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



Please click on the link below to the Rotary Club of Winnipeg West February Newsletter. Enjoy!


Rotary Club of Winnipeg West February Newsletter


March 18-20, 2019

Marriott Downtown, Toronto

She Is Wise - Nibwaakaa inaadiziwin is an annual conference about wise practices on addressing violence, it is hosted by the Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA).

ONWA is a not for profit organization to empower and support all Indigenous women and their families in the province of Ontario through research, advocacy, policy development and programs that focus on local, regional and provincial activities. ONWA supports women to take up their leadership roles in the family and in the community. ONWA supports women's leadership; "To ensure that our voices are heard, we have to start by listening to each other first."

Nibwaakaa inaadiziwin (She Is Wise in Ways of Life) references the wisdom and intelligence of women as well as the life-giving power she carries within her, this training will build upon the good work that we have already completed, retelling a story that has largely gone untold, replenishing our bundles with wise practices that will support our efforts to build Indigenous women’s leadership, and develop concrete and actionable recommendations that encapsulate our vision of Indigenous women’s leadership, safer communities and optimal health and wellness for our communities.

Culture, kindness and Indigenous women’s leadership, are all pieces which must come together in order to begin to actionably respond to violence. ONWA is committed to creating space for Indigenous women’s storytelling, this Conference honours the necessity of space, place and time, recognizing that Indigenous women have experiential knowledge, teachings, stories, that form a narrative of Indigenous women’s experience, resilience and leadership within their families and communities. The Nibwaakaa inaadiziwin (she is wise) Conference, captures the voices and perspectives of Indigenous women, fostering a discourse of strength, that seeks to change the narrative of violence, through collective cultural and gendered empowerment.

See link below:

She Is Wise 2nd Annual Conference March 18-20 Toronto

For registration form, please contact Julie Dunaiskis    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


'Special and unique' book donation program sends books up north

The owner of a children's bookstore in southern Ontario is hoping to help send books to students up north, through a new donation program in partnership with Teach for Canada — an organization that recruits teachers to teach in remote First Nation communities.

Eleanor LeFave started the Kids Read North program

Christina Jung · CBC News · Posted: Mar 02, 2019 9:00 AM ET | Last Updated: March 2
The owner of Mabel's Fables bookstore in Toronto said she decided to start a new book donation program called, Kids Read North, after attending a Teach for Canada conference in the summer of 2018. (Submitted by Eleanor LeFave)
  1. owner of a children's bookstore in southern Ontario is hoping to help send books to students up north, through a new donation program in partnership with Teach for Canada — an organization that recruits teachers to work in remote First Nation communities.

Eleanor LeFave said she got the idea to start Kids Read North after attending a Teach for Canada conference in the summer of 2018 in Thunder Bay, Ont.

"This conference was for teachers that were about to go to their respective First Nations schools," LeFave explained, "so I, in December thought about all these teachers up north and all these kids in the northern schools and thought, I bet we could do something with them."


She said she contacted the organization after the conference to get the names and ages of the students the teachers will be teaching this year.


New association to be voice, advocate for First Nations business in northern Ontario

A new business association plans to provide support and advocacy for First Nations entrepreneurs and businesses across northern Ontario.


Anishnawbe Business Professional Association launched Friday in Thunder Bay, Ont.

CBC News · Posted: Mar 01, 2019 2:20 PM ET | Last Updated: 4 hours ago
The Anishnawbe Business Professional Association (ABPA) was launched at an event in Thunder Bay, Ont. on Friday. Pictured: elder Victor Pelletier, and ABPA founders Jason Rasevych, Brian Davey and Jason Thompson. (Amy Hadley/CBC)

A new business association plans to provide support and advocacy for First Nations entrepreneurs and businesses across northern Ontario.

The Anishnawbe Business Professional Association was launched on Friday in Thunder Bay, Ont. 

The organization, which will function similarly to a chamber of commerce for Indigenous-led business, will help those businesses to overcome challenges and thrive, said president Jason Rasevych. 


Published with Rotarian Action Group for Peace - Feb. 2019

Rotarians Honouring Indigenous Peoples

“One’s nativity is not of his own choosing, but whatever it may be, it is entitled to respect; and all nations have honorable place in the world’s family.” – Paul Harris

In divisive times its easy to forget we all belong to one family. Indigenous people have been underserved and oppressed by their governments all across the world. Seen as a threat to their cultural supremacy, governments would try to eradicate indigenous cultures and traditions in the hopes the indigenous people would "ssimilate" to their way of life. In Canada, this was done by separating families and forcing indigenous children to attend residential schools, where they were taught a curriculum that separated them from their identity. Many children suffered abuse and neglect from the hands of their educators. Some even died. These attrocities were only brought to light due to the thousands of indigenous Survivors that gathered to demand redress for the abuses due to the government's racist policies. Together, they won the biggest class action suit in Canada's history and propelled indigenous issues into the public eye.



The terms of the settlement were outlined in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement agreement. One of its mandates was to establish the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The TRC probed the social and systemic effects of Canada’s residential school program, and released a 94 point call to action for the Canadian government to reconcile the harm it had caused to its indigenous people. To the TRC, reconciliation is “about coming to terms with events of the past in a manner that overcomes conflict and establishes a respectful and healthy relationship among people, going forward”  (TRC, 6)

For reconciliation to be successful, better relationships between indigenous and non-indigenous Canadians must be established. Any peace project's success is contingent upon strong relationships. Rotarians in southern Ontario foresaw this, and in 2014 they established Honouring Indigenous Peoples (www.rotaryhip.com).  HIP is a Rotarian inititiave that seeks to empower Canada's indigenous people through improving indigenous education and "promoting the understanding and awareness of the culture, history and issues of indigenous people to Rotarians and others"(HIP). To ensure HIP's mission stays on track, its board is led by an equal number of passionate Rotarians and Indigenous People that make decisions based upon consensus. There is much to be done for indigenous people to achieve the equity they deserve. HIP and Rotarians across Canada are laying the groundwork, and building the relationships, to make that goal possible.


HIP is making an active effort to bring indigenous culture into mainstream Canadian focus. They promote indigenous artists and performers, and share indigenous traditions. During workshops, HIP has invited indigenous speakers to educate Rotarians and other Canadians on challenges indigenous people face, as well as introducing ways other Canadians can become advocates for indigenous people. HIP also provides aid directly to reservations. Many reservation schools are still neglected and underfunded by the Canadian government. HIP holds fundraisers for reservation schools and provides school supplies to many indigenous youth. Most importantly, HIP is working to incorporate indigenous cultural education in reservation schools, public schools, and universities, to ensure no generation will be denied their identity again.