Inaugural Blockers & Attackers 2020 Event


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 very first Blockers & Attackers fundraising event successful! 

For those of you interested in getting involved with our annual event, kindly contact Resource Development Assistant via email at or phone (905) 208-7060 for the next upcoming event and how you can participate.


Scroll down to see what the 2020 inaugural fundraiser was all about. Click here to find out what the 2021 fundraiser theme will be and what new surprises we will bring!



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 very first inaugural event: Blockers & Attackers: Indigenous Women in Sports Leadership. This fundraising event will engage 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 very first Indigenous Armchair Cafe virtual 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!


BLOCKERS & ATTACKERS 2020 Media Release – Sept. 8

Download or share: Blockers & Attackers 2020


Take a look at our outstanding Indigenous female speakers!



AMY WILSON-HANDS is an Ojibwe woman from Manitou Rapids First Nation in Treaty 3. She lived her entire life in a small town called Fort Frances, ON until 2017 when she moved to Milton, ON.

Amy is a proud wife to Steve and mom to five beautiful souls. She began her involvement in sports from a young age where she was introduced to all sorts of sports through her father. His love of all games, including traditional, quickly became something that they ended up sharing. Amy’s father encouraged her to compete hard, leave everything she had out on the field or court, have good sportsmanship and to hold her head high while walking off the playing field regardless of the result. Amy competed in baseball, basketball, soccer and volleyball with one of these sports being very much a big part of her life in the way of coaching. Amy’s coaching career began because her Dad encouraged her to coach at a local elementary school. Her dad knew she had the gift to help others see what sports can bring to someone’s life. Amy began coaching 2006 and the following year, she coached at the local high school and went on to win quite a few high school championships during her high school coaching.

Amy co-founded two volleyball clubs in Northwestern Ontario with the most recent in 2015. She was 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 programming.

In 2016, Amy applied for the Coaches Association of Canada’s Aboriginal Apprenticeship Program. Out of 84 applications received in Ontario, she was awarded one of two apprenticeships. Amy did not know at the time, but this was the start of coaching in the high performance stream.  She mentored under Team Ontario Women’s Volleyball Head Coach, Richard Eddy and joined the coaching staff of Larissa Byckalo, Tine Lee & Gabriel DeGroot. They travelled to Fort Lauderdale, Florida where they earned a bronze medal in the prestigious USA High Performance Championships.

In 2017, Amy along with Team Ontario Women’s volleyball & staff headed to Winnipeg, MB for the 2017 Canada Summer Games where they competed against provinces and territories from across Canada. After a hard fought battle, Team Ontario ended up taking home fourth place after losing to New Brunswick.

Also, in the summer of 2017, Amy head coached Aboriginal Team Ontario 16U women at the North American Indigenous Games in Toronto, ON. She is set head coach again in 2021 at the North American Indigenous Games in Halifax, NS with the Aboriginal Team Ontario 19U women.

Amy continued coaching at the provincial level after her Canada Games cycle. She went on to Assistant Coach with Team Ontario Red (2019), and Team Ontario Elite (2020). She is currently Head Coaching at Pakmen Volleyball Club.

Amy applied for a spot in the Enhanced Female Mentorship Program through the Coaches Association of Canada. She was chosen as one of 15 mentorship spots across Canada. She is currently under the mentorship of Brenda Willis.  

Featured Speaker: WANEEK HORN-MILLER


WANEEK HORN-MILLER has overcome discrimination and trauma to emerge as one of North America’s most inspiring activists and Olympians. She empowers our communities to overcome adversity, and helps us turn reconciliation—justice, healing, and dialogue—into a cornerstone of our national institutions.

Throughout her life, Waneek Horn-Miller has always stood up for what was right—as a mother, an activist, an athlete, and an entrepreneur. Horn-Miller’s public life began in 1990 at the age of 14. During the Oka Crisis, she protested the planned development of condos and a golf course on traditional Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) lands and burial grounds near Montreal. After nearly 80 days of stand-off with the RCMP and armed forces, she was stabbed in the chest by a Canadian soldier wielding a bayonet. The image of her wounded, holding her young sister, was shared across national media—and further galvanized Canadians to better understand, and care about, Indigenous issues. 

One of Horn-Miller’s greatest achievements has been in athletics. She was the first woman to be named Carleton University’s Athlete of the Year, which she won four years in a row. After winning gold with her water polo team at the Pan Am Games in 1999, and after winning MVP of the Canadian Senior Women’s Water Polo National Championships, she became the first Mohawk woman from this country to ever compete in the Olympic games, co-captaining Team Canada in Sydney in 2000. That same year, she appeared on the cover of TIME magazine She went on to win bronze at the 2001 FINA World Championships and became a torchbearer for the Winter Olympics in Turin. She has been named one of Canada’s most influential women in sport by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity. In October 2019, she was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, making her the first water polo player ever to be honored.

After her retirement as an athlete, she has gone on to help others achieve in sports and lead healthy, balanced lifestyles. She was Assistant Chef de Mission for Team Canada at the 2015 Pan Am Games. She is also the host of Working It Out Together—a 13-part documentary and healthy-eating initiative with the Aboriginal Peoples’ Television Network, which aims to build “an Indigenous movement of positive change” and “features dynamic leaders in health advocacy and courageous men and women who are figuring out what it takes to be well and to thrive.” Her work here was recognized with a 2015 DAREarts Cultural Award.

Previously, she assumed the role of Director of Community Engagement for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. By connecting the commission to victims’ families, as well as the public, she provided a recognizable and trusted face to an incredibly important initiative: one that seeks justice, raises awareness of violence against Indigenous women, and furthers the dual tasks of healing and reconciliation.

She is also an ambassador for Manitobah Mukluks, the world-famous footwear brand. Known for being Indigenous-owned and proudly Canadian, Manitobah Mukluks supports Indigenous communities, shares success with others, keeps traditions alive, and celebrates living history—a compelling blend of fashion, quality product, and social responsibility.



NICOLE JOY-FRASER is of mixed Settler European, Dene Zaa, Nehiyaw and Métis descent. She has had the incredible opportunity to work as a professional performing artist for the last twenty years and across Turtle Island with many celebrated companies such as Mirvish Productions (Mamma Mia! Original Cast and US Tour), Factory Theatre, Native Earth, Red Sky, The Blyth Festival, The Charlottetown Festival, The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, The Toronto Symphony Orchestra, The 2010 Vancouver Cultural Olympiad, the Smithsonian Museum in NYC and most recently was invited to the Acting Company of this season’s Stratford Festival. 

Nicole has also enjoyed living across the Atlantic for a few years where she performed in the multi-award-winning musical “Jerry Springer-The Opera” in the West End and in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” which toured the UK and had a short run in Athens.  As a 60’s scoop witness she yearned to make her way home and is grateful to have premiered and collaborated on many roles since within Indigenous Theatre and Opera, all of which have helped her reclaim her Indigenous Identity. 

Nicole currently lives in Niagara-On-The Lake with her partner and son and has been grateful for her local work with Essential Collective Theatre, Carousel Players, In The Soul Arts Festival, First Ontario Performing Arts Centre and Celebration of Nations. She has been a helper in the community having worked at Niagara Regional Native Centre, Niagara Chapter Native Women and in the Indigenous Education department at Niagara College. Nicole continues to look forward to promoting and sharing Indigenous ways of knowing and as a proud Bear clan member and Hand drum carrier, supporting each other through healing and the arts.



JESSICA GHOSEN is an All-Star Roller Derby athlete based out of Buffalo, NY. She is Turtle Clan, Seneca, and member of the Cayuga Nation from Six Nations of the Grand River. She is a daughter, sister, auntie, partner, and die-hard dog mom. She is also a canine professional, crafts women, and yogi.

She has spent the past nine years passionately giving her all to the sport; in any capacity she can while constantly growing and achieving new heights. Jessica took to the track back in 2011 with Queen City Roller Derby and was quickly drafted onto her first team with the Devil Dollies. Since then, she continued to progress year after year and in late 2013 was taken on as a travel charter skater with the Lake Effect Furies. The Furies have steadily climbed in the WFTDA’s rankings and currently sit at 23rd, and in 2017 hit their highest ranking ever at 17th in the world. 

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 her mental health too. This past March, Jessica received her 200 hour certification as a registered Yoga Teacher through Evolation Yoga. With her certification, she hopes to eventually be able to offer free or donation-based classes to communities that may not typically have access to this spiritual practice. She believes yoga has the ability to be life changing, and transformative, and is something that has been a truly positive force within her life. 


During her downtime, Jessica enjoys leisure and park skating, being outdoors with her partner and their dogs, and crafting in any way she can. 





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This event wouldn’t have been possible without their continued support!


This project made possible by and with our thanks to: