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New grant provides more ways to support Indigenous partners

January 2, 2023

By Janice Biehn

In August 2021, PWRDF launched a new program designed to expand our number of Indigenous partners in Canada. On the advice of PWRDF’s Indigenous Program Advisory Committee, comprising Indigenous Anglicans from across Canada, the Indigenous Response Grant Fund provides grants of $5,000 to $15,000 to Indigenous-led groups focussing on Community Health, Engaging Youth, Climate Action and Safe Water. The fund is intended to give Indigenous groups more agency and autonomy in how the funds are spent.

Proposals are received and grants are disbursed on an ongoing basis. Since launching, the fund has received more than $162,900 from individuals and parishes, which has in turn supported the following projects and COVID emergency responses.

1JustCity – Winnipeg

$10,000 to fund an elder-in-residence and harm reduction program at its three drop-in community centres in Winnipeg’s core neighbourhoods.

1JustCity supports three drop-in community centres in Winnipeg’s core neighbourhoods. The project fosters well-being among Indigenous community members seeking support with healing intergenerational trauma and abuse and will provide direct support to community members living with substance use disorders. The elder-in-residence works at the three 1JustCity sites and guides the program activities by providing Indigenous perspectives and traditional knowledge and one-on-one cultural support. The elder-in-residence has also delivered programs including the sacred fires and a traditional men’s wellness group and supported their Pow Wow club program. The Harm Reduction team meets weekly at each of the three sites to provide ongoing education to their wider volunteer and staff team. Staff and volunteers connect to community members experiencing homelessness and distribute food, warm clothing and harm reduction supplies.

Métis Nation of Ontario – Highland Waters Métis Council

$10,000 for Fireweed Learning Community Plant

Fireweed Learning Community received funding support from PWRDF to carry out their Seed Sanctuary program that aims to reconnect Indigenous food and farming practices to Indigenous culture and knowledge recovery, as well as teaching the community on land stewardship and protection of nature and environment. Participants learn about their ecosystems, how to steward the land, to reclaim traditional ways of working with plants.

Diocese of Edmonton – Birth Support Worker Program (Indigenous Ministries Initiative)

$15,000 for Indigenous Birth Support Worker

The Diocese of Edmonton’s Birth Support Worker Program supports Indigenous people (including many at-risk youth and adults, as-well as low-income families) during pregnancy, birth, postpartum and into early parenting. The program serves families across Treaty 6, 7 and 8 Territories, Métis Nation of Alberta Regions, and Alberta Metis Settlements, rural, urban and on reserve. It provides trauma-informed, inclusive, culturally-safe, wrap-around care including physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, cultural and practical supports. Funds support the work of a Métis priest in the Diocese.

Kanien’kehá:ka Onkwawén:na Raotitióhkwa Language and Cultural Center (KORLCC)

$15,000 for Kahnawake Capacity Development for Future Generations and Community Wellbeing

Long-time PWRDF partner KORLCC is planning to build a new facility. The Cultural Village will host KORLCC, the Community Theater and Community Museum. It will nurture and develop language learners in their proficiency but also in the cultivation of cultural knowledge and skills.

Mi’kmawey Debert Cultural Centre, Nova Scotia

$15,000 to Home to Mi’kma’ki: the Conservation Assessment Phase

The focus of this work is to bring home a large and very special Mi’kmaw collection that is currently at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. Through social media and supported by some new technologies, the Mi’kmawey Debert Cultural Centre will be working with knowledge holders and experts to expand their understanding of these important collections.

The Medicine Eagle Camp, Keeseekoowenin Ojibway First Nation, Manitoba

$15,000 to support Medicine Eagle Camp Teaching Sessions 2022-2023

The camp has been in operation for more than 15 years, supporting the work of healing from intergenerational trauma, abuse, and the loss of culture resulting from colonialism and residential schools. It supports students long-term in healing themselves and their family members through re-connection to traditional culture, the land, and being in a reciprocal relationship with one another. The project aims to continue traditional teachings and bring interested students together so they can learn firsthand how to gather and use these medicines and learn how to protect this traditional knowledge for future generations.

Indigenous Peoples Alliance of Manitoba- North (IPAM-N)

$50,000 for COVID 19 Response to Affected Indigenous Communities in Northern Region of Manitoba

Funds allowed the purchase of required supplies and food due to the Omicron Outbreak for 15 most affected communities: Moose Lake, Cormorant, The Pas, Grand Rapids, Wabowden, Cross Lake, Thompson, Leaf Rapids, Lynn Lake, Thicket Portage, St. Theresa Point, Pikwitonei, Sherridon, Easterville, and Brochet. These supplies were very difficult to access in the northern remote communities and very expensive due to the distance and weather conditions. IPAM-N witnessed the joy that these supplies gave the people who were in dire need.  There were many tears of joy and blessings given to IPAM volunteers.

Diocese of Algoma

$12,150 for COVID 19 Response to Communities of the Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh

St. Paul’s Anglican Parish in Thunder Bay, Ontario worked with the Bearskin Lake Band leadership to purchase much-needed for the remote community, and arrange for its delivery. St. Paul’s also consulted with Bishop Lydia Mamakwa and on her advice they purchased vital personal protection equipment and had it flown to Kingfisher Lake First Nation.

Diocese of Rupert’s Land  

$15,000 to COVID 19 Response to Tataskwayak First Nation (Cree Nation)

On January 3, 2022, the Rt. Rev. Isaiah Larry Beardy put out a call for help for the Tataskwayak Cree Nation (TCN). The Omicron wave of Covid-19 was devastating their community and the health care supporters could not keep up. The community agreed to go into lockdown but had very little time to prepare for the extended lock down. Their immediate needs were Covid 19 health and safety supplies, cleaning supplies, food and generators.