Protecting Our Children from Violence: Our Sacred Responsibility
By Shelley Gonneville, Manager of Child and Family Initiatives
The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO), along with the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centers, the Ontario Native Women’s Associations and Independent First Nations, organized this year’s Summit to End Violence Against Aboriginal Women on February 28 to March 2 in Toronto. The Summit was sponsored by the Ministry of Child and Youth Services. Shelley Gonneville, the MNO Healing and Wellness Branch Manager of Child and Family Initiatives represented the MNO on the Summit steering committee.
The Summit theme was Protecting our Children from Violence: Our Sacred Responsibility, which focused attention on children and youth by delivering powerful messages and stories about those who lived, or still continue, to live with the long lasting effects of family violence. Speakers, including many youth, shared their stories of resiliency and how their culture played a significant part in their healing processes. The MNO was well represented at the conference and MNO speakers included MNO Chief Operating Officer Doug Wilson, MNO youth Mitch Case and Senator Roland St. Germain who participated in opening and closing prayers. MNO Healing and Wellness Branch Managers Lisa Pigeau and Shelley Gonneville were among the facilitators of break out sessions that provided further direction on how to move the issue of violence against aboriginal women forward.
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