Ontario Addressing Elder Abuse in Indigenous Communities

Funds for Culturally-Based Training Part of Ontario’s Action Plan for Seniors

November 29, 2017

The province is introducing new resources to help address elder abuse in Indigenous communities – part of Ontario’s Action Plan for Seniors that is helping seniors access the support they need at every stage of their life.

Ontario will be providing additional resources to Indigenous partners through the Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy, to support prevention and education activities grounded in Indigenous culture. This will build greater community awareness of elder abuse in Indigenous communities, provide frontline staff training and create culturally appropriate supports through service providers.

This investment builds on initiatives underway as part of Ontario’s Long-Term Strategy to End Violence Against Indigenous Women and embodies the government’s commitment to working hand in hand with First Nation, Métis and urban Indigenous partners to drive coordinated action and make real progress.

The new funding will promote Indigenous elders/seniors’ wellness and resiliency which is integral to building healthy Indigenous communities.

Helping Indigenous seniors is one of many steps on the journey of healing and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. It reflects the government’s commitment to work with Indigenous partners and to creating a better future for everyone in the province.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is providing $1.9 million in support over four years through the Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy (AHWS) to promote greater community awareness and responsiveness of front-line staff in the prevention of elder abuse.
  • These supports are part of the province’s overall investment of $155 million over three years through the Ontario Action Plan for Seniors.
  • Indigenous partners have described the need for targeted efforts to better support elders who are experiencing abuse in different forms and not reporting it.
  • Older adults make up Ontario’s fastest-growing age group. There are now more people in Ontario 65 or older than under 15.
Additional Resources


“Preventing Indigenous elder abuse through public education, culturally appropriate supports and in working with front-line staff is part of our government’s plan to help seniors stay safe, healthy and remain active in their communities. It’s imperative that we continue to work alongside Indigenous partners to address this issue which affects so many in our province.”

Dr. Helena Jaczek
Minister of Community and Social Services

“Elders are essential in promoting wellness and healing in their communities, and in passing their stories and traditions on to new generations. Ontario recognizes this important role, and is committed to supporting the resilience and safety of Indigenous Elders through community-based and culturally-appropriate services, so they can continue to share their teachings.”

David Zimmer
Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation

“Elder abuse can take many forms and can occur in any setting. Through Aging with Confidence Ontario’s Action Plan for Seniors, this government is taking a stronger approach by creating new initiatives to prevent elder abuse and strengthen our capacity to intervene when a senior is at risk or is experiencing abuse.”

Dipika Damerla
Minister of Seniors Affairs

Media Contacts

Lyndsay Miller
Minister’s Office

Kristen Tedesco


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