(2022 Blockers & Attackers fundraiser – Feature Speaker) JILLIAN WEIR – HAMMER THROW – 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.
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.
International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
November 25th, 2021
Flag raising of No More Stolen Sisters and End Gender-Based Violence flags at Niagara Regional Headquarters, November 25th, 2021, with Regional Chair Jim Bradley, NCNW Executive Director Wendy Sturgeon, Regional CAO Ron Tripp, Community Safety & Wellbeing Michelle Johnston, and Regional Councillor Tim Rigby.
marking the beginning of
16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence
November 25th to December 10th, 2021
Join us virtually, Wednesday, December 8th, 2021, 10:00 am to 11:30 am to learn more with presenters Collin Graham & friends, and ONWA.
Dec. 15, 2021 (Niagara Region, ON) – The Niagara Chapter-Native Women Inc. extends its sincere, heartfelt condolences to the family of Heather Winterstein, who passed while in Emergency Room care. We were appalled and outraged to learn of the treatment and omission of care received by Heather, a 24 old Indigenous woman, who presented at the Emergency Department of Niagara Health System more than once in two days. This type of treatment, or lack thereof, MUST stop. Heather MUST be the last Indigenous person to needlessly die in a hospital emergency department.
We stand firmly with the family in their quest to find the answers to ‘’what went wrong’’. As Indigenous leaders and part of the Indigenous Health Network, within this community, we know we have been promoting Indigenous Cultural Safety training opportunities to all non-Indigenous health care providers throughout the entire LHIN 4 region, both on and off reserve, for some years now. That makes this unnecessary passing all the more tragic and disappointing.
The fact this has happened confirms and indicates to us that Indigenous Health Care must be delivered by Indigenous services. ’We can try to keep teaching non-Indigenous health care providers, caregivers, social workers and justice workers but we are not seeing any changes in the numbers or outcomes.’ Says Wendy Sturgeon, executive director. ‘’’Frankly it turns out to be a waste of our time in many cases, and certainly in this case. We heard the coroner stated this was a totally preventable death’. Just imagine, Heather’s family has to deal with that knowledge now for the rest of their lives.’’
As far as the review and panel goes, we are heartened to see the direction that NHS is taking to ensure the family is part of this as well as Indigenous community leaders and other respected, fair professionals. We look forward to this process once immediate grieving has subside a bit and the family feels strong enough to begin the process.
However, we do call on Canada, Minister of Health, Jean-Yves- Duclos, to initiate a National Act with teeth, accountability, and consequences to breaches thereof, that would make ‘’murder by omission’’ or withholding of health treatment services to Indigenous people illegal in Canada. ~ saying it is illegal now is no longer good enough~ it is criminal and needs to be treated as such. Reconciliation in health care is also acknowledging and supporting, with enhanced resources, our own Indigenous Health Care Services. It is time for Canada to give up its guardianship and paternalistic fictional image of itself as our ‘’’caregivers and overseers’’. We were healthy and intact for thousands of years prior to the rollout of colonialism. The assumed superiority has to stop!
The ‘’First Peoples, First Priority Health Care Act” will enforce what could not be done through decades and decades of education, and by eons of trying to work together to change a totally broken system with an extended, poor history of interactions with Indigenous people.
This two-prong approach: enhanced and expanded resources for Indigenous Health Care by Indigenous Health Services and the National First Peoples, First Priority Health Care Act will begin to ease the fears of Indigenous people across Turtle Island to access health care and send a strong message to all Canadians.
The Niagara Chapter-Native Women Inc. is founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote, and foster the health and wellness, social, economic, cultural and political well-being of First Nations and Métis and Inuit women and their families, within First Nation, Métis, Inuit and Canadian societies. We believe in becoming involved in the activities that affect our daily lives. The chapter is affiliated with Ontario Native Women’s Association.
· As of Thursday, Jan. 6, 11 p.m., we are temporarily closing the Urgent Care Centre at our Fort Erie Site in order to redeploy our emergency-trained physicians and nurses to our Emergency Departments (ED) where they are most needed.
· Members of the community seeking healthcare should first contact their primary care provider.
· Our Urgent Care Centre in Port Colborne remains open and people can also access virtual urgent care services at www.UrgentCareOntario.ca.
UPDATE: COVID 19 OMICRON VARIANT ONTARIO
Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021
A few days ago, Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health
Dr. Kieran Moore asked employers to continue to allow
people to work from home whenever possible as Covid 19
cases are rising across the province. As of today, Dec. 15
the province has strongly requested be enacted. https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-asks-people-to-workfrom-home-as-covid-19-cases-increase-1.5702869 Based on this new request, NCNW is pivoting back to all employees working from home.
The 905 871 8770 phone # will continue to be monitored
and messages answered (be patient, it may take time to get back to you).
We ask you continue to connect via email as you have in
the past and with your worker as usual.
FYI: Several employees will be off over the holiday season for a well deserved rest and family time. You are encouraged to reach out to your
other supports as needed. You can also reach out to
Indigenous Women’s Hotline (all Ontario)
TALK 4 HEALING 24 / 7 at 1-855-554-4325 Text, Call or Chat
Thank you to all the Health Care professionals and volunteers working to keep the community safe at this time.
For information regarding COVID-19 vaccine clinic hours, 3rd dose vaccinations and updates about the COVID-19 virus, please click here.
Orange Shirt Day – September 30th
What Orange Shirt Day means to me: This year, it means honouring those little spirits that have been waiting to tell their truth and the survivors who knew they were there and told the world.
~ Wendy Sturgeon
What does it mean to you? Send us a picture of you in your orange shirt with a sentence and we will post it here!
Tatjana: “What Orange Shirt Day means to me…….Recognizing and reflecting on previous actions made. Performing a check in on one’s personal knowledge of the history of residential schools. Learning more and committing to make a positive difference every day in our community.”
Kristine: “Orange Shirt Day allows me to reflect and educate myself and my children on the injustices that impacted the Indigenous communities and the children who were forced to endure the residential school system during a dark period of Canadian history.”
Karey: “A reminder that the most tragic parts of our history can turn into the most beautiful parts of our future, as we look ahead together, as friends, and caretakers of one another’s souls.”
We honour and validate the healing & reconciliation of former students and families.
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.
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 email@example.com 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.
Wendy 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
OKWATEN:RO NE'KI:KEN - AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM 2008 -2010
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.
3rd Annual "ABORIGINAL FESTIVAL"
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.
DRAW PRIZE / GIFT SPONSORS
Curves for Women Fort Erie
O.L.G. Fort Erie Slots
Yoga For Fitness Centre – Niagara Falls
Penny Bowers Massage
Fort Erie Chamber of Commerce
25th Anniversary Annual General Meeting
Sunday, Sept. 14, 2008
12:00 noon – 3:00 p.m.
Gilmore Road, Fort Erie
RSVP please 905-871-8770
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!
EARLY CHILDHOOD AND AFTER SCHOOL EDUCATION PROGRAMS
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.
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.
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.