Breaking the Cycle ... TWHLS is a community-driven initiative raised out of concern and recognition of the urgent need to break the cycle of Indigenous women’s over-representation in Canada’s prisons. Indigenous-led, we provide trauma-informed, culturally appropriate services for First Nation (Status and Non-Status), Inuit, and Metis 2SLGBTQIA+ women exiting the justice system. The over-incarceration of Indigenous women is a national crisis. History has revealed the targeted attempts to break down Indigenous Culture and communities. First with the Residential schools, then the 60s scoop and now the over-incarceration of Indigenous women. This targeted bias has robbed children of their mothers, communities of their sisters, aunties, and elders. We believe the best way to reduce the number of Indigenous women in Canada’s jails is to create opportunities for us to thrive.
Our Mission Thunder Woman Healing Lodge Society will promote and provide services for First Nation (Status and Non-Status), Inuit, and Metis 2SLGBTQIA+ Women to focus on their journey to wholeness and balance.
Our Vision To provide First Nation (Status and Non-Status), Inuit, and Metis 2SLGBTQIA+ women a place in the Greater Toronto Area to heal and reclaim positive cultural identity, rehabilitation and wellness.
Our Mandate To establish a Healing Lodge for First Nations (Status and Non-Status), Inuit, and Metis 2SLGBTQIA+ women who are in conflict with the law, and for those who have survived intergenerational trauma. To provide cultural support, traditional knowledge and resources, for the advancement of wholeness and balance. To empower First Nations (Status and Non-Status), Inuit, and Metis 2SLGBTQIA+ Women to take their honoured place within their community and culture.
Our Name & Logo Our logo incorporates a stylized Thunderbird with a figure holding up an eagle feather in prayer. This image symbolizes both our name and the healing that can happen through Indigenous culture and traditions. Our name refers to the story and teachings of the Thunderbird, a powerful, spiritual being described in the Anishinaabe culture and known throughout Turtle Island. Thunderbirds create and control the winds, rain, thunder and lightning; they are creators, messengers, helpers and healers. There are many stories of the Thunderbird’s ability to transform and move between the spiritual and the physical world. The Eagle is another important being in the Anishinaabe world, which are capable of transforming into Thunderbirds to carry messages to Creator. Eagle feathers are symbolic of this relationship. The name THUNDERWOMAN incorporates the transformative, healing and creative spirit of the Eagle, Thunderbird and all our relations’ journeys to walk in balance.
Ontario’s first Indigenous owned and led healing lodge for Indigenous 2SLGBTQIA+ women is about become a reality. Indigenous over-representation in Canada’s jails was already a crisis, but the Covid-19 pandemic has proven just how urgently our community-based Healing Lodge and transitional housing program for First Nations (Status and Non-Status), Inuit, and Metis 2SLGBTQIA+ women leaving corrections is needed!
Years of hard work by Indigenous community members is what has brought this project to the place it is at today. We have achieved major steps, including buying the land and securing zoning approval in 2019! Now we are refining the building design to build a cultural landmark with minimal environmental footprint and preparing for a land blessing.
Support our fundraising campaign today to help us through these next crucial steps! We are targeting construction for late 2020 through 2021 – but every day that Indigenous women are released without adequate supports in place leaves them vulnerable to the very same forces that led to their prior conflict with the law!
413 Dundas Street East, Toronto, ON, Canada