Ontario Supporting Indigenous Women
Province and Indigenous Partners Mark Second Anniversary of Walking Together
Ontario, together with Indigenous partners, continues to make progress in its commitment to end the cycle of violence against Indigenous women and girls.
The province released its second progress report on Walking Together: Ontario's Long-Term Strategy to End Violence Against Indigenous Women. By raising awareness, building culturally appropriate programming, and improving socio-economic conditions, the Strategy seeks to disrupt the cycle of violence experienced by Indigenous women, and support their healing and wellness.
Two years on, Walking Together is supporting Indigenous women and families in their communities across the province. Some key accomplishments include:
- Implementing the Family Well-Being program in more than 250 sites and communities across Ontario, with more than 200 program workers, delivering culturally-appropriate services for Indigenous children and families
- Enacting the Missing Persons Act, which, when implemented, will make missing persons investigations more timely and effective
- Hosting the fifth National Indigenous Women's Summit, bringing approximately 300 delegates together to workshop and recommend the best ways to empower Indigenous women now and in the future
- Developing a Performance Measurement Framework to measure the success of Walking Together in a culturally appropriate way that will improve how Ontario measures the success of Indigenous-focused initiatives.
The province will continue to work with Indigenous partners on Walking Together, as part of its commitment to ending violence against Indigenous women and girls, and as one of many steps on Ontario's journey of healing and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. It reflects the government's commitment to work with Indigenous partners, creating a better future for everyone in the province.
- Ontario is investing $100 million in Walking Together, over three years to support efforts to address violence against Indigenous women, deliver holistic and culturally-appropriate programming for Indigenous women and their families, and educate communities and the broader province on this kind of violence and the role everyone has in ending it.
- Representatives from the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres, the Ontario Native Women’s Association, Chiefs of Ontario, the Métis Nation of Ontario, Independent First Nations, Nishnawbe Aski Nation, and Six Nations sit on an executive committee that guides implementation of the strategy.
“Walking Together is an example of the good that comes from governments and policymakers listening to Indigenous communities and working hand-in-hand with them on their priorities. Two years into the strategy, I’m proud of the province’s work and our accomplishments with Indigenous partners. More remains to be done, but Ontario is committed to continuing to walk together with First Nations, Métis and Inuit women and communities, to see this strategy through.”
“Through the Ontario Indigenous Children and Youth Strategy, developed with Indigenous partners, we are moving closer to our goal of ending violence against Indigenous women. I'm proud that the Family Well-Being Program, an essential part of Walking Together, is being implemented by First Nations, Inuit, Métis and urban Indigenous partners. Together they are developing community-based programming that meets their local needs, and enables Indigenous children and youth to grow and thrive.”
“Indigenous women, like all women in the province, deserve to feel safe wherever they are. We have made important progress on this goal in the two years since Walking Together was launched. Through the Kanawayhitowin: Taking Care of Each Other’s Spirit prevention and education campaign initiative, we have reached more than 52,000 people to raise awareness of the signs of violence against women in their communities.”
“I am happy to see the continued growth and progress of so many initiatives in Walking Together. This Strategy has developed out of years of collaborative work between Indigenous organizations and activists, as well as new and growing relationships with government partners. OFIFC has been part of this work from the very beginning, and while much remains to be done, we are very proud of how far it has come. OFIFC looks forward to another year of progress through stronger relationships, greater collaboration, and better outcomes for our women, girls and communities.”
“Walking Together has provided the Ontario Native Women’s Association and the communities we serve the opportunity to develop and implement strategies to eliminate violence against Indigenous women. This includes the creation of many new programs and supports meant to address the systemic barriers that continue to disproportionately impact the lives of Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ2S people in Ontario. Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people have sustained their families and communities through colonization … Our goal is to create more space for their input into the decisions that affect their lives, be responsive to their priorities, and ensure that policy, regulation, laws and programs increase their safety and well-being. We know that much work remains to restore Indigenous women’s roles, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to end violence.”
“Six Nations of the Grand River is committed to implementing programs and services that promote the safety and well-being of our Haudenosaunee women, children and families. Ending violence against Indigenous women and girls requires unwavering commitment and sustainability, intertwined with courage and action to correct past wrongs. The Walking Together Strategy, is a step in the right direction to promote collaboration and partnership between the Ministry and Indigenous Communities with the potential for change. For the safety of Indigenous women everywhere, Six Nations stands united with our Indigenous Partners, steadfast in our passion to end violence.”
Chief Ava Hill