First wave of Indigenous-led projects engage communities for Canada’s 150thTuesday, June 21st, 2016 | Laurel Carlton
(OTTAWA, ON) June 21, 2016 – An initial wave of Indigenous-led activities will engage communities across the country this summer thanks to contributions from the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a national initiative designed to support local projects that build community and encourage engagement to mark our sesquicentennial as a significant moment for Canada.
The projects, focused on everything from cultural learning to youth leadership to traditional health, are among the first to receive funding from community foundations participating in the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th.
Leading up to 2017, the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th will provide thousands of small grants to local projects in every province and territory to engage the broadest possible array of Canadians. The Fund will have a particular focus on initiatives involving Indigenous groups, as well as youth, official language minorities and groups that reflect Canada’s cultural diversity.
The collaborative effort, seeded by the Government of Canada and matched by community foundations across the country, has already seen extraordinary interest since the first grant applications opened in April. More than 100 communities are already on board or set to announce calls for grant applications to the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th by summer’s end.
“The sesquicentennial is an important time for reflection and learning, and initiatives that bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups together have an incredible power to foster a greater sense of community belonging and contribute to meaningful Reconciliation between Indigenous peoples and all Canadians,” said Victoria Grant, Founder of the Temagami Community Foundation and Board Chair with Community Foundations of Canada. “As we celebrate the unique cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples as part of National Aboriginal Day, it’s exciting to see that some of the first projects connected to the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th are being led by Indigenous groups.”
Some examples of the initial projects funded by community foundations that bring together Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples include:
- Adventure in Understanding: A six-day 100 km canoe voyage led by the Rotary Club of Peterborough Kawartha, Camp Kawartha and the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough will engage First Nation and non-native youth in an opportunity to learn about Indigenous culture and lead towards greater understanding and Reconciliation.
- Flint Corn Community Project: An Indigenous community-based project in Peterborough through the Tides Canada Initiatives Society will grow and expand seed stock of heritage flint corn, while teaching about Indigenous traditional food preparation and crops
- Miyo Wahkohtowin Gathering: An event organized by the Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society in Edmonton will bring together Syrian newcomers and Indigenous peoples to celebrate cultural identity, strengthen community support systems and create the foundation for Miyo Wahkohtowin (good relations).
- Indigenous Culture into Schools: An initiative of the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health in Ottawa will create and implement a unique culturally-based curriculum rooted in traditional teachings, led by the Indigenous community.
The Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough has been one of the early leaders in using their annual granting as an opportunity to strengthen relationships with Indigenous people, particularly those of Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations.
“Building relationships of trust and understanding with our local First Nations is an emerging, but important part of our foundation’s work,” said John Good, Executive Director, Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough. “Through the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th we’ve been able to support an even broader range of local projects this year, and award four of our 19 grants this month to organizations in our community helping to create connections between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.”
Registered Canadian charities, municipalities and other qualified donees are eligible to apply to the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th through the community foundation that serves their area.
To learn more about the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, including its funding priorities and which communities are currently accepting grant applications, visit www.communityfoundations.ca/cfc150.
About Community Foundations of Canada
Community Foundations of Canada is the national network for Canada’s 191 community foundations. Together we help Canadians invest in building strong and resilient places to live, work and play. The Community Fund for Canada’s 150th is a collaborative effort, seeded by the Government of Canada and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast, and delivered locally by Canada’s community foundations.
About Community Fund for Canada’s 150th
The Community Fund for Canada’s 150th is a collaborative effort, seeded by the Government of Canada and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast, and matched and delivered locally by Canada’s 191 community foundations.
Community Fund for Canada’s 150th contact:
Director, Leadership Initiatives and Governance
Community Foundations of Canada
P: (613) 915-1637
Director of Communications
Community Foundations of Canada
P: (613) 236-2664 ext. 302