Indigenous-led partnerships receive over $109K thanks to Saskatoon Community Foundation Donors
Saskatoon, August 6, 2020 – The Saskatoon Community Foundation shared details today about its continuing funding for Indigenous-led partnerships advancing reconciliation, with seven collaborative projects sharing $109,071 in grants.
This year’s Community Fund for Reconciliation projects and applications demonstrated strong community partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations with innovative ways of building bridges in local communities, despite the realities of a global pandemic.
Saskatoon Community Foundation Board Chair Curtis Kimpton states the foundation’s commitment to reconciliation is unwavering in 2020:
“The courage of survivors of the residential schools and the sixties scoop is a powerful inspiration for me, and for our donors, board, and staff, who are firmly resolved to participate in reconciliation here where we live. We have made a long-term commitment to find new ways of living together in an inclusive and compassionate society, and the Community Fund for Reconciliation is our investment in Indigenous-led partnerships which share our commitment. We are more determined than ever to continue this support for partner organizations in 2020 during the COVID pandemic.”
Established by the foundation in 2017, the Community Fund for Reconciliation responds to the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action and has invested in significant public events including the largescale Rock Your Roots event, the annual Wichitowin Indigenous Engagement Conference, and other projects.
Wanuskewin Chief Executive Officer Darlene Brander describes the significance of the Community Fund for Reconciliation grant and its important timing for the her organization’s operations:
“Wanuskewin is grateful to the Saskatoon Community Foundation for providing funding to share the stories of the return of the bison to our site. The bison are such a dynamic species that represent ecological and cultural renewal. This project will help Wanuskewin share the hope, pride and beauty of the bison, even when people cannot visit them in person.”
Projects selected for the Community Fund for Reconciliation grants involve partnerships among Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations, promote Indienous leadership in the community, and address one or more of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action.
2020 Community Fund for Reconciliation Grants:
Bison are the Soul of the People $20,000
The Wanuskewin Bison are the Soul of the People project documents the return of the bison to the Wanuskewin heritage site, respecting cultural guidance and protocol in storytelling, providing equipment and expertise to create a series of videos for public viewing and education at all times.
Developed by Reconciliation Saskatoon, ConnectR outreach activities and youth champions promote a cycle of awareness and action to extend the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action with learning through podcasts and interactive digital marketing.
Piloting a Framework for Measuring Truth and Reconciliation through Treaty Implementation $20,000
Through this grant, the Office of the Treaty Commissioner pilot maps baselines and facilitates action plans, enabling individuals and organizations to understand who they are, build trust in Reconciliation, learn Indigenous spirituality, world views and ways of knowing, and examine privilege and inequities.
Wichitowin Indigenous Engagement Conference $15,000
This year’s Wichitowin Conference includes high profile keynote speakers and networking opportunities, showcasing national and local efforts that incorporate the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action into life and work.
Reconciliation – Building Strong Partnerships Grows Healthy Communities $14,071
Building bridges between people of different cultural and faith backgrounds is the goal of the Interfaith Music Jamboree, sharing the culture, story, music, and jigging of the Métis people with newcomers to the Saskatoon community, through a partnership between Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. and Saskatoon Open Door Society.
nehiyawak Language Experience $10,000
The nehiyawak Language Experience at READ Saskatoon delivers language and cultural programming to Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals and families, enabling revitalization of the Cree language, world view and cultural practices.
Reconciliation through the Indigenous Arts – The Indigenous Ensemble of Saskatoon Public Schools $10,000
Funding for the Indigenous Ensemble gives youth guidance from Elders and mentors in dancing, drumming, script writing, sound and light production, and creation of regalia. The ensemble performs annually at Otacimow and members receive opportunities for employment as an outcome.
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Carm Michalenko, Executive Director
Saskatoon Community Foundation
Saskatoon Community Foundation:
With a vision to make Saskatoon the best community in which to live, the Saskatoon Community Foundation contributes to the quality of life in our city by building endowed and non-endowed funds, and by providing strategic grant making and philanthropic advisory services, as well as community leadership and mobilization. Saskatoon Community Foundation offers endowed funds in which donations are held in perpetuity, generating income to make grants. It also offers non-endowed funds where donors strategically grant their entire gift to several charities. And every year, the foundation grants to a range of community projects and initiatives on behalf of donors who have created unrestricted funds. Follow the Saskatoon Community Foundation on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Baby bison walking with the herd at Wanuskewin.