The Northwestern Ontario Women’s Centre (NWOWC) is a non-profit, community-based feminist organization based out of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Our mission is to create and advocate for safe and supportive environments so that self–identified women can fully engage in their lives and communities. NWOWC works with women to increase their access to knowledge, skills and resources so they can make informed and strategic choices.
The NWOWC was founded in the spring of 1973, following an event called the Northern Women’s Conference, which was organized by local women’s consciousness-raising groups. Over the years, countless projects, initiatives and organizations have emerged as a result of women organizing together through the auspices of the NWOWC.
The Centre assists and advocates for women around a variety of issues: poverty, family, child welfare and criminal law, immigration, sexual harassment, human rights and more. We also work to increase understanding and awareness of issues that affect women such as violence, poverty, sexism, racism, sexual orientation, access to justice and human rights through presentations and information clinics. We are active in advocating for systemic change in public policies that negatively impact women in our community.
Individual women regularly request support, information and advice to deal with personal issues such as an abusive partner, custody or access problems, sexual harassment or assault, conflict with social services, human rights complaints, and various other social, economic and systemic difficulties. We listen to their concerns, provide information about the issues, agencies and systems involved and help them develop a strategy.
We are available to speak at schools and other organizations on Anti-violence, Anti-Racism/Oppression and Anti-Poverty. We organize information clinics for women on legal rights issues and respond to the media on current issues that affect women, organize workshops and conferences.
We acknowledge that we work and live on the traditional land of the Anishinabek People, and the territory of Fort William First Nation—signatory to the Robinson Superior Treaty of 1850. We recognize that this and other territories and their people have been circumscribed and harmed by systematic forces of colonialism. This violence was first perpetrated by European settlers and continues to be perpetrated by our governments, institutions, and individuals. The Northwestern Ontario Women’s Centre remains committed to addressing these past and present wrongs by working to end racist and misogynist violence, and by building allyship and working in solidarity with Indigenous organizations and people.
We gratefully acknowledge the support of volunteers, donors, and the Investing in Women’s Future Program of the Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, Women and Gender Equality (WAGE) Canada, and the Canadian Women’s Foundation.