Posted by Chris Snyder, Chair, Honouring Indigenous People

Here is the latest Honouring Indigenous People Rotary News and Events, projects, blogs, photos, films, resources, and a letter from Chair, Rotarian Chris Snyder. There are many major initiatives and resources available to you and your Rotary club. If you have a good news story, please send it to us. Click here to get the latest newsletters, information and updates about HIP (Honouring Indigenous Peoples)! OR check the Action Committees Menu Bar in the District Newsletter under HIP.  This rapidly growing nation-wide movement, HIP,  is a partnership between Indigenous Peoples & Rotarians. Each newsletter also contains stories about supporters, just like you, who are making an impact across Canada by taking action to create lasting change! Here are some highlights .........

Be sure to read the brand new HIP Circle Monthly Newsletters for 2019 which will be available soon. Here is the link to the newsletters.

What is your club doing? Please email Julie Dunaiskis ( with a brief summary so we can post on the HIP website and provide an update in upcoming newsletters. This will help other clubs and provide a sense of how we are involved. We do not know the precise number of clubs across Canada who are involved in educational and awareness activities, however, our guess is we are close to 175 and growing. Some clubs were involved well before HIP, many on their own and some because of our encouragement and leadership.


Julie Dunaiskis

Administrator, HIP (Honouring Indigenous Peoples)


District 7070 HIP Co-ordinator:

We are pleased to let everyone know that Nicole Patterson, Rotary Club of East York, is the Rotary District 7070 HIP Co-ordinator. If you are looking for a speaker or for a project, Nicole is definitely the person to contact. She can be reached at and by cell at 647-786-6465. 


Other Happenings

THE HIP CIRCLE - please note, we are now publishing brand new issues of our Newsletter, monthly, called HIP Circle.  For any back issues of the Monthly Newsletters, please click here.


Calendar of Events  

We will be publishing events that HIP is involved with and others that we know of that may be of interest

Dec. 4th - Indigenous 150+ - Club Native - Owen Sound, ON

Dec. 11, 2019, at 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM  TORONTO Indigenous Cultural Competency Training, Native Canadian  Centre of Toronto, 16 Spadina Road, ​  

Dec. 13 at 11 AM – Dec 14 at 4 PM, KAIROS Blanket Exercise and Facilitator Training,  3475 Mainway L7M 1A9,  Tickets by Eventbrite $30.00, ​  

Until March, 2020, Unceded: Voices of the land – Canadian Museum of History, Ottawa. Led by the world  renowned “Contemporary Master of Architecture” and traditional Elder Douglas Cardinal, UNCEDED  showcases the works and voice of 18 prominent Indigenous architects and designers from across Turtle Island  who share an Indigenous vision for the future of our human family. 


Click here for the Latest News 


Request a Speaker - Would your club like to have a Speaker at an upcoming meeting? If so, please check the list of available speakers on our website under Resources/Speakers List. Or contact Julie Dunaiskis ( who will pass along to Ingrid Sproxton, our new speakers' co-ordinator to propose a date and a subject you would like the person to speak about i.e. a) about HIP, b) a project, or c) awareness of the issues. Ideally, these talks will inform members and guests and hopefully engage members in becoming involved in an Indigenous program, donating money and developing a relationship with the local Indigenous community. We are happy to help you connect with the community close to you.

Rotary HIP Brochure: A reminder, you can find our slightly revised brochure on our website under Resources (Rotary HIP - HIP Brochure). If you would like to use it, you may print and distribute to your networks. If you need more, contact us and we can send. We have also improved our Facebook page and added a twitter handle. We have over 200 FB followers and 60 twitter subscribers to date. If you would like to be a friend on our Facebook page, click : to see our new site. You can like, follow and share. We also encourage you to check our website and contents regularly. Encourage your friends too. Also send Julie ( the email address of anyone who you think would like to receive our newsletter.

Approved Projects (Rotary HIP - Approved projects) - Check the HIP website to see full project descriptions and updates. We hope you or your club can support any of the projects mentioned as follows. We need much more financial support. Please join in. Not only will you help the project become reality and assist with the educational needs but you will learn a lot as well. We are also reviewing several new initiatives. When approved, we will be providing a brief outline with a link to the project. All of the projects below have been approved by our project committee and have the full support of the Indigenous community.

Blog (Rotary HIP - Blog)As always, there have been many news and events recently that have been added to our blog.

Resources - Films & Documentaries (Rotary HIP - Films & Documentaries) - If you have recently viewed a good film or documentary or read a book not on our list with an indigenous theme or message, please email Julie Dunaiskis ( and Janet McLeod ( to add to our list.

HIP Membership & DonationsWe would like you, your club and friends to become members. You do not need to be a Rotarian to join. You can join today by selecting (Rotary HIP - Become a Member) on the HIP website.

Charitable donations are accepted online through our website (Rotary HIP - Make a Donation) and the donor will receive a tax receipt immediately. You may designate funds to a specific project or to general projects focusing on education. Thank you for your continued support of our projects, in particular, we have had a terrific response to our ask for support for the transportation costs for shipments to the fly-in communities. If you are able to help with this or other initiatives, a tax receipt will be issued. You can also send in a cheque payable to HIP and post-marked to c/o ECC Group, 100 Simcoe St., Suite 110, Toronto, ON M5H 3G2.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDEDHIP is powered by volunteers. If you are interested in having your name added to our volunteer list, please email Executive Director John Currie at . Currently HIP is seeking the following volunteers: Communications,  Wordpress  Development,  Project Management,  Speakers,  Event Support.


A Message from HIP Chair, Chris Snyder

Follow Chris’s journey on Facebook @70YearVolunteer & Twitter @70YearVolunteer


During the weekend of November 15-17th, we had a wonderful HIP board meeting in Toronto.

We had board members present from coast to coast, Indigenous and Rotarian, female and male discussing how we move forward together.

The underlying principle we discussed was developing relationships and working together. Indigenous people do not want to be told what to do,or hear someone say this is what is best for you. They have heard this for years. Indigenous Peoples know how to do things. They know what will work and what they need.

For a relationship to work, it cannot be a us/them arrangement or operate from the principle of us giving you something. Both parties need to be engaged and be equal partners. We all know developing a trusted relationship takes time, is hard work and there are many ups and downs.

The importance and method of starting a good relationship was driven home by Robin Cavanagh, the Indigenous Liaison person at the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough. He spoke to us about HIP and the Canoe Museum working together. He also spoke of how he starts and develops a relationship with fellow Indigenous Peoples.

The Canoe Museum has 550 Indigenous canoes from all across Canada. All have a story, many reflect Indigenous culture and Canada’s history. However, there are many more with a story in Indigenous communities across the country.​The Canoe Museum wants to find these canoes, hear their stories from the local residents and bring them to life in these communities. Robin is visiting these communities. His approach is simple. He goes for a cup of tea with          the chief or elders. They talk and listen. Over time, a relationship gets established, stories come out and trust is built.

Part of our vision is for every Rotary club in Canada to develop a relationship with an Indigenous community. It could be in your community or a distant fly-in community. Many Rotarians have already reached out to Indigenous Peoples. As a result, some have developed a good relationship but some have been rebuffed. Often because there is no trust.

To get the relationship started, sometimes all it requires is a proper introduction followed up with a cup of tea, a discussion and listening.

If needed, HIP can help you get started. Contact us. Maybe you can even go out with Robin.    

Til next time, 

Migwetch (Thank You) 

Chris Snyder

Chair, HIP      416-364-0181 Ext. 2501           905-990-1735

Rotary Club of Toronto



Chris is the author of Creating Opportunities: A Volunteer’s Memoir and an active member of the Rotary Club of Toronto. Chris is currently Chair of HIP (Honouring Indigenous Peoples) and Past Chair of the Canadian Landmine Foundation . He has sat on a number of not-for-profit boards, including currently serving on the board of CUSO and the Trudeau Centre of Peace, Conflict and Justice at the Munk Centre (University of Toronto). He is the recipient of many volunteer and community service awards, among them the Paul Harris Fellowship Award, both the Queen’s Gold and Diamond Jubilee Awards, the Rotary Service-Above-Self Award and the Governor General’s Sovereign Award for Volunteering. He is married to Pat. They have three children and four grandchildren.