Women’s Initiatives Sector

The power and strength of First Nations women are vital components of healthy, vibrant families, communities and nations. Women are life givers, caretakers, educators and leaders. Colonial policies and institutions have devalued and diminished the identity and rights of First Nations women and created social and economic conditions that perpetuate discrimination and violence. First Nations women continue to carry on in their many roles despite the severe impacts of patriarchal and discriminatory practices and toxic messaging.

The Women’s Initiatives Sector was established in 2021 to promote the safety, well-being and the empowerment of Ontario First Nations women, girls and Two-Spirit, gender-diverse people and First Nations communities. This work is carried out in conjunction with the First Nations Women’s Council, an advisory council to the Chiefs-in-Assembly, and by bringing a gender-based lens to the issues that impact First Nations communities across Ontario. These issues include Missing and Murdered Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit, and gender-diverse people (MMIWG2S), gender-based violence, the need for community supports such as victim services, healing and prevention programs and education and awareness, and initiatives to promote and empower First Nations women’s well-being and leadership capacity.

The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in 2019 contained 231 Calls for Justice. As part of the Assembly of First Nations’ input into the MMIWG2SLGBTQQIA+ National Action Plan released in 2021, Ontario First Nations survivors and families of missing and murdered loved ones participated as advisors in 26 regional engagement sessions across Ontario. The regional engagement, coordinated jointly by the Assembly of First Nations and the First Nations Women’s Council, generated a broad range of recommendations outlined in the roll-up report, Decolonizing Systems and Planting Seeds.

Locate the Report here: MMIWG2S: Decolonizing Systems and Planting Seeds – Advice from Ontario’s First Nations Survivors and Families

The First Nations Women’s Council provided support to Ontario First Nations families and survivors throughout the National Inquiry process, coordinating two Family Gatherings for family members and survivors to share their stories and their healing journeys. Further to Resolution 39/18, the Women’s Council and COO Women’s Initiatives coordinated a third Family Gathering (delayed due to COVID-19) in January 2022 for Ontario First Nations MMIWG2S families and survivors and community front-line workers.

This virtual event provided support and healing workshops and information on grief and loss, trauma-informed and traditional approaches, working with those responsible for violence, Two-Spirit and LGBTQ+ experience, human trafficking and working with youth. Participants provided feedback on these topics as well as the earlier regional engagement.

The MMIWG2S Family Gathering Summary Report can be found here: MMIWG2S Family Gathering – Summary Report 2022

You can also view the Family Gathering by visiting the Chiefs of Ontario YouTube Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/chiefsofontario

Dialogue and feedback from the Family Gathering were utilized to draft an Ontario First Nations Gender-Based Violence Action Plan. The First Nations Women’s Council met with Women Chiefs to review the action plan, which was finalized and approved by Leadership Council in April 2022. Priorities under the Ontario First Nations Gender-Based Violence Action Plan include: providing information on gender-based violence such as definitions, statistics and available resources; developing a First Nations toolkit on human trafficking awareness; developing a First Nations toolkit on gender diversity: Two-Spirit and LGBTQQIA+ identity; promoting Safe Space in First Nations communities; and advocacy for men’s healing supports.

Download the Fact Sheet here: Fact Sheet on Violence against First Nations Women and Gender-Diverse People

The feedback from families, survivors and communities highlight the ongoing need for resources to support them in healing and preventing further violence. In addition to creating information resources to raise awareness of gender-based violence, human trafficking and gender diversity, the Women’s Initiatives Sector is conducting a research project that will support First Nations victim services by adapting mainstream tools for assessing risk and danger of intimate partner violence – see below Risk Assessment and Danger Assessment Toolkit (RADAT) for more information.

Download the upcoming events calendar here: Women’s Initiatives Gender Based Calendar of Significant Dates

The Women’s Initiatives Sector and First Nations Women’s Council (FNWC) also bring women’s voices to discussions on broader issues affecting First Nations, such as anti-racism, housing, environment, economic development and justice.

Resolution 41/18 directed the FNWC to coordinate a second leadership summit for First Nations women, further to the initial 2018 summit, which provided a forum for women to discuss challenges related to gender equity and being in leadership. The follow-up summit is planned for March 2023 and will provide a platform for women to exchange knowledge, learn through shared personal experience and build networks.

For more information on the upcoming Leadership Summit, please see below.

Download the Leadership Summit Save the Date here: https://www.chiefsmeeting.com/womens-leadership-summit

The Women’s Initiatives Sector also provides liaison to an informal network of Women Chiefs from across Ontario to solicit their views on priority issues and preferred approaches for supporting women in leadership.

First Nations Women’s Council

The First Nations Women’s Council was established in 2011 and was mandated to develop community-based strategies to end violence against First Nations women and girls and to make recommendations as a First Nations women’s caucus into a provincial joint working group on violence against Indigenous women.

The First Nations Women’s Council is an advisory council to Ontario First Nations Leadership. It provides reports and recommendations to the Chiefs-in-Assembly. The Terms of Reference for the First Nations Women’s Council were updated in 2022 to highlight the role of the Council in ensuring a gender-based lens is applied to the work of the Chiefs of Ontario in ensuring the safety and well-being of First Nations women, girls and Two-Spirit and gender-diverse people.

Members of the First Nations Women’s Council are appointed by their organizations or Councils. The Women’s Initiatives Sector provides coordination and technical support to the First Nations Women’s Council.

Donna Debassige – Anishinabek Nation

Rebecca Timms – Anishinabek Nation

Deputy Grand Chief Stacia Loft – Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians

Sydney Lockwood – Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians

Debbie Lipscombe – Grand Council Treaty #3

Lyndia Jones – Independent First Nations

Chief JoAnn Swamp – Mohawk Council of Akwesasne

Chief Sarah-Lee Sunday Diabo – Mohawk Council of Akwesasne

Deputy Grand Chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum – Nishnawbe Aski Nation

Loretta Sheshequin – Nishnawbe Aski Nation

Sandra Montour – Six Nations of the Grand River

Resolutions

First Nations Leadership has long called for an end to the violence and victimization that impacts First Nations in Ontario. As such, Chiefs-in-Assembly has directed governments to work with First Nations to resolve these issues. First Nations Leadership has also supported approaches to encourage women’s participation in leadership across the province. The following is a non-exhaustive list of Resolutions that have and continue to inform the work of the Women’s Initiatives Sector.

  • 13-04 – Adoption of a Declaration by First Nations Political Leadership to Support Ending Violence and Abuse in Our Communities and Against Our Peoples: Chiefs-in-Assembly resolve to work with staff, community members and grassroots organizations to implement the Declaration in all necessary forms; and will continue to strategize on ending violence and abuse at First Nations and non-First Nations political leadership tables.
  • 14-19   Our Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls: Chiefs-in-Assembly call for an Ontario First Nations specific inquiry to be conducted into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, led by the Chiefs of Ontario, through partnering with First Nations and organizations from across the country, to feed into the National Inquiry. The First Nation Women’s Council will also complete research, compile data, and produce a report that speaks accurately to the issues and statistics concerning missing and murdered Indigenous women. Chiefs-in-Assembly demand immediate investments by the federal, provincial and municipal governments for housing, mental health, police services and other related services for the protection of abused women and children.
  • 05-15Chiefs Committee on the Safety of Our Citizens: Chiefs-in-Assembly mandate the creation of this Committee to develop strategies and action plans in keeping with the political direction of the Chiefs-in-Assembly on the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG); to advocate for MMIWG safety and for the inclusion of their families in any related federal/provincial processes; to develop strategies for dialogue with federal and provincial governments on this issue; and to examine the issue of murdered and missing Indigenous men and boys.
  • 06-15 Mishkeegogamang First Nation Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Men and Boys: Chiefs-in-Assembly support the work of Mishkeegogamang First Nation on the MMIWG issue, including the specific cases from Mishkeegogamang and their call for further dialogue. Chiefs-in-Assembly hold accountable the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Ontario Provincial Police, the City of Thunder Bay Police, other municipalities, city police forces, and other Aboriginal Police Services, and Regional Coroners’ Offices throughout Ontario, in all the outstanding and unresolved cases that are being worked on for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Men and Boys. Chiefs-in-Assembly demand the federal government call for an Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Implementation of this Resolution must include the consideration of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Men and Boys. Chiefs-in-Assembly call upon all levels of government to implement the action priorities agreed upon at the National Roundtable.
  • 05-16 – Second “Our Inquiry” Family Gathering – Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls: Chiefs-in-Assembly call upon the Government of Ontario to provide the necessary funding to support the second Family Gathering of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Men. Chiefs-in-Assembly direct the Chiefs of Ontario, through the First Nations Women’s Council, to coordinate planning and advocate for funding to host the second Family Gathering to build on previous accomplishments achieved in the first “Our Inquiry” Gathering.
  • 06-16 First Nations Women and Chiefs’ Leadership Summit: In order for our communities to be strong, healthy, inclusive, and to support more women in leadership roles, a forum for women is needed to prioritize issues, develop key recommendations and a comprehensive strategy to address issues of gender equity, gender rights, community wellness, gender roles and responsibilities and women’s leadership and representation in Ontario-wide processes and within the Assembly. The First Nations Women’s Council (FNWC) are directed to undertake this foundational work of coordinating the planning and delivery of this Leadership Summit and providing a report and recommendations to Chiefs-in-Assembly at the next Assembly. Chiefs-in-Assembly support expanding the FNWC mandate of ending violence in our communities, to also include working towards a Chiefs of Ontario specific gender balanced approach.
  • 39-18 – Third “Our Inquiry” Family Gathering for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG): Chiefs-in-Assembly call upon the Government of Ontario to provide the necessary funding to support the third “Our Inquiry” Family Gathering of MMIWG including men and boys, and direct the First Nations Women’s Council to plan and coordinate the Gathering.
  • 40-18 Ending Violence against Indigenous Women Strategy: Chiefs-in-Assembly call upon the provincial government to extend the mandate of the executive committee for Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women, and to continue to fund programs and services it supports such as the Family Wellbeing Program, Indigenous Victim Services, and Indigenous Sexual Assault Services.
  • 41-18 – Second First Nations Women Summit: Chiefs-in-Assembly call upon Ontario to provide necessary funding to support a second First Nations Women’s Summit to support women in leadership roles and representation in Ontario wide processes, and direct the First Nations Women’s Council (FNWC) to coordinate the planning and delivery of this Summit to build on the work achieved to date and report back to Chiefs-in-Assembly.
  • 08-19 – Support for Victims of Human Trafficking: First Nations Women’s Council (FNWC) are directed to undertake foundational work to address victims of human trafficking and to conduct a feasibility study and project plan to establish a safe house in the Greater Toronto Area for First Nations victims of human trafficking. Chiefs-in-Assembly call upon the federal and provincial governments to provide sufficient and sustainable funding to support First Nations victims of human trafficking, and direct FNWC to provide regular annual progress reports back to the Chiefs-in-Assembly.
  • 29-19 – National Inquiry Calls for Justice and Implementation: Chiefs-in-Assembly call upon federal and provincial governments to provide an implementation plan led by a third party to monitor the progress of the Calls for Justice with dedicated sustainable funding for the Ontario First Nations Women’s Council (FNWC); and direct the FNWC to secure funding for an Ontario-based implementation plan to implement the National Inquiry Recommendations. Chiefs-in-Assembly call upon the federal and provincial governments to support an Indigenous-led research entity and data steward, and to establish a healing fund for families of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Risk Assessment & Danger Assessment Tools (RADAT)

One of the initial priorities identified within the Women’s Initiatives Sector was the need to support victim services in First Nations communities. The Risk Assessment and Danger Assessment Tools (RADAT) research project was established in 2022 to address this need.

The goal of the RADAT research initiative is to assist First Nations victim services by enhancing tools for assessing risk and danger, safety planning, and for tracking victims of partner violence.

An initial step in this multi-phase project is to provide training for First Nations crisis workers, shelter workers and police services on mainstream risk and danger assessment tools and safety planning, and to obtain their feedback on the applicability of these tools and indicators in First Nations settings. See below for more information on the training.

Feedback from participant surveys will be analyzed and used to draft First Nations-specific tools for risk assessment and danger assessment. Research findings will also inform the design and creation of templates that can be adapted by First Nations communities to track and report data related to First Nations victims of violence.

Risk Assessment and Danger Assessment Tools (RADAT) Working Group

A project working group has been established to guide this work. The Working Group members, listed below, provide extensive academic and professional expertise in the fields of First Nations policing; violence against Indigenous women, victim services, Indigenous shelters and social services:

  • Alana Morrison, D. Sgt. #1220 – Survivor Assistance Program
  • Jocelynn Rancourt – Survivor Service Worker, Survivor Assistance Program (alternate)
  • Anna-Lee Straatman – Project Manager Knowledge Hub (www.kh-cdc.ca), Family Violence Family Law, Centre for Research & Education on Violence against Women and Children, Western University
  • Katreena Scott – Academic Director, Family Violence Family Law, Centre for Research & Education on Violence against Women and Children, Western University (alternate)
  • Sandi Montour – Executive Director, Ganohkwasra Family Assault Support Services
  • Lyndia Jones – Health Director, Independent First Nations (alternate)
  • Tammy LaFreniere – Branch Manager, Ontario Native Women’s Association
  • Marilyn Pajunen – Branch Manager, Ontario Native Women’s Association (alternate)
  • Abi Ajibolade – Executive Director, The Redwood
  • Lucy Deluca – Office Coordinator, The Redwood (alternate)
  • Dr. Carol Mulder DBA MSc DVM CUTL – Senior Scientist, Chiefs of Ontario
  • Jeanine George – Executive Director, Aboriginal Shelters of Ontario
  • Lana Ray, Ph.D. – Lakehead University
  • Barbara General – Women’s Initiatives Sector Program Lead, Chiefs of Ontario
  • Rebekah Ederer – Women’s Initiatives Sector Research Coordinator, Chiefs of Ontario

Risk Assessment and Danger Assessment Tools (RADAT) Online Training Sessions

Beginning in January 2023, the Chiefs of Ontario Women’s Initiatives sector is hosting training sessions in the areas of First Nations victim services risk assessment, danger assessment, and safety planning. The training sessions will bring awareness to risk assessments and support the work of shelter workers, Indigenous victim services, and police services. Registration is now open. Please register here: http://coo.smudging.ca/

For more information, please visit https://www.chiefsmeeting.com/radat2023 or contact Barbara General, Program Lead, Women’s Initiatives, Chiefs of Ontario, via Barbara.General@coo.org.

Chiefs of Ontario invites you to attend a training session on Risk Assessment. This training session will offer an opportunity to bring awareness on risk assessments and support the work of shelter workers, Indigenous victim services, and police services.

The Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment (ODARA) is an actuarial tool that assesses the risk of recidivism of an offender. Created by the Ontario Provincial Police Behavioural Sciences and Analysis Section, this tool is used by police services throughout the province.

Training Sessions:

  • Risk Assessment Training 2: January 30, 2023 – 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
  • Risk Assessment Training 3: February 27, 2023 – 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
  • Risk Assessment Training 4: March 27, 2023 – 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Rescheduled Training Session:

  • Risk Assessment Training 1: March 13, 2023 – 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Location: Virtually via Zoom.

Registration: http://coo.smudging.ca/

Who should attend: These training sessions are open to First Nations front-line workers employed in First Nations shelters, Indigenous Victim Services, and First Nations police constables.

Contact: For additional information, please contact Barbara General, Program Lead, Women’s Initiatives, Chiefs of Ontario, via Barbara.General@coo.org.

About the Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment (ODARA)

ODARA is an actuarial tool for estimating the risk that a domestic violence offender will assault a partner again. It was created by the Ontario Provincial Police Behavioural Sciences and Analysis Section and researchers at Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care. ODARA items are also used to score the Domestic Violence Risk Appraisal Guide (DVRAG).

ODARA 101 is an online, restricted-access training program designed to allow assessors to obtain domestic violence risk assessment training anytime, anywhere, and at no charge. Over 1000 assessors per year complete the training, which takes 4-6 hours on average. This training supplements the book, Domestic Violence Risk Assessment, which includes FAQs, more practice cases, literature reviews, and guidance on implementation and risk communication.

Learn more here https://odara.waypointcentre.ca/.

About the Risk Assessment Trainer

Dr. N. Zoe Hilton is a professor of psychiatry in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, a registered psychologist, and a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association. She was the lead of the research team that developed the Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment (ODARA) and author of the book, “Domestic Violence Risk Assessment, 2nd edition,” published by the American Psychological Association in 2021.

Dr. Hilton conducts research that pertains to justice-involved individuals in the criminal justice and psychiatric systems, and the professionals who provide services for them. Her current funded research as principal investigator includes a partnership development grant to examine standardized risk assessment and coercive control in domestic violence, and a knowledge synthesis grant to examine how coercive control is experienced and policed in 2SLGBTQQIA+ communities. Another major research project is based at Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care follows a cohort of men from admission through four years of care in forensic psychiatry, to explore how their histories and adjustment in the hospital are related to aggression and measures of success.

Dr. Hilton was also the lead of a research and knowledge translation project on Trauma among Psychiatric Workers, a co-investigator on project led by Sandy Jung of MacEwan University to examine domestic violence risk in threat assessment and management, and a collaborator in the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative with Vulnerable Populations. Dr. Hilton earned her PhD in Psychology at the University of Toronto and a Master’s degree in Criminology from the University of Cambridge, as well as an Honours degree in Psychology from the University of Southampton.

Chiefs of Ontario invites you to attend a training session on Danger Assessment. This training session will offer an opportunity to bring awareness on risk assessments and support the work of shelter workers, Indigenous victim services, and police services.

The Danger Assessment Tool was developed by Jacqueline Campbell, who consulted with women’s shelters, law enforcement, and other clinical professionals in the field of violence against women. The danger assessment tool helps to determine the level of danger of an abused woman by her partner.

Training Sessions:

  • Danger Assessment Training 1: January 23, 2023 – 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
  • Danger Assessment Training 2: February 15, 2023 – 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
  • Danger Assessment Training 3: March 24, 2023 – 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
  • Danger Assessment Training 4: April 14, 2023 – 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Location: Virtually via Zoom.

Registration: http://coo.smudging.ca/

Who should attend: These training sessions are open to First Nations front-line workers employed in First Nations shelters, Indigenous Victim Services, and First Nations police constables.

Contact: For additional information, please contact Barbara General, Program Lead, Women’s Initiatives, Chiefs of Ontario, via Barbara.General@coo.org.

About the Danger Assessment Tool

The Danger Assessment is an instrument that helps to determine the level of danger an abused woman has of being killed by her intimate partner. The tool was originally developed by Jacquelyn Campbell (1986) with consultation and content validity support from battered women, shelter workers, law enforcement officials, and other clinical experts on battering. There are two parts to the tool: a calendar and a 20-item scoring instrument.

Learn more here https://www.dangerassessment.org/.

About the Danger Assessment Trainer

Dr. Jill Theresa Messing, MSW, Ph.D., is a Professor in the School of Social Work and the Director of the Office of Gender-Based Violence at Arizona State University. Dr. Messing specializes in the development and testing of intimate partner violence risk assessments and is particularly interested in the use of risk assessment in collaborative, innovative interventions and as a strategy for reducing intimate partner homicide. She is a Principal Investigator on the P.A.I.R. Studies, a 6-state series of case-control studies examining risk factors for intimate partner homicide funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research, the National Science Foundation, and Every town for Gun Safety. To enhance survivor access to risk assessment and intervention, Dr. Messing and her colleagues developed the technology-based myPlan intervention (www.myplanapp.org). She was a co-investigator on three NIH-funded randomized controlled trials examining the effectiveness of this safety-planning tool for women in abusive relationships and is currently adapting the intervention for Kyrgyzstan through a grant from the Sexual Violence Research Initiative and the World Bank. Dr. Messing has published over 90 articles and book chapters and is the co-editor of the 3rd edition of Assessing Dangerousness: Domestic violence offenders and child abusers.

Chiefs of Ontario invites you to attend a training session on Safety Planning. This training session will offer an opportunity to bring awareness on risk assessments and support the work of shelter workers, Indigenous victim services, and police services.

The Redwood Safety Assessment and Risk Management (SARM). In collaboration with The Redwood staff, this safety-planning tool was developed by Beth Jordan, Adobe Consulting Services, through joint development work with Deborah Sinclair, MSW, RSW. It involves collective wisdom from hundreds of front-line workers, researchers, criminal/legal service providers, health professionals and women directly affected by violence against women and children.

Training Sessions:

  • Safety Planning Training 1: January 27, 2023 – 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
  • Safety Planning Training 2: February 24, 2023 – 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
  • Safety Planning Training 3: March 31, 2023 – 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
  • Safety Planning Training 4: April 28, 2023 – 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Location: Virtually via Zoom.

Registration: http://coo.smudging.ca/

Who should attend: These training sessions are open to First Nations front-line workers employed in First Nations shelters, Indigenous Victim Services, and First Nations police constables.

Contact: For additional information, please contact Barbara General, Program Lead, Women’s Initiatives, Chiefs of Ontario, via Barbara.General@coo.org.

About the Safety Assessment and Risk Management (Safety Planning) Trainers

Abi Ajibolade is the current Executive Director of Redwood.

For the last 20 years, she has worked as a facilitator and social justice advocate. She has dedicated most of her community work to empowering young people and women. Abi has coached, mentored, and practiced anti-oppression and intersectional feminism, striving for diversity and inclusion through transformative ideas, action and accountability.

Abi recently co-created a successful Safety Assessment & Risk Management (SARM) Framework that represents a major shift in focus within the violence against women sector and has delivered the SARM presentation to over 25 groups and conferences, including at the Canadian Domestic Violence Conference and the 3rd World Conference of Women’s Shelters in The Netherlands.

Abi is the current board president of the Ontario Association of Interval and Transitional Houses (OAITH) and sits on the board of METRAC. She is a registered psychotherapist, certified Crisis Prevention Intervention Instructor, certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor, and a licensed Mindfulness-Based Chronic Pain Management facilitator.

Chantel Jeremiah is a project coordinator facilitating The Redwood’s Ending Gender-Based Violence: Ontario Prevention and Intervention Services project. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology and Justice from Ontario Tech University and a Master of Arts Degree in Criminology and Social Justice from Toronto Metropolitan University.

Literature Review: A Review of The Literature on the Risk Indicators of Intimate Partner Violence against First Nations Women, Two Spirit, and Gender-Diverse People

Indigenous women experience a disproportionate rate of intimate partner violence higher than any other group of women in Canada (Cotter, 2021; Ontario Native Women’s Association, 2020). Two Spirit and gender-diverse people are at additional risk of experiencing intimate partner violence due to the compounded effects of racism, sexism, and homophobia (2-Spirited People of the 1st Nations, 2008; Hunt, 2016).

The following literature review examined the available peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed literature on intimate partner violence against First Nations women, Two Spirit and gender-diverse people.

Download the Literature Review here: A Review of The Literature on the Risk Indicators of Intimate Partner Violence against First Nations Women Two Spirit and Gender

Women’s Leadership Summit

The First Nations Women’s Council and COO Women’s Initiatives Sector are hosting a First Nations Women’s Leadership Summit for First Nations women leaders to exchange knowledge, learn through shared personal experiences, and build networks on March 7-9, 2023. The First Nations Women’s Leadership Summit theme is “Sharing our Strengths.”

The Summit is an opportunity to support and empower more First Nations women in leadership roles (elected and non-elected) and to dialogue on community issues and strategies for supporting strong, healthy, inclusive communities. Over three days, women Chiefs from across Ontario will come together to begin discussions on developing an Ontario First Nations Women in Leadership Strategy. This strategy will include a toolkit with training information, resources, and self-assessment tools for First Nations women and girls aspiring to become leaders and approaches and mentorship opportunities for developing leadership skills. The Summit will also be a good opportunity to highlight the accomplishments of First Nations women leaders.

This gathering is supported through Resolution 41/18, which supports more First Nations women in leadership roles.

The Women’s Initiatives Sector and First Nations Women’s Council (FNWC) will also be creating an online speaker series to promote the safety and well-being of First Nations women, girls, 2SLGBTQ+ people and communities, and welcomes opportunities to collaborate with the Ontario First Nations Young People’s Council (OFNYPC) on these important issues.

For more information, please visit https://www.chiefsmeeting.com/womens-leadership-summit.

Contact the Women's Initiatives Sector

Nancy Johnson
Director of Women’s Initiatives
Nancy.Johnson@coo.org
Toronto Office: (416) 597-1266
Toll-Free: 1-877-517-6527

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