Web Analytics

Kids and the future of the north

I was recently given the opportunity to join the Dreamcatcher Foundation to report on the opening of four children’s playgrounds that the foundation has donated to northern Ontario native communities. The foundation was established by the Six Nations based business Grand River Enterprises in 2004 for the purposes of providing support and addressing situations unique to First Nations communities.

I was recently given the opportunity to join the Dreamcatcher Foundation to report on the opening of four children’s playgrounds that the foundation has donated to northern Ontario native communities. The foundation was established by the Six Nations based business Grand River Enterprises in 2004 for the purposes of providing support and addressing situations unique to First Nations communities.

In that time, the Dreamcatcher Foundation has donated more than $12 million dollars to over 7000 different recipients. The foundation also provides grants to community involvement projects, including organized sport and recreation, education, health support and arts and culture.

From June 25th to 27th I joined Dreamcatcher Foundation representatives in travelling to four First Nations in northern Ontario – Port Severn, Big Trout Lake, Bearskin Lake, and Lansdowne House – where the foundation was celebrating the opening of children’s playgrounds in those communities. According to Jennifer Rowe, a representative of the Dreamcatcher foundation and one of the organizers of the trip, “we just want to give these kids a chance to be kids “.

I was moved and humbled by the generosity of the Dreamcatcher Foundation and the response of the children. I was overwhelmed to see the living conditions faced by people in these communities on a daily basis. In a moment where provincial and federal governments are falling far short of the commitments they have made to indigenous peoples, it is heartening to see groups like the Dreamcatcher foundation picking up the slack. But despite the efforts made by the foundation, many serious problems remain in these communities. To cite only one, because of a lack of high-schools in the community, if youth in these communities want an education past Grade 8, they have to leave their family and community and go to Thunder Bay.

For more information about the Dreamcatcher Charitable Foundation and how you can play a role in supporting its efforts is to support Aboriginal communities, go to www.dcfund.ca

Jack Alexander can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/alexander.jack.714

Two young Cree boys from Port Severn sit patiently waiting for the park to open. Port Severn is a Cree reserve and is the most northern community in Ontario. The team from the Dreamcatcher Foundation flew up to Port Severn to open a new park for the community and to distribute school supplies.

Two young Cree boys from Port Severn sit patiently waiting for the park to open. Port Severn is a Cree reserve and is the most northern community in Ontario. The team from the Dreamcatcher Foundation flew up to Port Severn to open a new park for the community and to distribute school supplies.

Peter Moonias of the Lansdowne House Band Council and Jennifer Rowe, Rosella Muzzi, and Alison Bogoslowski stand together with some of the children for the ribbon cutting of the official park opening.

Peter Moonias of the Lansdowne House Band Council and Jennifer Rowe, Rosella Muzzi, and Alison Bogoslowski stand together with some of the children for the ribbon cutting of the official park opening.

Dreamcatcher Foundation staff prepare the barbeque for the grand opening of the park at Lansdowne House. The community is a fly in community in the winter and serviced by ice roads in the winter.

Dreamcatcher Foundation staff prepare the barbeque for the grand opening of the park at Lansdowne House. The community is a fly in community in the winter and serviced by ice roads in the winter.

Rosella Muzzi of the Dreamcatcher Foundation takes a minute out of her busy day to spend some quality time with one of the younger members of the community at the Bearskin lake opening of the playground.

Rosella Muzzi of the Dreamcatcher Foundation takes a minute out of her busy day to spend some quality time with one of the younger members of the community at the Bearskin lake opening of the playground.

A young Oji-cree boy from Bearskin Lake poses on his bike with his new Dreamcatcher Foundation t-shirt.

A young Oji-cree boy from Bearskin Lake poses on his bike with his new Dreamcatcher Foundation t-shirt.

Councillor George Chapman (right) bows his head in prayer as an elder from the Bearskin Lake community blesses the park on its grand opening.

Councillor George Chapman (right) bows his head in prayer as an elder from the Bearskin Lake community blesses the park on its grand opening.

Alyssa Baxter (right) of the Dreamcatcher Foundation and Chief Rosemary McKay of the Bearskin lake reserve pose in front of a finished playground outside of the Bearskin Lake elementary school.

Alyssa Baxter (right) of the Dreamcatcher Foundation and Chief Rosemary McKay of the Bearskin lake reserve pose in front of a finished playground outside of the Bearskin Lake elementary school.

Peter Nanokeesic, operations manager of Big Trout Lake being interviewed about the influence the Dreamcatcher Charitable Foundation has had on their community. According to Peter, “working with the Dreamcatcher Foundation was easy. All we really had to do was decide where the playground would go.” Peter went on to say that Dreamcatcher has inspired his band council to consider ways that they could build on this example and go about assisting their neighbours in community development.

Peter Nanokeesic, operations manager of Big Trout Lake being interviewed about the influence the Dreamcatcher Charitable Foundation has had on their community. According to Peter, “working with the Dreamcatcher Foundation was easy. All we really had to do was decide where the playground would go.” Peter went on to say that Dreamcatcher has inspired his band council to consider ways that they could build on this example and go about assisting their neighbours in community development.

The Chief of Port Severn, Joe Crow and an elder from the community pose for a picture before the blessing and ribbon cutting to officially open the park. The blessing was carried out in the Cree language.

The Chief of Port Severn, Joe Crow and an elder from the community pose for a picture before the blessing and ribbon cutting to officially open the park. The blessing was carried out in the Cree language.

Looking wise beyond their years, two young boys stop to pose for the camera at the new playground in Port Severn.

Looking wise beyond their years, two young boys stop to pose for the camera at the new playground in Port Severn.

More happy faces on the playground. Before the building of this park, there was no playground in town for kids to safely play at.

More happy faces on the playground. Before the building of this park, there was no playground in town for kids to safely play at.

A young Port Severn girl clutches her new school bag full of supplies. The gratitude of the children was truly moving.

A young Port Severn girl clutches her new school bag full of supplies. The gratitude of the children was truly moving.

This photo shows a group of Fort Severn residents gathering for the grand opening of the playground.

This photo shows a group of Fort Severn residents gathering for the grand opening of the playground.

Two young Cree boys from Port Severn sport their new Dreamcatcher t-shirts and school bags filled with school supplies. Each community that the Dreamcatcher Foundation visited received several large crates of these bags and supplies.

Two young Cree boys from Port Severn sport their new Dreamcatcher t-shirts and school bags filled with school supplies. Each community that the Dreamcatcher Foundation visited received several large crates of these bags and supplies.

T.J. Baxter of Cosmic Lens Production was along for the trip in order to help document the activities of the Dreamcatcher Foundation. Here T.J. takes a few minutes out of his busy day to give an interested youth from Port Severn a lesson in photography.

T.J. Baxter of Cosmic Lens Production was along for the trip in order to help document the activities of the Dreamcatcher Foundation. Here T.J. takes a few minutes out of his busy day to give an interested youth from Port Severn a lesson in photography.

Share this Article!

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply
 width=

Headquarters:


Oneida Business Park Suite 124
50 Generations Drive, Box 1
Ohsweken, ON N0A 1M0
Six Nations of the Grand River Country


Email: info@tworowtimes.com


Main office: (519) 900-5535


Editorial: (519) 900-6241


Advertising: (519) 900-6373

 

Most Recent Articles

Share this Article!

Two Row Times

Two Row Times

LIVE NOW! CLICK TO VIEW.
CURRENTLY OFFLINE