Sandra J. Montour, President
Executive Director, Ganohkwasra Family Assault Support Services, Six Nations of the Grand River
She:kon Wa’tkonnonhweraton (I send you thanks, greeting and love). I am Mohawk, Turtle Clan, born and raised on the Six Nations of the Grand River. My partner and I have also raised our two sons here within our territory. We both come from generations of lacrosse families, and so we are very proud that our sons continue to carry on the integrity and pride of our lacrosse family legacy. Today, I have a new love in my life, my first grandson Zachary Benjamin who was born on November 17, 2010. I blessed to be anxiously awaiting the arrival of our second grandchild whom I am sure will also be my newest little love. I give thanks to Creator for gifting our family with these little ones we have, and those yet to come.
I completed my Bachelors Degree at University of Waterloo in 1992. I graduated with my Masters in Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier in 1994. I also completed a two-year certificate program in Play Therapy at the University of Western Ontario. I worked within the community as a private therapist and consultant for 8 years before going to Ganohkwasra Family Assault Support Services to take on the challenge of supervising the sexual assault unit within my own First Nations community for 4 years. I am the author of the Eagle Child series which are a series of books developed to educate children about sexual assault and abusive behaviors from a First Nations perspective. I taught a Native Spirituality course to M.S.W.’s for 3 years at Wilfrid Laurier University which combined social work and First Nations spirituality. I was the Supervisor of Ganohkwasra’s Women’s Community Counselling Team for 4 years which consisted of 6 amazing, devoted and loving social workers who worked with native women and men impacted by family violence.
In 2008, I became the Director of Ganohkwasra Family Assault Support Services. I am proud to work for Ganohkwasra due to the encouragement and support we offer to learn and practice a variety of unique and holistic energy-based techniques such as EFT; Reiki; TAT; EMDR; Psychodramatic Bodywork and Hypnotherapy. I cannot begin to convey the love and respect I have for the multi-talented women and men I work beside each and every day, devoted to ending family violence and abuse within our First Nations community. Our staff are truly amazing people that I am honored to know.
Since the summer of 2009, I began a part-time practice which I do out of my home. I believe in helping people the very that best I can. This was the nature of my mother and a quality I cherish and try to foster each and every day.
I believe in the strength of my people and our own Haudenosaunee ways of living and healing. I am able to stay grounded by leaning on the wisdom of my own culture and traditions. I give thanks to my Creator for my family and all those I have in my life.
I am a proud member of the Aboriginal Shelters of Ontario Board of Directors working beside a group of amazing First Nations women who are truly Trailblazers in the Social Work field. We strive to represent the First Nations women, children and men we see in our shelters every day. Our united goal is to end family violence within all First Nations communities and territories. May we possess the wisdom, strength, good-mindedness and love to do our part to make this happen