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Georgian Bay Native Women's Association celebrates grand opening in Penetanguishene

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The Georgian Bay Native Women's Association (GBNWA) celebrated the grand opening of its new location at 41 Main Street in Penetanguishene, which will serve as a hub for Indigenous women and their families, providing a safe and welcoming space where they can access services and support.

The GBNWA is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting First Nations, Métis, and Inuit women and their families.

Programs include prenatal nutrition, parenting programs, mental health and addiction services, child welfare support, and seniors' programming. Each service is guided by Indigenous teachings, ensuring they are culturally relevant and supportive.

The move relocates GBNWA from its old rented space in Midland to a more than 4,000-square-foot building, with fresh renovations to the tune of $150,000.

"It's just a sense of security," said Sheri Charlebois, GBNWA's office manager. "We [now] have our own building, we have our own space that we can call our very own."

The new location also features a children's room, community kitchen, crafting area, and a large gathering space. All are decorated with art to showcase Indigenous values and culture.

"We have a long history of celebrating cultures, language and people coming together as one," said Penetanguishene Mayor Doug Rawson. "We welcome everybody with open arms."

The GBNWA is still looking for more funding for its crafting space, which will allow for more Indigenous women to craft and sell their art.

The new location will operate Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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