Update on things happening in Rotary and indigenous communities, including current events – Rotary luncheons with guest speakers, open community and cultural gatherings, etc.

 

 

The Rotary Club of Bowmanville continues to work closely with the Matawa First Nations community by contributing annually to bursaries to assist students follow their educational dreams and goals. It is hoped by providing the bursaries students can achieve academic excellence while promoting leadership, initiative, perseverence and community involvement.

 

Elementary Bursaries:

Junior Kindergarten to Grade 2: (Narrative/Storybook)

Grade 1/2 Class Aroland First Nation, Johnny Therriault Memorial School

Junior Kindergarten to Grade 2: (Native Language)

Senior Kindergarten Class Aroland First Nation, Johnny Therrieault Memorial School

Grade 1 Class Webequie First Nation, Simon Jacob Memorial School

Grades 3 to 5: (Community Stories)

IPAD Recipient, Grade 3 Webequie First Nation, Simon Jacob Memorial School

IPOD Recipient, Derlyn Matasawagon Grade 4, Aroland First Nation, Johnny Therriault Memorial School

Grade 6 to 8: (Current Issue/Persuasive Writing)

 IPAD Recipient, Karissa Atlookan, Grade 8, Aroland First Nation, Johnny Therriault Memorial School

IPOD Recipient, Dawson Gilbeau, Grade 8, Aroland First Nation, Johnny Therriault Memorial School

 Elementary/Secondary Bursaries:

Creative Writing

Deseree Wesley, Grade 6, Marten Falls First Nation, Henry Coaster Memorial School

Persuasive Writing

Karis Waboose, Grade 8, Long Lake #58 First Nation, Migizi Wazisin

Original Piece

Nathan Achneepineskum, High School, Marten Falls First Nation, Matawa Learning Centre

Post-Secondary Bursaries:

Jessica Caron, Constance Lake First Nation, Canadore College

Lucille Atlookan, Eabametoong First Nation, Lakehead University

Autumn Barbeau, Long Lake #58 First Nation, University College of the North, The Pas

Training, Apprenticeship, Trades & Continuing/Adult Education

Eunice Magiskan, Aroland First Nation, Kiikenomaga Kikenjigwen, Employment and Training

Duncan Gagnon, Aroland FirstNation, Kiikenomaga Kikenjigwen, Employment and Training

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Medicine garden takes root at Manulife Financial headquarters

Patch will yield ceremonial crops for Indigenous staffers at the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.

 
Elder Gary Sault led a prayer during the unveiling of a medicine garden on the grounds of Manulife Financial's headquarters in downtown Toronto.
Elder Gary Sault led a prayer during the unveiling of a medicine garden on the grounds of Manulife Financial's headquarters in downtown Toronto.  (Julien Gignac / Toronto Star) | Order this photo  
By Julien GignacStaff Reporter
Mon., Oct. 16, 2017
 
 

Gary Sault burns sweet grass and sage in a large shell, blessing a small patch of earth where, come spring, ceremonial herbs will grow for Indigenous staffers who work at a government office across the street.

Manulife Financial Corporation on Bloor St. E. donated the garden to its neighbours at the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. Sweet grass and sage were selected as the crops, traditional healing agents used in smudging ceremonies. The ministry office has a designated room where Indigenous employees and partners can partake in the ritual.

“We go and we pick (herbs) wherever we want to, but with them, they work in a city building where they don’t have the access,” said Sault, an elder from the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation.

About 30 to 40 Indigenous people work at the downtown office out of roughly 150 others, said a staff member.

Sault said the use and cultivation of herbs is a means to communicate with the Creator.

“There you have a spot dedicated to the creator,” said Sault, motioned towards the garden, replete with what appeared to be fresh soil. “Our medicines are like a telephone. It’s a safe spot.”

Peter Wilkinson, senior vice-president of regulatory and public affairs at Manulife Financial, said the decision to approve the concept was a fast one.

“Manulife believes in being a part of the communities in which we do business and operate in,” he said. “Manulife is honoured to host a garden that will provide a sustainable supply of medicines to many Indigenous peoples. Our hope is that this garden will be a source of reconciliation and inspiration for all people in Toronto and Ontario.”

 

For thousands of years, First Nations people traversed the area now known as Toronto, said Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation David Zimmer, making the move to establish a garden necessary.

Read more...

HIP (Honouring Indigenous Peoples) is happy to work in partnership with Relay for Hunger, Gleaners Food, True North Aid & Manitoulin Transport to ship 1.6 tons (50 pallets) of food to Kashechewan and Fort Albany First Nation Communities. Thank you Lola Lawton, John Andras, Lorne Feldman (warehousing), Dr. Murray Trusler (relationship builder), the Mushkegowuk Council, Chief Leo Friday, Chief Solomon and John Okonmah, for your dedication and hard work to bring food to these communities. 

Pictures include:

  • Susanne Quinlan, Gleaners Director, Lola Lawton, Lionel Enright (retired director of 20 years gleaner and advisory panel member for Relay for Hunger) & Gleaners warehouse staff
  • Relay for Hunger brought a "1920 Indian motorcycle dream catcher" created by Lola Lawton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Aboriginal Office at Toronto city hall would be step forward despite steps back, advocates say

Toronto seemed to be making strides, but the abrupt resignation of the city’s Indigenous Affairs consultant among other setbacks beg the question: What is taking the city so long?

 
"They’ve got to roll the dice — be risky, go large on this, because reconciliation is a pretty loud knock on the door and I think boldness would be applauded,” says Kenn Richard, executive director of Native Child and Family Services of Toronto and a member of the city’s Aboriginal Affairs committee.
"They’ve got to roll the dice — be risky, go large on this, because reconciliation is a pretty loud knock on the door and I think boldness would be applauded,” says Kenn Richard, executive director of Native Child and Family Services of Toronto and a member of the city’s Aboriginal Affairs committee.  (Jim Rankin / Toronto Star file photo)  
By David RiderCity Hall Bureau Chief
Sat., Oct. 14, 2017
 
 

Efforts to “Indigenize” city hall have taken a major hit, yet there’s a simple way for Toronto to start reconciling the treatment of Indigenous people and see that they have a real role in decision-making, advocates say.

“My recommendation today has been consistently presented to the city since (1998) amalgamation — establish an Aboriginal Office at city hall, set up the relationship (with Indigenous people) and the actual things you do will flow from that,” says Kenn Richard, executive director of Native Child and Family Services of Toronto and a member of the city’s Aboriginal Affairs committee.

“The relationship needs to be honoured in a significant way. The city has been paralyzed on this point for whatever reason. I don’t think anyone’s evil or there’s a nasty agenda at play — it seems like the city cannot bring itself to move to that extra step that honours the diversity task force that they’re so proud of.”

Toronto seemed to be making strides. Most official city hall gatherings now start with acknowledgement they are on traditional Indigenous lands. Flags in Nathan Phillips Square permanently honour The Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation; Six Nations of the Grand River Territory First Nation; the Huron-Wendat-Wendake First Nation; The Métis Nation of Ontario; and the Inuit.

The flags were raised in June at a special sunrise ceremony, applauded by a crowd including Mayor John Tory and four interns working in city councillors’ offices, with federal funding via Miziwe Biik Aboriginal employment centre, as part of the city’s Aboriginal Employment Strategy.

The same month, Tory’s executive committee voted to launch consultations on a “work plan and organizational structure” for a permanent Aboriginal Office that would elevate Indigenous outreach and reconciliation by moving them out of the multi-file Equity, Diversity and Human Rights office.

The appearance of progress, however, crashed when the city staffer tasked with overseeing it quit and launched a human rights complaint against the city.

Read more...

Drone to deliver food, goods to Moose Cree First Nation in northern Ontario

First commercial drone delivery — carrying mail, food, medical supplies and other goods — will happen before Christmas of this year.

Tony Di Benedetto, CEO of Drone Delivery Canada poses with a drone at his Vaughan office last year.
Tony Di Benedetto, CEO of Drone Delivery Canada poses with a drone at his Vaughan office last year.  (Andrew Francis Wallace / Toronto Star file photo)  
 
The Sparrow, a 4.5-kilogram capacity drone, will be used in test flights to Moose Cree First Nation, carrying commercial goods like food, mail and medical supplies.
The Sparrow, a 4.5-kilogram capacity drone, will be used in test flights to Moose Cree First Nation, carrying commercial goods like food, mail and medical supplies.  (Drone Delivery Canada photo)  
 
 
 
By Tamar Harris Staff Reporter
Wed., Oct. 4, 2017
 
 

At Moose Cree First Nation, detergent costs $30 to $40, milk is double the price it would be in Toronto or Ottawa, while fresh produce is about one-third more expensive.

But residents of the remote northern Ontario community on Moose Factory Island, just south of James Bay, hope they are one step closer to more affordable commercial deliveries.

An agreement with GTA-based company Drone Delivery Canada, announced Wednesday, means the first commercial drone delivery — carrying mail, food, medical supplies and other goods — will happen before Christmas of this year.

“We’re always trying to look for solutions, we’re always trying to look for opportunities and that we’re open to these kind of innovative ideas and forward-thinking companies that could help us serve our people, improve the quality of life for Cree people,” said Patricia Faries, chief of Moose Cree First Nation.

The Sparrow drone can carry 4.5 kilos of commercial goods and travel from Moosonee, over the Moose River, to Moose Factory Island. The trip is about 10 kilometres and would take the drone roughly five minutes to cover.

Tony Di Benedetto, CEO of Drone Delivery Canada, said the cost of operating a commercial delivery drone in Canada’s North is unknown, but he believes the cost-savings compared with current infrastructure will be “substantial.”

He said the company is working on getting a Special Flight Operations Certificate, which Transport Canada requires before operating a drone for commercial or research purposes.

Di Benedetto said the company has already received several commercial flight certificates for testing. They are also working with the regulator to establish a flight path for the drone, just as a plane would require.

Once operations are underway, Di Benedetto believes, it would be the first commercial drone delivery operation in North America.

Di Benedetto said the program isn’t about using a drone to deliver a pizza five minutes earlier.

“It’s about actually utilizing (drone technology) in an area of Canada’s geography where there is an immediate need and there is an immediate impact that it could bring to these people,” he said.

Stan Kapashesit, director of economic development for Moose Cree First Nation, said goods are currently transported to the island by barge, the sling of a helicopter, or driven on an ice road when Moose River freezes.

Kapashesit said groceries cost around $5 to $7 per 0.45 kg (one pound) right now, once all transportation costs are accounted for.

Commercial drone delivery will create “a more cost-effective measure to deliver goods to our island,” Kapashesit said. “And hopefully it’s a little bit quicker.”

Kapashesit said the program’s intent is to begin in Moose Cree, “but we’re also looking towards the future of delivering to neighbouring communities. Further along the James Bay coast is a long-term vision.” 

 
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