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



Manitoba First Nations hockey player signs contract with Florida Panthers

Brady Keeper, who played with the Opaskwayak Cree Nation Blizzard before going on to play for the University of Maine hockey team, has signed a two-year contract with the Florida Panthers.


Brady Keeper, 22, played for Opaskwayak Cree Nation Blizzard

CBC News · Posted: Mar 19, 2019 5:00 AM CT | Last Updated: 5 hours ago
Brady Keeper, 22, has signed a two-year contract with the Florida Panthers. (Hockey East Association)

A Manitoban from Pimicikamak Cree Nation is headed to the National Hockey League.

Brady Keeper, who played with the Opaskwayak Cree Nation Blizzard before going on to play for the University of Maine hockey team, signed a two-year contract with the Florida Panthers.

"He's a skilled puck-moving defenceman," said Alfie Michaud, Keeper's coach at the University of Maine and a fellow Manitoban, from Selkirk. "He moves [the puck] quick, he thinks very quick, he's got a lot of upside to him because he's such a raw talent." 

Keeper, 22, has come a long way from where he started, Michaud said.

"It's bittersweet to see him go, because you see where he was and what he's become. But at the same time, at least you feel that you can keep helping him and grow."

News of Keeper's signing was met with an outpouring of support from folks back home. Michaud said a post on his Facebook page has received more than 1,000 comments.


"His community has been going through a lot of tough times here, probably within the last five years. And so to have him come from that community, I guess he's that beacon of hope for a lot of those kids," Michaud said.

Life away from home hasn't always been easy for Keeper, Michaud said. When he first arrived at the university, Michaud said, Keeper bought several plane tickets to fly back home, but always cancelled them, eventually maxing out his credit card.

"I think he did that three or four times in a five-day stretch," Michaud said, but he and the other coaches convinced Keeper to stay.

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OCDSB to introduce Grade 11 English course with all-Indigenous reading list to more schools

A mandatory Grade 11 English course with an all-Indigenous reading list is spreading across the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, reports CBC. Inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and introduced by the OCDSB, the class reportedly seeks to "undo the damage caused by the country's residential school system." "It provides different perspectives for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students," said Jane Alexander, who oversees the secondary school curriculum for the School Board. "It's an opportunity for them to look at contemporary Canadian themes and literature that maybe they have not been able to do before." CBC notes that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 94 calls to action include mandatory age-appropriate curriculum on Indigenous history and residential schools from kindergarten to Grade 12. It also calls for the creation of a senior-level position in provincial and territorial governments dedicated to Indigenous content in education.

U of T's Office of Indigenous Initiatives looks to bolster cultural compentency with day-long workshops

The Office of Indigenous Initiatives at the University of Toronto is looking to fill in gaps in people's knowledge of Indigenous communities by offering day-long cultural competency training workshops across the university. "It's to make people realize that we all have different world views, different belief systems, different spiritual practices and different cultures," says John Croutch, a cultural competency training officer at the university. "These differences don't make someone less than. In fact, diversity adds to the value of our society by bringing different ideas into the mix." Croutch notes that one of the core aspects of the training is having people understanding the shifting history of settler-Indigenous relations in Canada. "And reconciliation, that's not our job," adds Croutch. "That's the rest of society's job. To gain the understanding and knowledge of the past and come to grips with why Indigenous people are in the socio-economic conditions they are in."

Saugeen First Nation, BWDSB sign new Education Services Agreement

The Saugeen First Nation and Bluewater District School Board have signed a new Education Services Agreement to ensure the continuation of student learning opportunities. The agreement is an extension to one that was previously made between the Nation and the Bruce County Board of Education. "Education is a vital component to the success of our young people's future," stated Saugeen First Nation Chief Lester Anoquot. "Bluewater District School Board recognizes the diverse community it serves, and I am pleased we will have a signed agreement going forward into our children's future. "Blackburn News reports that the agreement includes common services for all students, as well as additional programs and services or equipment to meet the needs of students from the First Naton. "In addition to our board's commitment to equity and inclusion and strong focus on promoting Indigenous education," added Alana Murray, BWDSB Director of Education, "we are constantly working towards our strategic goal of promoting confidence in our education system and encouraging partnerships."


Please click the link belowto read our 2018 HIP Annual Report. We look forward to more successes in 2019!


2018 HIP Annual Report



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.