Aboriginal Service Committee - Our Mandate

The committee is responsible for the consideration of and for making recommendations to the Club Board concerning ways in which the Club can effectively respond to the needs of Canada’s First Nations people.

Indigenous Service Committee - Annual Report 2017 - 2018
 
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has renewed our Calls to Action by calling upon Canadians, individually and/or corporately, to undertake the necessary steps in favor of reconciliation with indigenous people. This action is a strong challenge that lies at the core of the Indigenous Service Committee’s work.
 
In this respect, we have undertaken the financing of several important projects that had been developed in various meetings held with the Rotary Club of Toronto in late 2017 and in the first half on 2018.
 
The Committee had accepted the request from Honoring Indigenous People (HIP) to provide immediate funding of 5,000.00 CAD in order to assist in the transportation of 18 pallets of supplies to the First Nations Communities in the North (goods to be shipped included donations of winter clothes and sports equipment that were urgently needed).  It was funded from the Committee’s annual budget with an additional 933.33 CAD remaining in the Committee budget (after allowing for the canoe trip support) was given to HIP in order to cover convention costs of honorariums for participants due to the limited funding by RI Convention.
 
On the other hand, after an appeal was made for funding to assist indigenous and non-indigenous youth on a canoe trip planned for the summer, the Committee provided a cheque of 3,000.00 CAD from the budget for the financing of the project “Paddling for Truth and Reconciliation” which was a joint effort of Mushkegowuk Council in Timmins, Camp Wabum, Camp Pathfinder and HIP, in which 14 indigenous and 14 non-indigenous youth spent ten days on the Albany River.
 
Also, the Committee has undertaken the Water First project by providing the funding of 2,400.00 CAD for the training that has been carried out in Manitoulin over an 18-month period and intensive one-week training period was provided 7-8 times during the course. The balance of the training has been undertaken at the home water treatment plants. The Committee supported three interns in this project. The Federal Government has covered most of the travel cost. The training has been carried out on Manitoulin Island where most of the candidates lived thus the travel costs were minimal. This donation has been taken from the Committee’s annual budget.
 
The Committee supported the VIBE Arts project which had Native youth and local artists prepare large murals for display around Toronto during the RI Convention. It selected artists in collaboration 7th Generation Image Makers that has been an Arts and Mural Program for at the Native Youth Resource Centre in downtown Toronto since 1995 and run from January 17 to March 31, Wednesday evenings from 5:30 - 7:30 pm. Posters prepared by Indigenous artists and partly funded by the Club were complete and ready for printing and installation at the Ossington and or Christie TTC stations in advance of the RI Convention
The Program Facilitator and the Arts Assistant were both Indigenous Artists that have previously worked with 7th Generation. RCT participation included the Community Services and Youth and Children's committees.  These two committees, along with Indigenous Services, have contributed 1,666.67 CAD in total.  NCFST was partnering in the project and the Committee asked for quarterly reports on the progress of the work. Once the program was completed at the end of March, the murals were returned to VIBE Arts to be professionally photographed and varnished in April. We have sent you the digital files of the murals by the end of April. Posters prepared by Indigenous artists and partly funded by the Club were complete and ready for printing and installation in the selected TTC stations in advance of the RI Convention. Thus, in May, the murals were sent to Pattison with a request that they be put in a station closest to the program location (in this case, Christie or Ossington. station). Murals were in the TTC by June to coincide with the Conference and were taken down at the end of July.
And finally, after the discussion with the First Nation School regarding their needs, the Committee voted to donate 2.000,00 CAD for the purchase of food to help them to facilitate the purchase of food related to the School Lunch program in order to provide food supplies for 74 families of elders and students in the community and continue their aid and continued their efforts to secure a food donation from Metro. Also, the said school requested help for preparing lunches to send home with the children during March break and the summer months, which were all met by the Committee by seeking out potential contributions. The Committee is also considering some plans for a Career Day event in the fall. 
 
The Indigenous Service Committee has a strong and deeply rooted belief that our reconciliation with Canada’s indigenous people must start with children and youth, by providing them with all the necessary means in order for them to lead fruitful and happy lives. 
 
Emre Yurga, Chair