Indigenous Strategy

We are committed to being more visible and intentional in our work with Indigenous communities and in our efforts to support action on the recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. At the core of this Indigenous Strategy, the Foundation’s efforts will:

  • Invest in young people and youth-driven groups within an intergenerational framework
  • Support cross-cultural learning and understanding of how racism and colonization continues to shape Indigenous and non-Indigenous relationships
  • Commit long-term by carrying the strategy into our next strategic plan
  • Be guided by Indigenous priorities and informed by Indigenous communities

Funding Approach: Embedded and Intentional

We invest in Indigenous youth-led groups to take action on issues they are passionate about and will continue to take an embedded approach to funding by ensuring that across our funding streams, Indigenous youth-led groups are represented.

In addition, we are launching an intentional, dedicated funding stream focused on supporting Indigenous youth with land, language, and culture, and to support the transmission of cultural practices to future generations in order to promote nation building, decolonization, and reconciliation. Stay tuned for more information on this funding opportunity and a call for applications this fall.

Guiding Us

To ground and guide this work, we are so fortunate to be working with an Indigenous Advisory committee to inform our operations, knowledge building and funding strategies.

Meet our Advisors:

TTunchaiunchai Redvers is a two-spirit woman, social justice warrior, and poet belonging to Deninu K’ue First Nation, born and raised in Hay River and Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. She graduated from the University of Guelph with a degree in International Development Studies and Certificate in Civic Engagement and Global Citizenship. Now living in southern Ontario, she is working towards a Master of Social Work: Indigenous Specialization. She has spent a significant amount of time working in and with First Nations communities across Canada and studying and volunteering abroad. She has been named one of MTV and WE Day’s Top 10 Drivers of Change in Canada, has been published in a number of works for her poetry and academic articles, is a recipient of the Lawson Foundation’s Emerging Leaders Award, and is the co-founder of We Matter, a national non-profit committed to Indigenous youth empowerment, hope and life promotion

Max Fineday

Max FineDay is a nêhiyaw activist from the Sweetgrass First Nation and currently serves as Co-Executive Director of Canadian Roots Exchange, a national charity that brings Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth together to engage in reconciliation work.  Max is known for his roles in youth leadership development, and centers efforts on ideas and projects that move Canada toward reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. He is focused on delivering results, building relationships, and speaking to both the challenges and opportunities that exist for Canada and Indigenous peoples today. He is currently based in Toronto.

 

 

Jessica Bolduc

Jessica Bolduc is from the Anishinaabek Nation and lives in Baawating (Sault Ste. Marie, ON), the traditional territory of her Ojibway ancestors. She is a daughter, a sister and an aunty and carries a responsibility to her community as a member of the bear clan. Through her family she has a hunger for adventure and a deep connection to the land. She comes from a mixed family of Anishinaabe, French & Irish people; these blended blood lines have created an alchemy within her that she is beginning to understand as a personal compass for her journey of reconciliation as the Executive Director of the 4Rs Youth Movement. It’s a slow and sometimes painful process to journey towards seeing her full self and the gifts she bring. But in doing so, she is coming to know herself as a dreamer, a translator, an edge walker and web weaver – gifts she hopes to share with others as we journey towards co-creating possible new futures for Canada.

Jerica Fraser

Jerica Fraser is an Indigenous (Haudenosaunee and Métis) educator in Hamilton, ON. She is the teacher of the SHAE program that stands for Strengthening Hamilton’s Aboriginal Education. Outside of teaching, she is the Indigenous Content Specialist for TVO and continues to write and collaborate on Indigenous-focused curriculum and workshops across Ontario. She has her Master’s in Education with a focus on social justice and Aboriginal health studies and is working towards her specialist in Indigenous studies. She is a steering committee member for the 4Rs Youth Movement and spends her spare time outdoors with her husband Rob and their dog Geronimo.

 

Quinn Meawasige

Quinn Meawasige is Ojibwe from Serpent River First Nation and his community is a signatory of the Robinson Huron Treaty of 1850. Quinn will be entering his 3rd year of his 4-year Community and Economic and Social Development Honours Degree at Algoma University in Bawating (Sault Ste. Marie, ON). Quinn was elected as the youngest Council member ever to serve a term on Chief and Council in his community’s history from 2012-2014. Quinn is also a member of a regional and a provincial First Nation youth council and recently transitioned out of a national First Nations youth council position. Through advocacy, lobbying and grassroots organizing, Quinn works to improve the quality and standard of living for Indigenous Youth across Canada and Turtle Island (North America).

 

Jacob Preacher

Jacob Parcher is Ojibway belonging to Bear Clan, who currently lives in Toronto working within communities to promote wellbeing with mental health and addictions, cultural safety, and recently working within research and evaluation to ensure Indigenous Youth and Youth voices are heard in a meaningful way.  Jacob graduated his studies in Social Work with a focus on Mental Health and Addictions, he has a deep passion for front line work that has included working; within Indigenous and non-Indigenous shelter systems, as a part of an Intensive Case Management Team for First Nation men experiencing homelessness with concurrent concerns, as a Program Manager for a 2 Spirit/LGBTQ+ Indigenous Youth drop in, as well as, being a member of a Community Based Research Team regarding Indigenous Youth Intervention Strategies.  As Jacob continues his journey, he has learned more about who he is as an Ojibway person, the challenges and successes that he has faced have driven him to do the work that he does within Indigenous Communities as a change maker and advocate.

 

Sarah Nelson

Sarah Nelson is the Recreation Coordinator at Nishnawbe Aski Nation. Through Youth Social Infrastructure Collaborative, Sarah Nelson recently organized an Art of Hosting training in Thunder Bay that took place in December 2016. Art of Hosting is a method of holding space for community conversations that matter. The themes of the gathering were around cross-cultural dialogue, decolonization and social justice. Fifty youth from all over the province came together with local Thunder Bay youth to learn from one another and learn a new powerful method for making space for urgent conversations. Working with local elders and other youth leaders, Sarah ensured ceremony was incorporated before and during the training, which was new to the lead facilitators, Tim Merry and Tuesday Ryan-Heart, who have engaged with community over the world. Sarah’s other past community work has the common thread of uplifting the voices of Indigenous youth and whole communities, including with the Feathers of Hope as a Youth Amplifier and with the Thunder Bay Urban Aboriginal Strategy organizing community engagements and interviews which informed the 2012-2017 Urban Aboriginal Strategy, as well as working for Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund, to determine best practices to engage with community about their programs and services. She has also volunteered with the Canadian Roots Exchange as a Reconciliation Leader providing the opportunity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth to come together and learn about decolonization by facilitating the Blanket Exercise and organizing and leading trips to visit Indigenous communities.

Erin Hayward

Erin Hayward is a Mohawk woman, turtle clan, born and raised in Scarborough Ontario, traditionally from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. She has been involved with the Urban Indigenous community since the age of 14; is a ceremonial helper, hand drummer, and traditional medicines gardener.

Erin is a prominent Indigenous youth voice in the City of Peterborough. She currently sits on the Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre board of directors, creates curriculum for the Trent Aboriginal Cultural Knowledge and Science youth program and is the graduate student representative for the Trent University Native Association. Erin is also the chair of the Nogojiwanong Youth council, regularly volunteers for many different organizations in the city, sits on the Peterborough Youth Constituency Council, and is a representative for the Peterborough chapter of the 4R’s National Learning Community. Erin is currently completing an M.Sc degree in Environmental and Life Sciences through Trent University. Her project is currently titled: Biimaadiziwin Nibi Aawan: Organism responses to ozone pre-treated wastewater effluent from two Anishinaabek First Nations communities in Ontario, Canada. Erin was recently named one of 10 3M National Student Fellows through the Society of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and 3M Canada.

 

DSC_0029

Fall 2017 Indigenous Advisory Committee retreat at 6 Nations of the Grand River. *Tunchai Redvers not seen in this image