An advocate for rural and Aboriginal communities, Florence Woolner has dedicated her life to improving the quality of life and opportunities for residents of remote communities. Upon graduating from UC, she settled in northwestern Ontario, where she continues to play an integral role in community and economic development through her signature approach involving training, mentoring, and capacity-building.
Her volunteerism has spanned four decades and includes invaluable contributions to anti-racism, organizational and international development, health, education, arts, and governance. Among her many accomplishments, she spearheaded the creation of a network of radio stations serving isolated communities, linking them to mainstream Canada and each other; helped establish a regional Children’s Aid Society office; and provided invaluable mentoring and support to Aboriginal leaders and hundreds of community members. Her impact has been local, regional, national, and individual, and she has radically improved lives in Canada’s most distant and marginalized communities.
Woolner is also a founding member of the Sioux Lookout Creative Arts Circle, a not-for-profit group that promotes artists in northwestern Ontario and all forms of creative expression by providing opportunities for performance, exhibition, instruction, and promotion related to the arts.