Keepers of the Circle is operated by the Temiskaming Native Women’s Support Group (TNWSG), a non-profit organization incorporated in 1997 to fill a services gap for Indigenous women and their families. The organization is governed by our board of directors whose members are Indigenous women from our communities. Our organization is guided by a Council of Wisdom Keepers that is composed of elder members of First Nations within our geographic territory.
What began in a one-room office with a handful of staff and volunteers became a nationally recognized Indigenous services hub over two decades. In 2005, two Keepers of the Circle centres were established, one in the City of Temiskaming Shores and the other in Kirkland Lake. Both offer a broad range of programs and services designed to support the political, economic, social and cultural reclamation of our Indigenous communities.
Keepers of the Circle is guided by a traditional Council of Wisdom Keepers with representation from each First Nation in the territory and the District of Temiskaming Métis Community Council. As such our organization values Indigenous Traditional Knowledge and endeavors to take a culturally rooted approach in our governance model and service delivery approach. The Seven Grandfather Teachings, Medicine Wheel Teachings and our Journey Together: District of Temiskaming Indigenous Community Hubs report informs the standards, policies and practices we used to develop our operational framework. We also apply the District of Temiskaming Indigenous-Cultural Linguistic Competency Framework in our relationships with non-Indigenous allies and partner agencies working with our families and in our communities.
In 2018, Keepers of the Circle was appointed as the Provincial and Territorial Member Association of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) representing Indigenous women of Ontario. Additionally, in 2019 Keepers of the Circle celebrated the grand opening of Mino Msh’ki-ki Indigenous Health Services Clinics at both New Liskeard and Kirkland Lake locations. Our growth is thanks to a team of Indigenous women who are determined and came together with a common purpose.