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Chapleau Cree member appointed executive director of ONWA

Friday February 28, 2014
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Erin Corston of Chapleau Cree First Nation was recently appointed as new executive director for the Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA).

A Chapleau Cree First Nation member was recently named as the new executive director for the Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA).

Erin Corston was introduced as the organization’s executive director on Feb. 3.

Corston said she is honoured to be named in the position.

“Having previously worked with INAC, I am familiar with, and inspired by, the great work that ONWA does for Aboriginal women,” she said.

Corston has a great deal of experience and knowledge regarding the issues affecting Aboriginal women and their families. She is a graduate of Ryerson University with a background in the environment and public health and has previously worked with the Assembly of First Nations, the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, and the Native Women’s Association of Canada.

Corston said that she hopes to use her knowledge of culturally relevant, gender-based analysis to “further contextualize the complex array of issues that perpetuate the disproportionate health and socio-economic outcomes among Canada’s Aboriginal peoples.”

Dr. Dawn Harvard, president of ONWA’s board of directors, said that ONWA is very excited to have Corston as its new executive director.

“(Corston) has displayed a great deal of dedication towards Aboriginal specific issues with a special emphasis on gender equality rights, making her a perfect fit for our organization,” Harvard said.

Harvard called Corston a “motivated leader” with a proven track record for building and leading successful policy and research initiatives to create capacity, educate, and leverage support.

“(Corston’s) expertise will surely benefit Aboriginal women and their families in Ontario,” Harvard said.

Corston said that together, “we will continue to improve the lives of Aboriginal women and their families in Ontario by expanding ONWA’s network of allies and partners and strengthening the role of Aboriginal women in decision-making at all levels.”

Corston replaces Betty Kennedy, who accepted a lateral transfer to lead the newly established Ontario Native Women’s Charitable Foundation.

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