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Preventing domestic violence in Aboriginal communities

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Preventing domestic violence in Aboriginal communities

McGuinty Government Keeping Aboriginal Women Safer

Ministry of the Status of Women

Ontario is launching a new campaign to help Aboriginal communities take action on domestic violence.

The campaign is designed to raise awareness about the signs of woman abuse in Aboriginal communities, so that people who are close to an at-risk woman or abusive man can provide support. This campaign has been adapted from the Neighbours, Friends and Families campaign to reflect a traditional and cultural approach to community healing and wellness.

Kanawayhitowin, "Taking Care of Each Other's Spirit", is based on traditional Aboriginal teachings and was developed by and for Aboriginal peoples with the support of a $476,000 grant from the Ontario government. The Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres is rolling out the campaign in Aboriginal communities across the province. The campaign includes:

  • Training for 100 community workers
  • Television and radio public service announcements
  • Toolkit
  • Website
  • Brochures.

Kanawayhitowin is part of Ontario's Domestic Violence Action Plan.

Quick Facts

  • The rate of violence against Aboriginal women is triple that of non-Aboriginal women.
  • Neighbours, Friends and Families campaign exists in more than 140 Ontario communities.

Additional Resources


“Domestic violence is not a private matter. Everyone has a role in stopping abuse.”

Deb Matthews

Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues

“Education is the first step towards ending the abuse. Supporting this program means we are giving those around First Nations, Inuit, and Métis women, the tools to help them end the cycle of violence.”

Michael Bryant

Minister of Aboriginal Affairs

“Kanawayhitowin will help the Aboriginal community to begin to learn the warning signs and develop the words to begin to address this serious issue in our communities. We are truly grateful to work with the Ontario government as partners — but more important as neighbours, friends and family.”

Sylvia Maracle

Executive Director, Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres



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