Overview

Robert Reid leads this committee. To date, it has focused on the needs of First Nations communities and projects that contribute to reconciliation. Projects will not be restricted to this, but that is where needs have been identified. Currently, several projects are being explored. An acknowledgement of territory at our meetings is seen as a small gesture of reconciliation, and appears in our Courier weekly.

Acknowledgement of Territory

We are gathered on traditional Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee Territory. we are grateful to be able to join together in Rotary Fellowship on these lands.

Work Supported

Loughborough Elementary School – Greenhouse and Teaching Kitchen

In the fall of 2019, a project proposal was received by the Community Service Committee.  It was a very ambitious idea with a budget of $50,000 that far exceeded money available through our community grants process. The committee decided to share the information with the National Committee. What followed was a commitment of $4,000 from this committee, and later $10,000 from Community Service, achieved by the cancellation of the spring 2020 call for further proposals from the community.  Subsequent to that, the Youth Service Committee found $1,000 in a budget surplus.

This project supports food security, an area of focus of great interest to our club. Food security is not only having enough food, but also learning about growing food, preparing food, caring for the land, and caring for each other through community involvement. All aspects of food from seed to plate. The school had already raised $15,000 through sales at their salad bar, and several community businesses are interested in making in kind contributions. It is expected that the Limestone Board will contribute through the Limestone Learning Foundation. Other grants will be applied for.

This is one of twelve special projects that are being undertaken as a way to celebrate 100 years of Rotary in Kingston. Work has already begun, and will be in progress for some time yet.

Kingston Indigenous Language Nest – Medicine Walks - January 2020 - $1,160.

The mandate of this organization is language and culture revitalization, and their work is with Kingston-area urban indigenous people. Medicine Walks is one of their projects and will involve indigenous and non-indigenous students from two area schools. Three indigenous adults will be leading the walks, within Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area, one during each of four seasons. www.kingstonindigenouslanguage.ca/

Darkspark – Four Directions Project in Tyendinaga - November 2019 - $3,500.

Darkspark is a multicultural, transformative arts-education organization based in Prince Edward County, empowering youth by guiding them through the process of conceptualizing, writing, recording, and releasing contemporary songs. They address issues such as bullying and racism. This is the second project we have helped them fund. To fully understand what they do, visit www.darkspark.ca . The project we helped to fund took place in the Quinte Mohawk School.

Tipi Moza – Gifts for Children – December 2019 - $370.

Tipi Moza (Iron Homes) is an urban First Nation, Metis, and Inuit housing provider developed under the CMHC Urban Native Housing Program (post 1985). It was founded in 1989 by members of the Indigenous community in response to the need for subsidized housing for First Nation, Metis, and Inuit families. Seventeen homes were purchased (two-, three-, and four-bedrooms) that are rented to First Nation, Metis, and Inuit households at rents based on income. Our donation provided personalized Christmas gifts for children living in their housing. Our Community Service Committee also contributed to make the club total $1,000. www.tipimoza.com

St. Lawrence College Bursary – November 2019 - $12,000

Many years ago, a bursary was created at St. Lawrence College, in memory of Michael Tierney, a member of our club. In 2018, it was decided to increase the principle so that two students could benefit. Between May 2018 and November 2019, a total of $12,000 was added. The criteria are as follows:

Available to an entrance or returning student, enrolled full-time in any program on any campus of St. Lawrence College who has demonstrated above average academic achievement, commitment to volunteerism and community service. Preference will be given to at least one student who is First Nations, Metis or Inuit. Applicants must be an Ontario resident and demonstrate financial need.

New Hope Bikes - Community Bike Shop – June 2019 - $2,200.

Based in Hamilton, Ontario, this is a registered charity and social enterprise that seeks to get more people on affordable, reliable bicycles and provide employment and job training opportunities for youth. "Keep Pedaling in Pikangikum" was our specific project. For details about the Pikangikum project, see https://youtu.be/PcGUqecXIJI and for an update, see https://youtu.be/3ea9Xmy53N8 . Following the forest fire evacuation and return, the community needed their youth to have a focus and some organized activities. Our contribution provided food for a canoe trip, and allowed youth to be paid for their summer job in the bike shop.

No. 9 Gardens – A Rotary Kingston Centennial Project - $5,000. Pledged – November 2019

This is a work in progress, located on 40 acres of prime agricultural land near Elgin, Ontario, part of which has been set aside for an orchard. It will be Canada's first cultural centre for education in sustainability and reconciliation. It will act as a global model and laboratory for exploring how we build sustainable local food systems. Hands-on workshops and educational programs will be offered, educating the next generation to address the impacts of climate change. The Rotary Club of Cataraqui-Kingston will be helping to fund the planting of an orchard, which will take place between 2020 and 2021. www.no9.ca

Focus Forward for Indigenous Youth – November 2018 - $2,200.

Building a Greenhouse in Wiikwemkoong First Nations, Manitoulin Island Ontario.

Focus Forward was founded by Evan Veryard of Kingston. Its mission is to collaborate with Indigenous communities across Canada, empowering youth through locally-developed trades-based education to strengthen Individuals' and communities' futures. They facilitate construction projects in which youth learn marketable skills. For a summary of this project go to https://www.focusforwardfiy.org/projects/ and scroll down to the Manitoulin Island project in Past Projects. Our donation helped to fund the installation of a wood pellet boiler.

Kington Indigenous Language Nest – June 2018 - $1,000.

This group provides a welcoming and inclusive space for Indigenous peoples, most of who are urban Indigenous. In this space, people come together in the spirit of language and culture revitalization to learn about their own relationship to their culture, language, and the land. It is for all ages and is particularly important for adults who may have been disconnected from their culture and language because of the effects of the Residential Schools or the Sixties Scoop. Our donation allowed them to provide nutritious snacks for attendees. www.kingstonindigenouslanguage.ca

Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata – May 2018 - $1,000.

A family reunification project. Established in 1984, Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata is long established in the Winnipeg family of community service-providers. They are community people helping other community people reclaim their Indigenous peoples’ inherent roles and responsibilities as caregivers and the most important teachers of their children. We gave them a one-time donation to support their program for the reunification of families. www.mamawi.com.

Darkspark on Ice – August 2017 - $2,500.

Darkspark uses song writing, recording of pop songs, and storytelling to empower youth to reduce prejudice and promote cross-cultural understanding. A not-for-profit organization founded by musicians, Darkspark is driven by a culturally diverse network of recording artists, music producers, educators, and filmmakers who harness pop culture as an effective catalyst for social change. During the summer of 2017, they were invited to accompany an expedition of Students on Ice. The students were both indigenous and non-indigenous. During the journey, they visited communities in the Canadian high arctic and gained insight into the dynamics of climate change. For further information visit www.darkspark.ca and www.studentsonice.com .