Indigenous women in Western narratives often face negative stereotypes, perpetuating harmful misconceptions and contributing to real-world challenges – from being more likely to be victims of violence and experiencing racism and prejudice to being denied employment or adequate healthcare. Nokee Kwe, based in London, Ontario, has been addressing this issue through its Positive Voice Program since 2016.
The initiative provides Indigenous women with a platform to share their narratives, influence community decisions and foster inclusivity.
The organization supports participants as they develop individual networking plans, while sharing and applying knowledge to address the complex barriers that disadvantage and isolate Indigenous women. Positive Voice goes beyond individual empowerment; it strengthens connections among Indigenous women, dispelling myths and creating a ripple effect of safe spaces within families and communities. The initiative challenges stereotypes, promotes safety, and establishes support networks.
Thanks to funding from the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund (IRF), Nokee Kwe will be able to cover staff salaries, program supplies, participant transportation, marketing, outreach, and technology/administrative expenses for 35 participants of “Positive Voice”.
By focusing on strengths, challenging stereotypes, and fostering resilience, “Positive Voice” is a holistic initiative that creates lasting positive change within Indigenous communities. Through storytelling and cultural exhibits, the program not only empowers Indigenous women but also addresses broader issues of discrimination, lack of opportunities, and threats to culture and identity. Nokee Kwe’s mission aligns with Indigenous principles, emphasizing collaboration and community-driven solutions.
Founded in 1978, Nokee Kew is an Indigenous-led Employment and Education Centre committed to creating culturally sensitive environments that encourage personal development and self-determination.
Diocese of London