Since 2013 the Aboriginal Women in Mining program (AWIM) far exceeded all its targets. As of March 31st, 2020, the AWIM program served 478 Indigenous Women from across Northeastern Ontario. It was created for Indigenous women to secure employment in mining and other non-traditional jobs. It is designed to support industry and community partners in generating employment opportunities. Like many organization, Keepers of the Circle also was affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic and to deliver programming and services to our members we launched Pathways to Resilience from January 2021 – march 2021. This Program introduced participants to new emerging sectors (e.g., construction, clean energy, food, and agriculture) that made it clear that there was community interest and a need for pathways to careers outside of mining.
The Culture, Confidence, and Competence (CCC) essential skills pre-employment training curriculum was created in 2022 by and for Indigenous women to increase our access to meaningful employment and sustainable economic opportunities. Because Keepers of the Circle became aware of the interest in different sectors, the organization since has started to develop additional sector-specific training, therefore we needed to rename the program to accurately reflect what we offer. Culture, Confidence, and Competence pre-employment skills program/curriculum is rooted in culture, and we believe that giving a space for people to reconnect with their culture will bring confidence that leads to competence in skills.
Keepers of the Circle is operated by the Temiskaming Native Women’s Support Group (TNWSG), a non-profit organization incorporated in 1997 to support the social, economic, and cultural equity of Indigenous Women and their families. The organization is governed by a Board of Directors whose members are Indigenous women from the local communities. The organization is also guided by a Council of Wisdom Keepers that is composed of Elders, members from each First Nation within our geographic territory as well as the Metis Community Council.
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 M’shki-ki Indigenous Health Services Clinics at both New Liskeard and Kirkland Lake locations. Our growth is thanks to a team of dedicated Indigenous women who come together with a common purpose.
Operated by the Temiskaming Native Women’s Support Group, Keepers of the Circle is a non-profit organization incorporated in 1997 to fill a services gap for Indigenous women and their families. The urban Indigenous Hub offers onsite and on-the-land programs and services at their two centres designed to support the political, economic, social, and cultural restoration of Indigenous communities.