National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Posted in: Special Event | 0

Both the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day take place on September 30. The day honours the children who never returned home and Survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process.

Orange Shirt Day is an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day intended to raise awareness of the individual, family and community inter-generational impacts of residential schools, and to promote the concept of “Every Child Matters”. The orange shirt is a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations. We encourage all Canadians to wear an Orange Shirt on September 30th.

To learn more read CFUW Special Edition Newsletter which provides more on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Orange shirt Day, and many useful links for further learning toward our understanding about reconciliation and our journey toward allyship. It also shows links to our CFUW policies that support Indigenous matters.



Posted in: Special Event | 0

CFUW Ontario Council

Speakers Series February 25, 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

On Zoom

Registration is now open for OC’s third Speakers Series of the 2022-23 year. Safe, decent, and affordable housing has become unattainable by lower income families, single parent families – usually led by females, and Black and Indigenous families. This session of the Speakers Series will help us to understand two possible solutions. The event will take place on Saturday February 25 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Please click here to register.

Affordable housing affects not only the lower middle class, but also the homeless whose lives focus on warmth, hydration, and sustenance before finding safe places to sleep once the municipal-approved beds are taken.  Such safe places also impact the safety of citizens in downtown areas.

All three levels of government in Ontario have touted solutions to this problem, but have, for the most part, offered few if any workable solutions.  Relying on developers to provide a percentage of their developments for affordable housing has not worked well.  Even redefining the green belt is likely not to work.

Cooperative housing used to be a solution, but has fallen out of favour.  No such units have been approved in years.  Life leases may be a solution for a few.  Tiny houses defined as houses ranging from 96 to 260 square feet are not approved in all municipalities.

Using Barrie as an example, there are two working solutions to the provision of affordable housing: Habitat for Humanity Huronia and Barrie Housing.

On February 25, Robert Cikoja, the Chief Executive Officer of Habitat for Humanity Huronia and Melissa Scott, Operations and Development Manager for Barrie Housing, will outline the growing success of Huronia’s provision of safe, decent, affordable houses for home ownership.

The Speakers Series is free but advance registration is required. Please click here to register.

The start time indicated on your registration confirmation is 10 a.m. which is when the plenary will begin. Please plan to connect to the meeting a few minutes before 10. All attendees in the waiting room will be admitted to the meeting at about 9:55 a.m.

Red Dress Project

Posted in: Special Event | 0

The FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (PAC) is honoured to announce the return of The Red Dress Exhibit: If Only These Dresses Could Tell Their Story. This important exhibit will be remounted in Robertson Theatre at the FirstOntario PAC and will run Wednesday 9 November to Sunday 13 November 2022.

Created by Michele-Elise Burnett (Métis MNO citizen with Algonquin roots, Bear Clan), Artistic Director of Celebration of Nations and President of Kakekalanicks, and in collaboration with affected families, Elders, and local Indigenous community members, this exhibit honours Indigenous voices silenced far too soon and shares the untold stories of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, Girls and 2Spirit (MMIWG2S) from Niagara and Western New York with a powerful and surreal collection of 13 suspended red dresses adorned in ribbons, beadwork, appliqués and paint in an immersive gallery setting.

“The exhibit is intended to increase awareness for the epidemic of the ongoing horrific systemic racial crimes targeting Indigenous women and girls; to remember the lost lives of the victims; to teach; to give Indigenous women a voice; to inspire a new cross-cultural generation based on inclusivity, compassion, love and; to collectively offer the MMIWG2S our love, gratitude, and create a safe, nurturing and welcoming environment for Indigenous Peoples,” says exhibit creator and curator, Michele-Elise Burnett. “With Indigenous women being victims of murder more than 10 times the national average, this exhibit is about empathic LOVE.”

Based on the 13 Grandmother Moons and the cycle of the women, The Red Dress Exhibit will feature stories of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls and 2Sprit (MMIWG2S) from Indigenous Peoples whose loved ones fell victim to these crimes. Each red dress will be as unique and beautiful as the MMIWG2S it represents, and the ribbons sewn on the dresses will be the keepers of their story. This exhibit will include a produced audio documentary for each dress, narrative signage, and an interpretive brochure. Attendees should bring earbuds for their phones to listen to audio documentary as they walk through the space.

Violet Printup of Tuscarora Nations, an Indigenous youth collaborator on the exhibit said, “Missing and murdered Indigenous women is an epidemic that has recently come to light, but Indigenous peoples have been facing this since the beginning of exploration. With The Red Dress Exhibit, I want to bring awareness to all people, but also be able to help combat, as well as bring an end to MMIWG2SG.”

All are welcome to the opening reception on Wednesday 9 November at 6pm in the Algoma Lobby at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines.

Robertson Theatre, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre,
250 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines, ON

Wed 9 Nov, 5-8pm (opening reception at 6pm)
Thurs 10 Nov, 11am-8pm
Fri 11 Nov, 11am-8pm
Sat 12 Nov, 12-6pm
Sun 13 Nov, 12-4pm


There will also be a special presentation of the documentary Finding Dawn on Sat 12 Nov at 3 pm in The Film House at the PAC.  Acclaimed Métis filmmaker Christine Welsh’s compelling documentary puts a human face on a national tragedy – the epidemic of missing or murdered Indigenous women in Canada. Finding Dawn takes a journey into the heart of Indigenous women’s experience, from Vancouver’s skid row, down the Highway of Tears in northern BC, and on to Saskatoon, where the murders and disappearances of these women remain unsolved.

COBS Bread Fundraiser

Posted in: Special Event | 0

COBS Bread Ridley Square is offering a “Loaf a Month” Card for club members to sell.  The card is typically sold for $25 with $12.50/card being refunded to the bakery and $12.50/card being retained by the club.  The card is valid for one free loaf of any kind in the bakery every month for a year (12 free loaves).  The purchaser of the card gets to choose any loaf they desire each and every month for a year. The cost per loaf works out to just over $2.50 per loaf with the club earning half that back!
The value of the card depends on what Loaf is chosen but to give you a sense of the value, our white and whole wheat loaves cost $4.60 and our most expensive loaf costs $8.75 so whoever purchases the card could see savings of anywhere from $30 to $80 over the year!

  • The club will initially be given custom printed and numbered cards to sell.  Each card is to be sold for $25. At the end of the campaign, the club will return to the bakery any unsold cards as well as payment of $12.50 for every card sold.(We will have extra cards printed in the event that the club needs more.)The club will determine how best to sell the cards. This letter explains the program and requests that the form be returned with payment to club and then the club distribute the cards directly to the members.
  • Contact Christine Marks (905-525-0111) if you would like to buy a card.

If for some reason a member accidently loses a card – notify the President of the club immediately. The number on that card will be nullified and not be able to be used unless found. COBS wants this to be easy for you to execute and want to see you raise as much money as you can!

  • The cardholder will come into the bakery every month and will choose any loaf available that day and will get it free of charge. Their card will be stamped at that time and they will not be charged for the loaf. The process will repeat itself every month until the card has been stamped for every month.
  • Families can purchase multiple cards but only one card can be used per bakery visit. To clarify if a family currently buys a loaf of bread every week, they could choose to buy 4 cards and use a different card every week of the month. All we ask is that a customer not walk in with 4 cards at the same time and request 4 free loaves at the same time as we bake small runs and want to make sure we have ample inventory for all our customers.
  • The expiry date is set for January 31, 2024 so purchasers will have ample time to redeem their card.
  • The card is only valid at the COBS Bread Ridley Square, St.Catharines location. If someone misses a month and comes to the bakery in February with a missing stamp for January, we will of course honour the free loaf for January. In the end we want our customers to be happy with us and the fundraiser.

Have a concern?  905-321-8463

Membership Gift Basket Winner

Posted in: Special Event | 0

Congratulations to Anne Bisson, winner of the draw for the Membership Gift Basket. All members who paid their dues by end of day September 30th were eligible for the draw. Membership committee created a list and notified Christine Marks, our VP, how many members qualified. Christine prepared numbered tickets and asked her neighbour, a past CFUW Award recipient, to draw the winning number & place it into an envelope which she sealed. At the October meeting, the envelope was opened, revealing #12, which membership then identified as belonging to Anne, who was thrilled to be the recipient.

Take Back the Night

Posted in: Special Event | 0

Gender-Based Violence on Post-Secondary Campuses

Research has shown that one in five women will experience sexual assault while studying at post-secondary institutions. Women with intersecting identities including Indigenous women, women of colour, LGBTQ2S+ and women with disabilities face higher rates of violence.

CFUW advocates that colleges and universities must continue to update their sexual violence and harassment policies to ensure a safe post-secondary campus environment.  In 2017, CFUW surveyed Canadian universities and colleges to compare current policies on gender-based violence.  The findings of the research were published in the Sexual Violence and Harassment Policies in Post-Secondary Institutions in Canada Final Report in 2020. Click on the link to view this interesting research project.

Last fall the students at Western University in London staged a rally demanding the University administration take steps to create a safe environment in which to work and study. The University responded expediently and in May 2022 released a document detailing the many changes they plan to implement.

These were the words of Alan Shepard, President of Western: “We have listened to our campus community and our expert partners. Together with them, we want to be leaders in the work to prevent gender-based violence from happening on university campuses and throughout society.” Read the complete Global news release by clicking on this link:

Western University unveils plan to tackle gender-based and sexual violence on campus |


Forced out by Climate Change?

Posted in: Special Event | 0

Join CaMeUs (CFUW, Mexican Federation of University Women, and Women-Graduates-USA) for a webinar exploring migration that has resulted from extreme climate change worldwide. Panelists will concentrate on causes, results, and proactive approaches to preparing for climate migrants in North America. This session was first organized by CaMeUs members in Canada (CFUW) , Mexico (FEMU) and USA (WG-USA) as part of the Commission on the Status of Women March 2022, when there was a Zoom problem with the video.

“Forced Out by Climate Change? Proactive Planning in North America” will take place on Friday, September 9 at 4pm ET. 

GWI – Press Release – RE: World Youth Skills Day

Posted in: Special Event | 0

On World Youth Skills Day, Graduate Women International urges states to invest in quality
education and training for young women and girls. GWI calls on states to implement programmes that empower young women and girls through
providing them with the skills needed for a career, in order to eliminate the gender employment gap.

To read full press release, click here.

Tackling the Environment Crisis: Together We Can

Tackling The Environmental Crisis: Together We Can. Thank you to everyone who took an interest in the three-part webinar series, presented jointly by CFUW-Nepean /-Kanata /-Ottawa,

As promised, recordings of these webinars are now accessible on YouTube.

Webinar No. 1 with Rebecca Prince-Ruiz —

Webinar No. 2 with Diana Beresford-Kroeger and Bill Steer —

Webinar No. 3 with Seth Klein and Sabah Ibrahim —

1. Recommendations for reducing plastic waste


To learn about Rebecca’s book please visit:

Suggestions for action:

  • Get the conversation going about reducing single-use plastic. Do what you can.
  • Communicate with the grocery store owners to express your concerns about plastic packaging.
  • Refuse any plastic straws, plastic cutlery, plastic bottles or take-out containers made of plastic at hotels, restaurants, fast food outlets, so that business owners will think again. Mention the subject in any reviews you submit online.
  • Encourage local, provincial and federal governments to adopt a “circular economy.”
  • Reduce, reuse, repurpose, repair or recycle items made of plastic, regift toys made of plastic… and generally rethink your use of plastic at home. Avoid acquiring what you do not need.
  • Try meeting the Plastic Free July challenge, living without plastics for a month, or buying as few items as possible that contain plastic or are wrapped in plastic. Find alternatives to cling wrap; research other ways to keep food fresh.
  • Take part in a park or waterfront clean-up, or initiate one yourself.
  • Raise awareness that cigarette butts contain plastic and toxins and do not easily decompose.

2. Recommendations for restoring the global forest


Diana’s books include The Sweetness of a Simple Life, The Global Forest, Arboretum Borealis: A Lifeline of the Planet, Arboretum America: A Philosophy of the Forest and A Garden for Life. A feature-documentary about her work, the Canadian Screen Awards-nominated Call of the Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees, appeared in 2017. Her latest book is To Speak for the Trees: My Life’s Journey From Ancient Celtic Wisdom To a Healing Vision of the Forest. To find out more about these books, please see:

To book a visit to the Canadian Ecology Centre, please go to:

Suggestions for action:

  • Host a screening of Diana’s film, The Call Of The Forest, in your community.
  • Encourage your friends and neighbours to plant and protect trees. Plant and maintain native trees in your neighbourhood or on your property.
  • Learn about native trees and their advantages, find a sapling or germinate the seed of a tree and plant it appropriately. “Everyone needs to plant one native tree per year for the next six years.”
  • Plant a native tree or grove of trees in honour of someone special to you.
  • Form letter-writing teams to advocate for the conservation of wild, natural areas in your region and protest against any proposed development that threatens native species by writing letters to your representatives at municipal, provincial and federal levels of government.

3. Recommendations for Climate Change mitigation

To learn more about or order Seth’s book, A Good War, please see: https://www.sethklein.

To learn more about the Climate Emergency Unit (CEU), visit:

To sign up for the CEU’s newsletter, so you can stay informed about the CEU’s various campaigns, do so here.

Suggestions for action:

  • To learn about the Ontario Climate Emergency Campaign, and to sign on, please visit https://www.ontarioclimateemergency.caas a result of our project, CFUW National and CFUW Ontario Council are already added to the list of signatories supporting this campaign!
  • Work on a personal plan to reduce your purchase of unnecessary luxuries and to travel less, or to travel in more environmentally-friendly ways.
  • Book an energy audit and consider alternative sources of energy and means of insulation at your home.
  • Walk, cycle or use public transport more.
  • Advocate for rapid installation and deployment of electric vehicle charging stations.
  • Contact your municipality or provincial representatives to demand rapid installation and deployment of electric vehicle charging stations.
  • Advocate for a better intercity rail service instead of more, or wider highways.
  • Advocate for a sustainable, regenerative, zero emissions economy.
  • Form letter-writing teams to urge the government to end fossil fuel subsidies immediately and rapidly wind down the use of fossil fuels.