Front Row from left to right: Carol Clarke (Ontario Provincial Police - on secondment from the RCMP), Betty-Lou Scholey (North-South Partnership for Children), Mary Blanchard (Dean/School of Communication, Language and General Studies, Durham College), Mack Mercier (DDSB student / MC), Barbara Oram (Partnership Development Coordinator, Durham District School Board), Lynne Herr (Principal, Harmony Public School), Raven Murphy presenter), Arlene Cole (Teacher, Harmony Public School), Deanna Fry (DDSB Aboriginal Education Facilitator)
Back Row from left to right: Bill Littlefair (DDSB Program Officer/Aboriginal Studies), Larry Jacula (DDSB Chairperson), Keith Richards (Constable, Durham Regional Police /Diversity Coordinator), Elgin Knopp (Durham College), Aubrey Oppers, President, Port Perry Rotary Club, Jim Doylan, Superintendent, Durham Regional Police, Chuck Mercier (former Deputy Chief with Durham Region Police Service / MC).
Absent: Gary Edgar (Baagwating Community Association)

On February 19, 2010, Mamow Sha-way-gi-kay-win:North-South Partnership for Children attended the launch of the Durham District School Board's First Nation Literacy Partnership Project.

This project is about people connecting with one another through books and other media like the Internet. The books have all been written by Aboriginal authors like Larry Loyie and David Bouchard.

Five classes from the Durham District School Board (DDSB) will participate along with several classes in First Nation communities from across Ontario.

Mamow Sha-way-gi-kay-win: North-South Partnership for Children will facilitate the twinning of the 5 schools participating in the project and link these DDSB schools with First Nation communities in northwestern Ontario.

The partners organizing and sponsoring this new project include: DDSB, Durham Regional Police Service, Durham College, Ontario Provincial Police, North-South Partnership for Children, Baagwating Community Association, and the Rotary Club.

What are the goals of the FNLPP?

Learn and understand more about First Nation histories, cultures, and perspectives.

  • Learn and understand more about other students and their school communities.
  • Discover and share the joy of reading.
  • Develop greater literacy and critical thinking skills.
  • Recognize the contributions of First Nations people to modern day society in Canada.

What will students do?

Read a selection of books by Aboriginal authors.

  • Complete book-based activities in a variety of subject areas (i.e. Language, Art, Social Studies, etc.) to deepen awareness and understanding.
  • Share impressions and perspectives gained with others.
  • Contribute to the FNLPP google.doc (with parents’ permission).

Be creative and think of new ways to meet the goals of the project.

On April 4, Sandy Lake First Nation took delivery of its first ambulance and improved patient care. Up to then, it had to use a van to take patients to the nursing station or to the airstrip for the air ambulance.

Sandy Lake Chief Adam Fiddler learned about the opportunity to buy an affordable ambulance at a March 2009 Partnership meeting. There he met Ron Kyle, International Project Coordinator for Green Solutions Charitable Trust, who wanted to learn how Green Solutions could help First Nations communities.

When Chief Fiddler said the community needed emergency vehicles, Kyle, also a Toronto firefighter, knew where to find them. Along with the Partnership, he was able to help two communities buy vehicles from Elite 911, a Toronto new and used ambulance dealer.

Sandy Lake and Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug(KI) First Nations were each able to purchase an ambulance at a reduce cost because of their Partnership connections.

This June, Green Solutions Charitable Trust’s CEO, Sherry Prenevost, and Ron Kyle will visit other communities to hear about their needs. Green Solutions acquires redundant goods and distributes them to needy organizations in as environmentally friendly manner as possible. Read more from the Sandy Lake website.

Webequie youth helping summer volunteer | Making windows secure in Mishkeegogamang

In August 2008, one volunteer Partnership team worked with Webequie First Nation and another with Mishkeegogamang First Nation to repairs homes and build for the future. “Quick fixes” were out. Their priorities were to build relationships and plan for future collaboration. During their stays they feasted, fished, and talked, while improving homes and a church.

In 2008 Tikinagan Child and Family Services received the prestigious $50,000 Ruth Atkinson Hindmarsh Award. At the award ceremony in Kasabonika, Nancy Hindmarsh, chair of the selection committee, said, "Tikinagan has helped to dramatically improve services in the north. New partnerships with First Nations help keep children safe and connected to their family and cultural identity.”

While Tikinagan receives provincial funding to offer child protection services in remote northwestern Ontario, more support is needed for prevention programs.

“This award will expand our ability to respond and test innovative ways that can help our children discover their past, seize the present and anticipate their future," said Micheal Hardy, Executive Director, Tikinagan Child and Family Services.