Taking the reins of the Ontario Native Women's Association is like coming home for Erin Corston.
Originally from Chapleau First Nation, Corston was named the new executive director of ONWA, filling the void left by Betty Kennedy, who will be heading the Ontario Native Women's Charitable Foundation.
"It's an honour," said Corston of her new role Monday afternoon. "I'm very excited and anxious to get going."
Corston was recently the health and environment director for the Native Women's Association of Canada in Ottawa and said her first week on the job in Thunder Bay will be all about learning.
"Sit back and see what's working at the organization and what's not working and where I can kind of fill the gaps and the needs for the organization itself but also for the women in Ontario," she said.
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ONWA's role is to raise the profile of Aboriginal women's issues and to support them in their life goals, including education and employment pursuits, and help them deal with issues of violence and mental health.
She added that Aboriginal women deal with a disproportionate level of violence and poverty.
"The work we do with women in our service delivery is looking at using their voices to develop policy and policy direction," said Corston.