The new head of the Ontario Native Women's Association says it's time to give aboriginal women a stronger voice.

Erin Corston takes on the job as executive director at ONWA's Thunder Bay headquarters, after working with groups like the Assembly of First Nations.

Corston said she'll try to improve the lives of aboriginal women and their families.

“There's issues related to violence and poverty,” she said “A lot of our women are carrying intergenerational trauma.”

Ensuring First Nations women have access to education is another priority for Corston.

Erin Corston

Born and raised in Treaty 9 Territory, Erin Corston is a member the Chapleau Cree First Nation. She has dedicated her 20-year career to Aboriginal-specific issues, and has special interest in Aboriginal women’s equality rights. (Supplied)

"Aboriginal women face unique challenges,” she said.

“At ONWA, part of what we do is try to support them in their pursuits and in their life goals. [We] also try to raise the profile of these issues at decision-making tables. We try to bring aboriginal women's voices into the development of programs and services.”

Corston hails from the Chapleau Cree First Nation, and said she considers this job one of “coming full circle, coming back to northern Ontario.”

She has a background in environmental and public health. In addition to previously working with the Assembly of First Nations, she has worked with the Native Women's Association of Canada.

“There are so many issues with aboriginal women today,” Corston continued.

“They are one of the most marginalized populations in the country. Their voices are needed, so that programs and services reflect their needs.”