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Verna Johnston

Image: Museum of Toronto.

Between operating a boarding home for Indigenous youth in Toronto and playing a foundational role at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, Verna Johnston’s community leadership has shaped generations.
1909 - 1996 | Community Organizer and Author

Verna Johnston, an Ojibwe woman from Neyaashiinigmiing reserve, made a lasting impact on the urban Indigenous community in Toronto. She established a boarding house specifically for Indigenous women – offering community, culture, and care. The house’s unique structure embraced the daily routines and cultural values of the Indigenous community, fostering a sense of belonging and support. Verna’s activism and dedication were instrumental in the development of the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, a vital institution that continues to serve and uplift the Indigenous population in the city.

Johnston’s compassionate advocacy and community-building efforts have left a legacy of positive change for countless lives.

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