesale outlets, over the internet or during craft displays. This served two purposes: assisting native artists and assisting the chapter to become self-sufficient through business development. Today, this business is marginally active due to recent losses of NCNW. Our future plans include the revivification of Seven Generations Native Crafts.