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





Thunder Bay’s diverging paths: What bus routes and pickup trucks have to do with race and class

Once, this city was Canada’s gateway to the west. Now, getting there or getting out is inconvenient at best, dangerous at worst, and using local public transit is a hassle left mostly to poor and Indigenous people. Is there a better way?

Photography by Melissa Tait/The Globe and Mail

On Thunder Bay’s official crest, there’s a picture of a canoe, and in the canoe seven men in blue shirts sit around one man dressed in black.

Starting in the 17th century, merchants seeking beaver pelts travelled up the St. Lawrence River and through the Great Lakes to what is now Thunder Bay. They took the trip in 36-foot canoes made of birchbark with payloads of 6,000 pounds, paddled by French-Canadian and Indigenous voyageurs, while a Scottish fur baron, known as a bourgeois, sat passively in the middle.

These were the men in blue, and the man in black.

They survive as a relic on the municipal crest, a celebration of the city’s founding industry. But they also illustrate hierarchies of power and mobility that continue to define Thunder Bay, where transport plays an outsize role in shaping daily life and putting people in their place.

Then, as now, if you wanted to understand this divided city in the middle of the country, look at how people get around. 

Thunder Bay's coat of arms, shown in a fountain at City Hall, shows a fur-trade-era voyageur at left and, on the shield, a great canoe with seven paddlers and a Northwest Company agent.         

Rotary Club of Winnipeg Peace Days 2019





"Celebrating 10 years of Waging Peace"

September 10th to 21st, 2019 


Inspired by Rotarians and Friends, The Rotary Club of Winnipeg Peace Builder Committee and Rotary 5550 World Peace Partners is celebrating 10 years of waging peace by inspiring, facilitating and nurturing positive peace, goodwill, and understanding with no sign of slowing down.

"As we look to celebrate our 10th annual event, we are encouraging individuals, communities, organizations, institutions and businesses to "Be a piece of Peace". The Rotary Club of Winnipeg Peace Builder Committee is an inspirer and facilitator of a grassroots movement that is working together for positive peace locally, nationally and internationally. We are committed to mobilizing support for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a reduction in the human causes of climate change and nuclear disarmament to name a few", says David Newman, Q.C. and Gary Senft Co-Chairs of the Peace Builder Committee.

The Peace Days Festival and Peace Days 365 is a space that's been created to promote and inspire understanding, goodwill and compassion locally, nationally and internationally. It exists for all persons who believe in a culture of peace and compassion and to encourage conversations that will inspire action, commitment and the promotion of positive peace and peace literacy. Peace Days was inspired by Rotary World Peace Partners in 2010 and grew out of a desire to celebrate the United Nations' International Day of Peace (Sept. 21st annually).

"It is impressive to witness how Peace Days has helped many people to have a better understanding of compassionate action, the importance of promoting humand dignity, justice, and peace through planned events and activities in collaboration with its community partners. It is truly inspiring to see the growth of Peace Days over the last ten years, and the commitment of so many persons to the cause of service above self and the greater good." Julie Turenne-Maynard, Peace Days Venue Participant.

As in years past, the Peace Days Festival has brought together a number of committed Venue Participants who are doing their part to raise awareness and making a commitment to act all in the name of promoting positive peace. This year's Peace Days Festival will run from Sept. 10th to 21st at various venues throughout the city. People are encouraged to visit the Festival's calendar (https://www.peacedays.ca/calendar.php) regularly for updates and new events now through to Sept. 21st and beyond.

This year's Peace Days Festival will start with a multi-faith Meditation for Peace event that will guide participants through a moment of meditation and unity dedicated to the promotion of peace and the creation of a non-violent society hosted by Bishop emeritus Noel Delaquis:

"The Meditation For Peace event will be hosted by the St. Boniface Archdiocese for its third consecutive year on September 10. It is organized by the St. Boniface Cathedral Meditation Group in collaboration with the Manitoba Multifaith Councile. All faith traditions gather together in this contemplative event to present, as people of faith, a united, peaceful and non-violent response to the face of hate", Rene Fontaine, Peace Days Festival Venue Participant.

It is through our actions and our commitments to peace that work being done is done in relationship, friendship and partnership with all nations. The work to promote and inspire positive peace has to be done from a place of respect, trust, genuineness and truth. Truths that are hard to share, hard to hear and maybe even hard to understand. The Rotary Club of Winnipeg's Peace Builder Committee has been working in relationship, friendship and is honoured to work in partnership with the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, its staff and its Executive Director, Diane Redsky.

"The Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre is a proud partner and strong supporter of Peace Days. We recognize and value these are vital bridge building opportunities between many nations of people and how this works towards what we all want to achieve: PEACE. As an Indigenous-led organization and community we are committed to truth and reconciliation and Peace Days events are unique opportunities to restore the sacred relationship between the First Peoples of Canada and all others. For example our Peace Day events, Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre Solstice Ceremony on September 21, December 21, March 21 and June 21 is one of these important bridge building opportunities to bring people of all nations together to learn from Indigenous peoples on how we are guided by the teachings of each season and our connection and relationship with all living things and also, to celebrate our shared values with all nations through food and coming to together to learn from one another. Thank you Peace Days for these meaningful opportunities to achieve PEACE!"

Events throughout the city will continue to create the momentum needed to ensure everyone can experience peace regardless of who they are and where they come from. Through the Winnipeg Connector Partnership and engagement of newcomers in peace, the Peace Days Festival and Peace Days 365 will help us achieve an equitable, accepting and just society, nation and world. The Peace Days Festival is about:

"Bringing people from all nations together, to create a culture of Peace and building self-confidence for equal opportunity, justice and PEACE. We want to contribute locally and internationally for a better world," Rany Jeyaratnam, Program Coordinator, Winnipeg Connector Partnership.

The committee encourages people to get involved and become an inspirer and facilitator of positive peace by:

1. Becoming a Venue Participant (see EVENTS tab on website for more information: www.peacedays.ca)

2. Promoting and attending Peace Days events

3. Being a piece of Peace in everyday life with a smile, an act of kindness, a helping hand, being an upstander not a bystander to injustice, helping someone in need, expressing love-not anger or hate.

4. Considering a donation to ensure this grassroots movement continues to inspire and facilitate for years to come

The Rotary Club of Winnipeg Peace Builder Committee wishes to thank all of its Venue Participants currently and from years past. The Peace Days Festival would not be possible without your commitment and dedication to the cause. We also wish to recognize The Winnipeg Foundation for its ongoing support as well as at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights who have been a major contributor in the promotion of positive peace, goodwill and understanding.

Media Inquiries can be directed to:

Rhonda Taylor, Secretariat Director

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The Rotary Club of Winnipeg Peace Builder Committee






News from Rotary Guelph



PRESS RELEASE                           September4, 2019





Renowned Indigenous author, Edmund Metatawabin - who was shortlisted for the Governor General's Award in 2014 for his novel Up Ghost River, and who is a recipient of the Order of Canada will speak at the regular Friday luncheon meeting of the Rotary Club of Guelph, September 27 at 12:15 p.m. The meetingwill be held at the Italian Canadian Club, 135 Ferguson Street, Guelph. Members of the community are invited to attend. Mr. Metatawabin will speak about his Residential School experience.
This extraordinary event is being held in recognition of Orange Shirt Day which falls annually on September 30 and is an opportunity for Canadians to learn about the legacy of the residential school system. Orange Shirt day also reinforces talks about anti-racism and bullying and reaffirms that every child matters.
Rotary is also honored to host the Chief Executive Officer of the Assembly of First Nations, Dr. Paulette Tremblay as well as Vanessa McGregor, Special Advisor to the Chief Executive Officer of the Assembly of First Nations, who will both be present at this special meeting.
To confirm your attendance, please send an email to Dianne Dance (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) or text her at 519 741 6291 by Sept. 24th. Cost of the luncheon is $20 at the door for those pre-registered.
Indigenous Awareness Committee members of the Rotary Club are committed to highlighting reconciliation with First Nations peoples. To this end, we invite members of the media, in order specifically to shine a light on the role that we see Rotary being ideally placed to play: supporting groups such as HIP, Honouring Indigenous Peoples (www.rotaryhip.com). One of Rotary's historic mandates is Peace, and what better way to promote peace right here at home than to promote bridge-building and reconciliation with our First Nations friends.
Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbours, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change - across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.
The Rotary Club of Guelph was chartered on 20 February 1920. For almost 100 years club members have been committed to local projects that currently include mentoring at College Heights Secondary School, environmental awareness with the 100-acre Rotary Forest, 123Go Program, SHARKS at the Y, Food For Friends, Kids Abliity, scholarships and awards, assistive devices for seniors, Food for Kids, youth at risk, BHENY (Better Hearing in Education for Northern Youth) and international projects in India, Uganda, Cameroon, Lesotho, St. Lucia, Mexico and Guatemala. Fundraising events such as Sparkles in the Park, Canada Day at Riverside Park, Hockey Challenge and Lobsterfest support our community and international projects.
Rotary started with the vision of one man - Paul Harris. The Chicago attorney formed te Rotary Club of Chicago on 23 February 1905, so professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas, form meaningful, lifelong friendships, and give back to their communities. Rotary's name came from the group's early practice of rotating meetings among the offices of its members.
Solving real problems takes real committment and vision. For more than 110 years, Rotary's people of action have used their passion, energy, and intelligence to take action on sustainable projects. From literacy and peace to water and health, we are always working to better our world, and we stay committed to the end.

Rosemary Clark
External Relations, Rotary Guelph
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Dianne Dance
Indigenous Awareness Committee
Rotary Guelph
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Marty Fairbairn
Program Committee
Rotary Guelph
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www.guelphrotary.ca Ÿ Meetings on Friday at 12:15 pm

Registered Charity # 119124832RR0002 Ÿ Rotary Club of Guelph Charitable Trust





UAlberta Indigenous law centre gets federal boost

The University of Alberta's Wahkohtowin Law and Governance Lodge will be working with Indigenous communities to better access, understand, and apply Indigenous laws. "For a century few, if any, Canadian lawyers ever asked the question about how First Nations on the prairies regulated their societies and relationships and dealt with the same issues that common law, Western law dealt with," said David Percy, UAlberta's Interim Dean of Law. "The lodge is a great example of an academic institution listening to Indigenous communities and organizations. Canada will be better off for the work being done here and elsewhere across the country." The initiative has received $134K in funding from the Government of Canada.

FNTI builds greenhouse to support Indigenous Food Systems degree

The First Nations Technical Institute is constructing a greenhouse to support its new Indigenous Food Systems degree. FNTI reports that the build was specifically conceived to support the new standalone Bachelor of Science in Indigenous Food Systems program. Slated for delivery in Sept. 2020, the new degree program will provide students the knowledge and skills needed to improve food sovereignty. "The greenhouse can be used to address two critical issues that affect Indigenous communities: food security and our relationship to food and diet," said Luke Jeffries, Indigenous Food Systems program coordinator at FNTI. "This program and the food grown within the greenhouse will expose students' minds and palates to a wide variety of ideas and tastes and will begin to change their relationship with food and the Earth.

Canada's faculties of medicine commit to improving Indigenous health

The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada has approved a Joint Committee to Action on Indigenous Health that will aim to train medical students to better serve Indigenous communities. AFMC Indigenous network chair Marcia Anderson said that the commitment was made in response to the TRC, and that she hopes it will bring consistency to "highly variable" Indigenous health initiatives at schools across the country. The commitment includes several action items related to relationships with Indigenous communities, admissions, the medical school environment, curriculum and post-graduate education. 

Canada invests in new K-12 school for KI First Nation

A new school will be built in the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nation community, thanks to a $42M investment from the Government of Canada. The new school is expected to be constructed by Fall 2021, and the new K-12 school will accommodate nearly 400 students. "Every child deserves access to a high-quality education, regardless of where they live. First Nations children in Kenora riding, and across Canada are no exception," said Bob Nault, Member of Parliament (Kenora riding). "Children should be able to complete their education at home, in their own community and once the new school is completed, educators will be able to meet the community's unique needs and provide culturally appropriate programming and language supports."

Canada invests in early learning in GTA

The Government of Canada has announced $1.8M in funding for seven early learning and child care innovation projects in the Greater Toronto Area. The projects will take on challenges such as synthesizing and consolidating research and resources into accessible tools; developing and testing an enhanced accelerated ECE training program in Ontario; and creating a network of employers, labour unions, Indigenous representatives, and more to develop solutions to ELCC workplace challenges. "The early years of life are critical to a child's development and future well-being," explained Adam Vaughan, Member of Parliament for Spadina-Fort York. "As the needs of Canadian families evolve, we are committed to finding creative solutions to ensure our kids have the opportunity to experience the kinds of quality early learning that will help them build the skills needed to succeed." 




Indigenous-led initiative at YorkU to equip youth with skills training with support of new funding

An initiative designed by York University students to connect and support Indigenous youth will receive new funding from the federal government under the Canada Service Corps program. YorkU reports that the Indigenous Friends Association will use the investment to equip 120 First Nations, Inuit, Metis and non-Indigenous youth with the skills and training required to reduce employment and education gaps in technology, all while engaging ina process of reconciliation through collaborative learning and civic engagement. The project will be led and implemented by the Indigenous community of York in partnership with YWCA Canada and Digital Justice Lab. Local partnerships have been developed in Ontario with Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation, Elephant Thoughts, Mikinaak and in Sask. with the YWCA Regina, North Central Hacker Dojo, West Flat Citizens Group.


First Nations initiative in Cape Breton to help students find career success after graduation

The federal government has announced nearly $1M in funding to support a program that prepares Indigenous students in Cape Breton for post-secondary education and future career sucess. CBC reports that the Mi'kmaw Economic Benefits Office will use the funds to support its existing programs, which include promoting employment opportunities and apprenticeships, recruiting from First Nations communities, delivering small business and personal finance workshops, and helping new high school graduates prepare for post-secondary. It will also help the office launch a new program aimed at increasing the number of Indigenous people in science, technology, engineering, math and business fields.

Regina-based organization focused on teaching newcomers about Indigenous history, culture

The Regina Open Door Society is working to combat the negative attitudes and stereotypes about Indigenous people that young newcomers are "bombarded with" when they first arrive in the country. The society is currently holding a summer program for youth called Reconciliation through Education that teaches newcomers about historic events in Canada that have impacted Indigenous people and involves them in First Nations cultural practices. "You should learn about Canada and its history, and the people who lived here before, before coming to Canada and before assuming something they are," said Raj Metker, who moved to Regina from India one year ago. "I think all the newcomers should help Indigenous people regain and recover from the previous things. I am doing that by learning about them." Youth case worker Megan Brooks described the program as an "introduction of starting to build bridges rather than {...} divides."

ON teacher uses Twitter to revive Munsee language

In Southwestern Ontario, educator Ian McCallum is using social media to revive the Munsee language. McCallum is a First Nations and Metis resource and elementary school teacher in the Barrie area, and he has begun posting translations and phrases to Twitter twice a day to reach people interested in the language. "I do simple vocabulary (translation) or I do things people find interesting. Sometimes I get off the beaten track and I will translate a song from the Eighties or Seventies for interest sake," said McCallum. "It's important to me because I believe a lot of the stories and deeper understanding of the culture is in the language. If the language ceases to exist, you lose that deeper meaning and connections with the world around you." The Kingston Whig Standard states that McCallum uses his knowledge to create the language curriculum for Munsee-Delaware Nation.