Friends of the North Misiway has been providing supplies for the past three years. Our intent is to continue assisting with the needs as requested from Moose Factory. We send hockey equipment, clothes, food and much more as part of the community cupboard that was sent in August.
Friends of the North Misiway is committed to assisting Indigenous communities’ in the James Bay Area in Northern Ontario. We are two like-minded groups who have come together to pool our resources and knowledge to work towards making Canada a place where everyone can live with dignity. We also work to educate ourselves about First Nations people. Our long-term relationship with Moose Factory has provided the opportunity to build trust and truly hear what is important to leadership in the community.
We learned that hockey is very popular and provide important skills such as teamwork and self confidence. This request was received from the Deputy Chief Earl Cheechoo and he or his delegate will ensure the equitable distribution of hockey gear from the container.
Food is very expensive in the north and Christina Faries, with her team from the Health Unit deliver food to those with empty cupboards which includes elders as well as those with children. This team would continue to distribute the food within the container.
Education helps to break the circle of poverty. However, it is difficult for the child when they don’t have what is needed. Back packs filled with school supplies would give the student equal status when entering school. Rachel Burrows, a teacher is keen to distribute the supplies they will receive.
Norma McComb is the activator who works at the complex and works closely with the Deputy Chief. Norma ensures all the involved players are informed and have the opportunity for input to ensure the project meets the needs of the community.
Plans for the ongoing use of the container include storage for bulk food, especially important during the months when the river is freezing/thawing. It will also serve as a distribution centre emergency response supplies for families who experience a fire in their home that destroys their belongings.
Mission & Goals
- Honour the communities’ needs and only collect and send items that have been requested by the community
- To ship items from Kingston, Ontario on a regular basis
- To send a shipping container filled with supplies that will act as a community cupboard located in Moose Factory.
Our mandate is to Honor the communities needs, and only collect and send items that are requested by the community. We ship the items from Kingston on a regular basis.
Some of the items we send include:
- Sports gear, especially hockey equipment, helmets, skates and sticks
- Linen, blankets, clothing, toiletries
- Non-perishable food for distribution by the local Health Units
- Backpacks with back to school supplies.
Who, What, Where & When
Moose Factory: Population 2,500: A vision of befriending a community in the north six years ago has become an incredible experience. As a snowball gains volume while rolling down a hill, so too does the circle of Friends of the North continue to expand. We have made many friends during our six years of visiting Moose Factory. Much more important is the fact our friends in the north know they have many caring brothers and sisters in the south. We continue to be inspired by the sharing the Cree culture. Our face to face meetings with the program leaders in Moose Factory identified items that would be beneficial to those they serve.
2019 YEAR IN REVIEW
Doris Thomas, founder and Chair of Friends of the North Misiway, based here in Kingston, is very excited about our project sewing masks for the following Indigenous communities: Moosonee, Moose Factory, Attawapiskat, Kashechewan, and Peawanuk.
To date, Doris has sewn all these colorful and beautiful masks, in response to a request from Midge Rouse, Director of Ininew Patient Services at Kingston Health Sciences Centre, in Kingston, Ontario.
The masks will all be vetted by the Infection Control Department, at the Hospital, before they are distributed to people in the communities served by WAHA – Weeneebayko Area Health Authority. Patients who will be travelling to Kingston, on the charter flights for urgent care medical appointments, will be given the hand sewn masks.
If you are able to contribute to this worthy cause by sewing masks, or by any other means, please contact us at our (Kingston) Friends of the North Misiway [email protected]
Thanks and much appreciation are extended to all who have lended their time, talents and efforts to this important initiative.