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



We have been asked to forward the employment opportunity below on behalf of

Circles of Reconciliation.




Circles for Reconciliation is a grassroots, non-profit, full and equal partnership between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Our goal is to 1) inform people on the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada, 2) to encourage the participants to share their stories and thoughts on the theme of the day and, 3) to create and maintain respectful relationships. Very early in the final TRC report, the Commissioners tell us that for them, reconciliation is based on respectful relationships.

We offer circles that are composed of 10 participants (five Indigenous and five non-Indigenous), led by two trained facilitators (one Indigenous and one non-Indigenous). Each circle meets once a week for ten weeks for 75 minutes per session. There is no cost for the participants. What we ask for is a common interest in achieving truth and reconciliation and equality of opportunity for Indigenous people in Canada, a willingness to listen and to share, and a commitment to attend the ten meetings. That is enough time to establish the beginning of meaningful relationships.

The project has the endorsement of a large number of Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders and organizations. The position to be filled is funded by The Toronto Foundation.


We are hiring an "Event Coordinator" for Circles that are beginning in the Toronto area. The successful candidate will work closely with our Community Recruiter in the Toronto area and report to Raymond Currie, the Project Coordinator and to the Toronto Advisory Committee. The Coordinator will become a member of the Advisory Group of the project.

It is a part-time position of approximately 15 hours a week. Occasional availability on evenings and weekends may be required. The job can be done from one's home or other convenient location. Easy accessibility of the Coordinator by the public will be essential. Funding for the position is supplied by a grant from the Toronto Foundation. One month's notice will be given prior to the end of the contract. The salary will be commensurate with experience. It will be paid bi-weekly on submission of the logbook of contacts, approved by the supervisor. The position will begin as soon as possible. There will be training for the position and a probation period of six months will be in effect after the hire.

Job requirements

The successful candidate will be expected to have a good understanding of the process of reconciliation as described in "Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future," the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. (The report is available online).

Candidates should become familiar with our website of the project prior to an interview for the position (www.circlesforreconciliation.ca).

High school graduation as well as some post-secondary education will be an asset for an applicant.

The Events Coordinator must be articulate, pleasant, honest, and flexible in addressing issues that come up.

The Coordinator must be able to interact effectively with groups in cases where it is necessary to secure sites for the discussion groups.

Self-starters, and individuals able to work relatively independently are particularly important characteristics, as well as strong administrative skills.

Candidates must have own telephone to keep in contact and organize weekly circles for participants.

A computer needed to complete necessary word documents and reports etc.

The candidate will require a strong knowledge of Microsoft office, including word, excel, outlook and power point.

Knowledge of social media platforms would be an asset (Facebook; Instagram; etc)

Job description

  • Actively create, update, and maintain registration databases for any (e)mailing, correspondence, and promotional reasons.
  • Actively organize, maintain and coordinate weekly circles based on registrations; while maintaining utmost confidentiality of all information seen and/or heard at all times.
  • locate/contact host locations to schedule ten-week circles;
  • work closely with Indigenous community recruiter and Advisory Committee in Toronto, ON
  • report regularly to Project Coordinator in Winnipeg, MB
  • attend scheduled Toronto Advisory meetings

Please supply your resume as well as at least two references with their approval and their contact information. They will be contacted by the Supervisor.

Deadline for applications:  April 22nd, 2019

For further information and application, please reply to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Raymond Currie at (204) 487-0512.





Collingwood continues to connect with Indigenous community

Town builds ties with Indigenous community

News 06:00 AM by John EdwardsCollingwood Connection
Awen Gathering Place

Dean Collver, director of parks, recreation and culture and Tanya Mazza, manager of parks, recreation and culture, have worked to help bridge the gap with the indigenous community. - John Edwards/Metroland

James Carpenter

Elder James Carpenter performed a ceremony inauguration ceremony recognizing the tradtional lands. - John Edwards/Metroland

What started as a complaint about cultural approriation has turned into a path to inclusion and connection with the Indigenous community.
About two years ago, a concern was raised that one of the chairs painted as part of the Art on the Street program contained images that could be considered to have been derived from First Nations iconography.
"It started with the cultural appropriation issue and there being some identification that there is a community within our community that's not being recognized," said Dean Collver, director of parks, recreation and culture.
The municipality has adopted an art policy that works with organizations on art that may include an Indigenous component.
"The policy asks that we consult with First Nations educators and elders in order to foster more collaboration between non-Indigenous and Indigenous artists," said Tanya Mazza, manager of arts and culture.
The town has continued to take steps to bridge the gap with the Indigenous community.
In September, the town opened the Awen Gathering Circle at Harbourview Park. The facility was created with the assistance of Indigenous architechts and under the guidance of elders such as Dr. Duke Redbird and James Carpenter.
Carpenter is a messenger known as an Oshkaabewis and travels across Canada to different communities.
For the past three years, he has been involved in the town's Canada Day ceremony, made a presentation at the council inauguration in 2018 and at the Mayor's Levee.
"In my 20 years, the Town of Collingwood is one of the first that have started to bridge the gap," he said. "For a very long time, Aboriginal People around the area around Collingwood, we've kind of felt left out".
He believes any kind of awareness is positive and he's not one "to point fingers and blast communities for things they haven't done."

Emotional plea for Indigenous mental heatlh workers at Trudeau's town hall in Thunder Bay

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau heard an emotional plea for mental health supports in Indigenous communities during his town hall meeting Friday evening in Thunder Bay, Ont.

Justin Trudeau visited the northwestern Ontario city Friday

Christina Jung · CBC News · Posted: Mar 23, 2019 12:08 AM ET | Last Updated: March 23
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Thunder Bay on Friday for a town hall meeting at Lakehead University. (Matt Prokopchuk / CBC)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau heard an emotional plea for mental health supports in Indigenous communities during his town hall meeting Friday evening in Thunder Bay, Ont.

Approximately 850 to 900 people attended the event at Lakehead University's gymnasium with questions ranging from the SNC-Lavalin affair to his government's environmental record.

But the call for Ottawa to do more to secure mental health workers in First Nations came from a 26-year-old woman who left her community of Sandy Lake, about 600 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, to study in the city. 

"What do you plan on doing for the mental health of Indigenous people in the north?" Forrest Sawanas asked Trudeau while fighting back tears, highlighting several "horrific things," alleging sexual assault and physical violence in her community.

"If there are teachers who are willing to live in the north for the academic year, there shouldn't be an issue with providing mental health workers in the north," she said.
26-year-old Forrest Sawanas from Sandy Lake First Nation highlighted several "horrific things" that have happened in her community. She asked Justin Trudeau what his plans were for providing mental health support for Indigenous people in the north.
The supports are needed to help people cope with the intergenerational trauma of residential schools, she said.
  1. started his answer by first thanking Sawanas for "her courage and her strength," and then told the public that, "I think Canadians need to hear that."

"[The] kinds of things that if they happened, even in a big city like Toronto or Vancouver would be screaming headlines for weeks and that are collectively still met far too often with shrugs because it happened in 'those' communities," he continued.

"That's unacceptable."

"We are not the country that we like to think of ourselves as," Trudeau added.

While not addressing whether more mental health workers would be on their way to First Nations, Trudeau said the federal government still has more to do to invest in Indigenous communities, including in areas like housing, education as well as mental health.

"We have an awful lot to do," he said.

Trudeau faced a receptive crowd in Thunder Bay — both of the city's ridings are held by Liberal MPs — but was challenged, not only on support for Indigenous communities, but also on climate change, the environment and infrastructure.

The Prime Minister largely used the questions to defend his government's record and highlight its accomplishments, while acknowledging Ottawa still has more work to do.



RCMP cadet program helps First Nation youth build relationships with police

Some Eden Valley youth gather in Chief Jacob Bearspaw school gymnasium to participate in activities with Turner Valley Boys and Girls club as part of cadet training.

Turner Valley RCMP partnered up with Chief Jacob Bearspaw school to run a cadet program for Eden Valley youth

Livia Manywounds · CBC News · Posted: Mar 23, 2019 5:00 AM MT | Last Updated: 2 hours ago
Eden Valley youth gather to participate in cadet training with Turner Valley RCMP. (Livia Manywounds/CBC)

A program in Eden Valley is giving kids in the community a first-hand look at what it's like to be a police officer. 

The cadet training program has Eden Valley youth gather in Chief Jacob Bearspaw school gymnasium to participate in activities with Turner Valley Boys and Girls club.

Turner Valley RCMP started the cadet program five years ago using the same model as the Maskwacis Cadets from Northern Alberta. 

Turner Valley RCMP Constable Larry MacDonald is the program's drill instructor. He said working with the youth is a proactive community service, which engages Indigenous youth, and fosters a trusting relationship with the local RCMP

Turner Valley RCMP Constable Larry MacDonald is the drill instructor for cadet training which aims to engage Indigenous youth. (Livia Manywounds/CBC)

"They know who the police are, they know if they ever get in trouble or scared, or they need help, they [can] call us and contact us," MacDonald said.

Read more ...

NS Mi'kmaq graduation rates reaches "amazing" levels, yields $600M, 10-year agreement with Canada

The graduation rate of NS Mi'kmaq students has risen from 30 to 90% in the last 20 years, according to the Canadian Press and the Government of Canada has recognized the NS Mi'kmaq community by signing a 10-year education agreement worth $600M. Chief Leroy Denny of the Eskasoni First Nation in Cape Breton stated that the province's Mi'kmaq First Nations originally did not have their own schools and students had to be bused to other communities. "It was a dream - a dream that if the Mi'kmaq could control our own education that we could reach levels near believed possible by Canadians," said Denny. "We know that our youth will grow into strong, proud Mi'kmaq when they are given the opportunity to learn in an environment that values the strengths of Mi'kmaq language and culture." CP reports that the high school graduation rate among First Nations students in the province is now considerably higher than the national average for students living on reserve.

Metis Nation signs Early Learning and Child Care Accord with Canada

A newly signed accord between the Metis Nation and the Government of Canada ensures that the nation will have the authority and funding to create culturally relevant and supportive early learning programs and child care. The Metis Nation Early Learning and Child Care Accord comes in addition to $450M that Canada has provided to strengthen early learning and child care (ELCC) programs and services for Metis children and families in the Metis Homeland. "For over twenty years the Metis have been left out of federally funded Indigenous Early Learning Programs. During this time, the lack of federal committment to reconciliation with the Metis Nation has hurt our children and our families," stated David Chartra.

RRC pop-up restaurant serving Indigenous specials

Bannock tacos and Three-Sisters Soup are being served at a new pop-up restaurant at the Notre Dame campus of Red River College. Students will work with Prairie Lights restaurant to make breakfast and lunch until mid-April. "The big thing they will learn is timing and working under pressure: being able to produce dishes to customers' expectations and to the kitchen's standards, with the pressure of having a busy restaurant," said Instructor Michael Fitzhenry, who noted that only one student had previously worked in the industry. RRC student Larissa Evans stated that she's "excited to get to cook with the rest of the students and be able to make the bannock tacos."

New project focused on improving digital literacy, curriculum kicks off in NWT

The Digital Literacy Project has kicked off initiatives to develop a new curriculum and increase professional development training capacity for community-based instruction in Digital Literacy. The new, regionally appropriate curriculum will include digital literacy basics, digital content and connectivity in the NWT, and more. The project - the Digital Literacy Exchange Program - is reportedly supported by four Indigenous organizations in the NWT, Aurora College, Aurora Research Institute, the University of Alberta, and Computers for School NWT. "Given recent IRC success with e-Learning programs including IFA-101 modules, waiting lists for our newly expanded SunChild E-Learning Centre, and recent direction from our 42 Directors to advance distance learning opportunity within our communities," said Inuvialuit Regional Corporation CEO Duane Ningaqsiq Smith. "IRC applauds the new commitment to Digital Literacy, Northern educators and Northern curriculum."

Lakehead developing land acknowledgement walk

Lakehead University has announced that it is developing a land acknowledgement walk. The program grew from talking circles with Indigenous Elders and advisers, and will explore the history of the land that the campus is located on and encourage discussion about decolonization. "What I heard from a lot of people was an interest in.. trying to engage our student body and our community body on what does it mean, for example, to be a non Indigenous person on campus or on a land that is traditional territory of Fort William First Nation," explained Office of Sustainability coordinator Ledah McKellar, "and what does that history look like.. and what are the implications of this history?" McKellar noted that the Office considers recognizing Indigenous rights as part of sustainability, given that the Indigenous people were living "sustainably for thousands of years beore (it) became a buzzword."

New Northern ON internship program to broaden support for Indigenous, skilled workers

 The Government of Ontario has announced that it is revamping an internship program that will create more opportunities for Indigenous peoples and address the skilled labour shortage across the province's North. Among the changes to the province's Northern Ontario Internship Program will be a removal of the requirement that applicants be recent university or college graduates. "Changes to the internship program ensure our government is well-positioned to assist northern employers in providing work experience to a broader range of interns," said Northern Development and Mines and Minister of Indigenous Affairs Greg Rickford. "We are removing barriers to participation in the Northern Ontario Internship Program so that more organizations can provide on-the-job career development and address skilled labour shortages."