Advancing Philanthropy October 2020 - 36

Community and Diversity

I would not be where I am today if it were not for my family
and my community. I feel grateful to now be surrounded by people
who change lives, take risks and speak up against inequality.
my Ojibway culture and relatives. I learned early on that
our connection to the land and each other is a sacred
responsibility. Through them, I received important lessons
about connecting to the land and only taking what is needed,
honoring our elders and young children, caring for each
other, and giving back to those who need it. There is so much
richness and wisdom in traditional customs and practices
that can influence transformative approaches. With this in
mind, and the opportunities for the philanthropic sector to
take action, I am optimistic for the future.
These teachings-along with the care and dedication
I've seen from Indigenous staff in communities to ensure
that everyone is taken care of regardless of age or
circumstance-inspired me to become an Indigenous
fundraiser. These charities know their communities
better than anyone else, and they are incredibly
innovative in developing and delivering services. It is
my hope that their stories can be told and become more
widely known and recognized.
In 2015, when the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
of Canada released its Calls to Action, members of
Canada's philanthropic sector prepared the Philanthropic
Community's Declaration of Action to promote and
encourage positive action on reconciliation within the
charitable sector. To date, the statement has been signed
by more than 100 charities, nonprofits, foundations, and
community organizations throughout Canada. Last year,
the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous
Women and Girls released its final report. There were 231
calls for justice, which speaks to equity and opportunity.
Following this declaration and the Calls to Action, I
hoped that Indigenous-led charities and communities
would be overwhelmed with donations. This has not been
the case. While awareness about the need to create equity,
partnerships and a shared funding model with Indigenous
charities has grown, substantial change has yet to happen.
However, I would like to share one example of how an
Indigenous-led organization made a significant difference
and the importance of philanthropy in making that happen:
In Winnippeg, Manitoba, there are many Indigenous
children and youth in the child welfare system. The Ma
Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre-which translates to "we all

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work together to help one another"-is an organization
dedicated to Indigenous solutions that support and rebuilds
families. Thanks to a $1 million grant from The Winnipeg
Foundation, the organization was able to leverage an
additional $1 million from the Province of Manitoba and
$500,000 from the federal government that allowed it
to scale up a Family Group Conferencing Program. This
innovative program assists parents and extended families in
successfully reuniting with their children.
While many might believe that governments
provide ample funding for Indigenous-led charities
and communities, this is not the case. The matching
government funding would not have been possible
without the initial philanthropic gift, which was the result
of years of relationship-building between the community,
the Indigenous-led organization and the foundation.

DOING OUR PART AS FUNDRAISERS
An estimated 150,000 Indigenous children have been
forced to attend residential schools, a school system
created to deny Indigenous children access to their
culture while assimilating them to Canadian traditions.
As a child, my mother was forcibly removed from her
community and placed in residential school. She never
fully recovered from her experience, and this made my
childhood difficult and challenging. But what I did have
was the support of the Indigenous charities that served
the community-they played a vital role for me and so
many others. I would not be where I am today if it were
not for my family and my community. I feel grateful to
now be surrounded by people who change lives, take
risks and speak up against inequality.
This is why I joined the AFP Manitoba chapter and
the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy-Canada board.
By increasing my knowledge about fundraising and
developing new networks and connections, I hope to
encourage more equitable and meaningful engagement
with Indigenous-led charities. I was able to take a step
toward accomplishing this through the 2018 AFP
Diversity and Inclusion Fellowship program, where I
conducted a survey into the successes and challenges of
October 2020 / www.afpglobal.org


http://www.afpglobal.org

Advancing Philanthropy October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Advancing Philanthropy October 2020

Advancing Philanthropy October 2020 - Cover1
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Advancing Philanthropy October 2020 - 1
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Advancing Philanthropy October 2020 - Cover3
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/AFP/advancing-philanthropy-april-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/AFP/AFP_Jan2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/AFP/AFP_Oct2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/AFP/AP_July2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/AFP/p26198_afp_2012techknowbrochure
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/AFP/g24762afp_con2012
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/AFP/g24195afp_12confbroc
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/AFP/g18184_afp_chicago2011
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com