We first met Thomas in June of this year when we visited Eabametoong First Nation for the first time.
He was experiencing some pain in his legs, feet and back that prevented him from being as mobile as he’d like to be.
This past week we met Thomas again during our October visit so that AJ (our volunteer from V2Innovations) could fit him for his knee brace, foot insoles and a back brace to ease his pain. The transformation in his gait and stance was amazing, and he said that the pressure on his knees and back was taken away with the braces and orthotics. He was feeling much more comfortable than before.
With the generosity of professionals like AJ, and the efforts of our health team, we were able to make a difference and now Thomas and many others won’t have to travel out of the community and wait many months to receive what they need.
It is because of people like Thomas, who help us understand the importance of our work in northern communities and keeps us going.
Amanda Stolk – Northern Health Initiatives Project
OAKVILLE YOUTH TRAVEL TO ATTAWAPISKAT
22 Oakville youth are on their way to Attawapiskat First Nation with the mission to connect with their friends through a shared love of hockey and heightened awareness of a different culture. The youth will continue to build relationships and experience many cultural traditions over five days. Thank you to the many volunteers in the Oakville region and volunteers who have worked very hard to make this important youth exchange possible.
SUPPORTING NEW MOMS AND INFANTS WITH ESSENTIAL ITEMS
True North Aid, Hands for Heart and the Indigenous family support programs in Sioux Lookout are collaborating to establish “Maamiikiwe” [maa-mee-ki-way]. Translated from Ojibway this means “gives gifts away.” This partnership aims to connect essential maternal, infant and children’s items with mothers and families in need. Donated items like diapers, wipes, bottles, clothing and blankets, along with special hand knit hats, sweaters and botties will be accessible for families through The Aboriginal Family Support program, Healthy Babies, Healthy Children and the Pre and Postnatal Support Program.
HEALTH– HEALTH FOR FORT HOPE
OVER 40 VISITS FOR FOOT CARE AND ORTHOTICS
The Northern Health Initiatives team (volunteers Kate, Mike, AJ and Amanda) traveled from Kingston to Eabametoong First Nation this week to provide orthotics and foot care to over 30 patients in the community. This service was to help fill in a gap for individuals who would have to travel far from their homes for such services. We would like to thank Fort Hope and specifically Nancy Keeskitay, Kiley Waswa and the many staff at the nursing station for helping to arrange appointments and for welcoming us to the community. We would like to thank V2 Innovations team for their support and our donors and supporters for allowing us to fill in the gap for foot care and orthotics. Because of you we are able to make a difference in the lives of the community members.
FOOD – FOOD SHIPMENT SENT TO ONION LAKE AND BIRCH NARROWS
THANK YOU TO OUR MANY SPONSORS
True North Aid was pleased to support Onion Lake Food Bank once again with 2376 packages of dried food packages from Kids Against Hunger Canada . We were also able to send 1,188 packages to the community food centre we have been helping to establish in Turnor Lake/Birch Narrows SK. Thank you Erb Transport and many others who helped make this shipment possible.
TWO MORE TRIPS BEFORE END OF 2019
The Ballantyne Project heads to Tootinaowaziibeeng First Nation in Manitoba November 18th to 21st to share important information about the Ballantyne Entrepreneurhsip program and recruit youth applicants to join this program. During this trip, Dwight will be sharing his story about how he took advantage of opportunities that have changed his life. Dwight and the team will be heading to SouthEnd First Nation in Saskatchewan in December.
CONGRATULATIONS ON COMPLETING THE JOURNEY!
They did it! Congratulations to Natasha and her mom on completing the Camino Way in Vatican City. Through their journey, they focused on raising awareness about life in northern reserves and supporting The Ballantyne Project and they continue to do so to this day! Check our their Instagram for photos from their journey and for more information.
$15,000 FOR WATER EDUCATION INITIATIVES
True North Aid is pleased to announce that we’ve been able to support Water First Charity with a $15,000 grant from our water fund to support educational programming in northern Ontario/Manitoba to youth in the water sciences. As we prepare youth in this area.
HEALTH– MENTAL HEALTH INITIATIVES
THANK YOU TO SHANTZ MENNONITE CHURCH FOR $30,000 GRANT
Thank you to the Shantz Mennonite Church for providing us with a grant of $30,000 through their Bequest Earnings Disbursement Program. This national grant will help us develop an Indigenous led mental health and wellness strategy over the next 12 months. With suicide rates in the north much higher than here in the south, this is a very important area of need.
Friends of the North Misiway’s container has official been placed and is in its new ‘forever home’ beside the Emergency Response Building where it will serve the community with emergency food and household items. Here is a response from one of the community members;
“ Thank you so much everyone! Your generous and thoughtful hearts are certainly appreciated. It is mind blowing to many people, the kindness being shown. Meegwetch!!! May kindness find its way back to each one of you and all who donated” . – Christina Linklater (Director of the Health Unit)
HOPE POLAR RUN FOR PEAWANUCK
WHEELCHAIRS DELIVERED AND DISPERSED
We are excited to announce that the wheelchairs we provided to Peawanuck First Nations have have arrived! A very special thank you to Lola Lawton for organizing this project and taking these chairs along with many other donations to the Timmins airport. Thank you Air Creebec for providing free air fare and Roll Up Solutions and Goodwill in London for supplying these chairs for the elderly in need in this community. One of the recipients was an elder who had been in the same wheelchair for more than 30 years.
CONGRATULATIONS STEVE AND KATIE FOR YMCA PEACE MEDAL AWARD
Congratulations to Katie and Steve Koopman, a well deserving couple who we are proud to have leading our Good Ally Project for receiving the YMCA Peace Medal Award for their hard work and passion to help serve Eabametoong First Nation. This past year, GAP focused on bringing the Rez Girls 64 team to Kingston for the Kids for Kids Hockey tournament, provided a photography course to youth with the “Tell My Story” PhotoVoice events, among others.