At these gatherings, organized by local chapters, ONWA promoted more explicitly political goals.
Patricia Monture-Okanee, a Mohawk lawyer and ONWA activist, challenged the women's movement to incorporate an analysis of race in the theorization of violence against women.
Statistical evidence of the pervasiveness of violence in Native families was not available until 1989, when ONWA released Breaking Free: A Proposal for Change to Aboriginal Family Violence.
In urban areas, women needed more culturally-specific services, and ONWA demanded that the provincial and federal governments provide Aboriginal organizations with funds to organize healing lodges and shelters.
ONWA developed a unique analysis of family violence that resisted the claim that violence against women was an individual problem that must be secondary to the collective goal of self-government.
I thank Bernice Dubec and Audrey Gilbeau for sharing their memories with me, and ONWA and Beendigen for granting me access to their records.
Anishinabequek" means woman in Ojibwa and was a common name for ONWA locals.