December 16, 2020
Midland, Ontario – December 16, 2020 – Since receiving a $40,100 Seed grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) in 2019, Centre de santé communautaire Chigamik Community Health Centre (CSC Chigamik CHC) has been developing the local Indojiibikan (My Roots) project. With the support of this grant, Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth in Midland and surrounding areas have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of Indigenous culture and learn to apply Indigenous traditions to a range of activities, to help gain knowledge and preserve cultural heritage.
“It is incredibly important that both Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth learn about Indigenous culture and learn how to preserve that heritage. Knowledge and understanding are the first steps in reconciliation and healing and this project does a fantastic job of combining expertise with fun activities. It leads to a wonderful and educational environment for youth to thrive in,” said Jill Dunlop, MPP Simcoe North.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chigamik staff worked with youth at the Georgian Bay District Secondary School (GBDSS) and the Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre in Midland to offer culturally-based learning activities, guided by Elders, including:
- Drum-making and birthing ceremony workshops
- Ojibwe language lessons
- Medicine Wheel teachings
- Snowshoe outings
- Creation of an art mural led by a local Indigenous artist
- Building Indigenous themed picnic tables for the GBDSS outdoor space
“The goal of Chigamik’s Indojiibikan project is to empower Indigenous youth to reconnect to their identity through culturally-based activities. The program also exposes non-Indigenous youth to activities that help them honour our history and gain a deeper understanding of Indigenous culture and traditions. This type of learning builds inclusivity, openness and trust,” said Mitch Akerman, Indigenous Cultural Worker at Chigamik Community Health Centre. “Thanks to the OTF grant, over 100 youth in Midland have benefited from this program so far and we look forward to sharing this knowledge with many more, when it is safe to do so.”
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded $108 million to 629 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.
About Centre de santé communautaire Chigamik Community Health Centre (CSC Chigamik CHC)
CSC Chigamik CHC is a not-for-profit health care service funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, through the North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network. It offers bilingual and culturally sensitive health care services and community programs. It encourages persons who identify as First Nations, Métis, Inuit or Francophone and live in North Simcoe Muskoka to register. For more information please visit www.chigamik.ca.
CSC Chigamik CHC