On June 17th, members and supporters of the Partnership gathered at the Atkinson Foundation in Toronto to receive a $580,000.00 grant from Patricia Else of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, enabling us to expand core staff over three years. MPP Glen Murray was on hand to congratulate us, saying: "You'd be hard-pressed to find people in this country who've been more single-handedly abandoned than the children" of remote Northern Ontario. We are so grateful to Trillium for helping so generously to redress this sense of abandonment.

Also at the meeting were two honoured guests from New Zealand, Maori university Provost Richard Jefferies and his spouse Gerry. Provost Jeffries gave an eloquent presentation about the "Maori renaissance," which he described as flowing "from our own ideas, from doing things for ourselves" in education, in healthcare and by revisiting and reclaiming a "knowledge base that is ancient." We are, Jefferies said, "walking backwards into the future."A fuller report on the provost of the University of Awanuiarangi’s fascinating talk will appear in our next newsletter. Chief Adam Fiddler of Sandy Lake First Nation thanked him for coming, and he, along with Chief Lorraine Crane of Slate Falls First Nation and Felicia Saqutch, Band Councillor for Eabametoong First Nation, conferred further over dinner.

Others who made an appearance:

Youth leaders Darryl Sainnawap, who skyped in from KI First Nation, and Howard (Elijah) Sugarhead calling in from Summer Beaver. Lindsay Meekis, youth council member from Sandy Lake was able to attend and listen to the presentations; she was later featured in an article in the Toronto Star about “women of the G-20.”

Finally, the Partnership’s co-chair, Senator Landon Pearson, announced that we have been officially granted charitable status. Contact the Partnership to see how this might benefit you as a donor!

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