As part of our promise to deliver on reconciliation by creating a more equitable, inclusive environment, the Ontario Trillium Foundation has committed to building connections and working with First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities across Ontario ensuring a greater understanding of and appreciation for Indigenous voices. As one of the first organizations to sign The Philanthropic Community's Declaration of Action in June, 2015, we believe reconciliation begins with listening and learning. The Declaration of Action is a living document and a collective commitment to ensure that positive action on reconciliation will continue beyond the work of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
“It falls on all people living in Canada to continue the hard work of healing and reconciliation, each in our own way and where possible, together, in our families and communities, in the organizations we work with and belong to, and as a nation. This is an important calling to which all of us are duty bound to respond.” (The Philanthropic Community’s Declaration of Action)
Change can only begin when First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities are empowered to make decisions on key issues such as language, education, land, people and health. By being a signatory to the Declaration of Action and a member of The Circle of Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada, we acknowledge the significance of these issues and believe in the importance of collaborative conversations and relationships required for reconciliation to take place.
Through consultations and open dialogues with Elders, leaders, and Indigenous communities and organizations, we have already begun our long journey of reconciliation by learning, understanding, acknowledging, participating and acting. As an agency of the Government of Ontario and a leader for positive change, we look forward to many more opportunities to work with Indigenous communities across Ontario to build a stronger, healthier future.
We have a long history of funding projects run by and provided for First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities. We recognize that we have more to learn so we can take actions that will ultimately make the Foundation more inclusive and representative of the people of Ontario.
We are a proud funder of many Indigenous communities and organizations, and wish to recognize the following grants which have made a significant impact on the people and community it affects.
Na-Me-Res is a safe space for Aboriginal men to learn new skills and live healthy lives on or off the streets.
In 2017, it was awarded a $116,000 two-year grant to complete a process evaluation of the Mino Kaanjigoowin Program, which means “finding the good to change yourself or your direction in life”. The program helps clients find appropriate and stable housing and uses a holistic culturally safe support system to address medical and mental health needs.
Roots to Harvest
Roots to Harvest uses food as a tool to connect people to one another and build belonging and dignity through meaningful programs, initiatives and advocacy.
In 2016, it received a $194,700 grant for a two-year project to deliver a youth employment and training program through urban agriculture. Enhancing people’s economic wellbeing, this initiative is helping people become and stay employed.
Six Nations Polytechnic
Six Nations Polytechnic is a unique postsecondary organization, recognized by community, government, and institutions of higher learning, as a Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Knowledge. Students study alongside others who believe in Ga’nigohi:yo:/Kanikoriio (Respect and the Good Mind) values and learn together to build a positive future.
In 2015, Six Nations Polytechnic was awarded a three-year $495,00 grant to use culturally relevant learning to help Aboriginal students gain trades training and skills development opportunities. The project identified and evaluated which approaches help Aboriginal learners build confidence, skills and feel connected to their communities.
Since 2015, we have invested over $20.6M in 135 projects benefiting First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples across Ontario.
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