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The Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) is honoured by all the powerful and wonderful words shared with us this morning during the Welcoming Remarks of our 51st Annual General Assembly (AGA) and Leadership Conference“Indigenous Women’s Leadership for Generations to Come” at the Best Western Plus Nor’wester Hotel & Conference Centre in Thunder Bay.
“51 years, wow; thriving, growing. Thank you for all the contributions you have made to our communities. You work hard for 51 years. You still have a lot of work ahead of you for all the men and women across our communities.” – Chief Peter Collins, Fort William First Nation
“It is especially important to see the young ones here. Because they are who we are doing this work for.” – Melvin Hardy, Northern Superior Deputy Grand Council Chief
“When it comes to Indigenous women leadership, we can not only focus on how far we have come but also on where we are going. The work ONWA has been doing is vital. You are not only leading the way, you are building Indigenous women’s leadership. Your work inspires us all to be better leaders.” – The Honourable Charmaine Williams, Associate Minister of Women’s Social and Economic Opportunity
“I know that resiliency is important. I also know that Indigenous people and black people should not need to be so resilient. Because resiliency is surviving trauma, it is being strong through discrimination and racism. So long as we must be resilient, we are failing. Because no one should have to live through it. I hope to help people not have to talk about resiliency, but to speak about safety and healing. This is the work that ONWA does.” – The Honourable Patty Hadju, Minister of Indigenous Services & Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario