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Grants allocated to Indigenous partners

Participants in 1JustCity programs gather in Winnipeg.

December 15, 2021

By Janice Biehn

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In August, PWRDF launched a new grant program to support Indigenous-led organizations supporting their communities. working in Community Health, Climate Action, Empowering Youth and Safe Water. PWRDF is happy to report that three grants have been allocated to Indigenous-led organizations in Eastern Ontario, downtown Winnipeg and Quebec. The Responsive Programs grant was launched with the objective of partnering with more Indigenous organizations to broaden our reconciliation efforts. Since then, donors have given more than $62,000 to support the grant, including more than $8,500 donated through the World of Gifts campaign. Grants will be awarded on an ongoing basis and donations can be made at

Indigenous Food and Farming Practices and Culture Knowledge Recovery

Métis Nation of Ontario – Highland Waters Metis Council – $10,000

  • Community Health
  • Climate Action
  • Empowering Youth

Project goals: To reconnect Indigenous food and farming practices to Indigenous culture and knowledge recovery; teaching the community on land stewardship and protection of nature and the environment. 

The Indigenous and wider community will learn about ecosystems, how to steward the land and to reclaim traditional ways of working with plants. The programming will ensure women can attend with children to learn ways to keep them involved in land stewardship. 

Métis Nation Ontario will work with the nearby First Nations communities. Chief Doreen Davis from the Shabot Obaadjiwan (formerly Sharbot Lake Algonquins), and the Tyendinaga community will help facilitate family gatherings. This collaboration will ensure participants have access to traditional teachings, space for ceremony and opportunities to practise the language. The local seed sanctuary in Mohawk territory will also be studied as a model for growing a seed catalogue at the project site.

The program will draw in families from nearby Tyendinaga and Sharbot Lake. Twice-daily workshops will help families regain skills in growing healthy nutritious foods and learn about healing properties of the earth through medicine walks. 

Elder-in-Residence and Harm Reduction Program

1JustCity, Winnipeg – $10,000

  • Community Health
  • Empowering Youth

Project goals: To support community members who have experienced intergenerational trauma, are survivors of residential or day schools or who are coping with addiction. 

1JustCity supports three drop-in community centres in the core neighbourhoods of West Broadway, the West End and Osborne Village. 

The program will fund an elder-in-residence and a Harm Reduction/Outreach program, to distribute safer drug use supplies on the streets in those three neighbourhoods. 

The Elder-in-residence will be present at each of the 1JustCity’s sites one afternoon per week to build relationships. They will also provide occasional informal programming that may include smudging, drumming, sharing circles and more. The Harm Reduction program worker will travel around the areas directly surrounding each of the three drop-in sites one morning per week, distributing safer drug use supplies and information, and building relationships. 

Kahnawà:ke Capacity Development for Future Generations and Community Wellbeing 

Kanien’keha:ka Onkwawén:na Raotitióhkwa Language and Cultural Center (KORLCC) – $15,000

  • Community Health
  • Climate Action
  • Empowering Youth

Project goals: To increase the knowledge pool of people skilled in Mohawk language and culture, for a new cultural facility.

KORLCC works to preserve and reclaim the language and culture for the community of Kahnawake, Quebec. Its Ratiwennahní:rats (Their Words Are Strong) Immersion Program was developed in 2002 to ensure availability of Mohawk speakers. KORLCC also teaches language skills to young people through their Tóta tánon Ohkwá:ri (Grandma and Ohkwari/Bear-name of Grandson) puppet television show, with particular emphasis on health and the environment.

KORLCC is in the planning stages of acquiring a new facility that will also house a Community Theatre and Community Museum. The project will ensure access to local talent with needed expertise and skills (i.e., cultural interpreters, museum curators and playwrights), and Indigenous knowledge keepers. 

This Mohawk culture-based and community-led social capital will be at the disposal of future generations.

Participants will learn land-based survival skills, beading, traditional singing, wood carving and silversmithing in an immersion setting. Youth resources in the Mohawk language about health and the environment will also be created.

For more information about our Indigenous programs and partnerships, please visit You may also support this program by making a gift here or mailing a cheque to PWRDF, 80 Hayden St., 3rd floor, Toronto, Ontario, M4Y 3G2.

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For media requests please contact Communications Coordinator Janice Biehn at (416) 924-9199;366.

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