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. From our vantage point, there are many good things happening.  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)



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.


NEW HIP DISTRICT COORDINATORS - HIP is happy to announce the appointment of new District Coordinators who will work directly with HIP in promoting HIP’s mission of promoting awareness and supporting Indigenous Education while developing Non-Indigenous and Indigenous relationships. Nicole Patterson, the President of the East York Rotary Club, has agreed to be HIP’s coordinator for District 7070. Beyond being an admirable Rotarian, Nicole has already made significant contributions to supporting Indigenous Peoples and HIP’s mission. Additionally, she is a Kairos facilitator.



Three Indigenous Life Festival events are being celebrated in and around Ontario where Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members will come together to share information and awareness through interactive and creative activities.

August 24-25th - The Town of Thornbury is hosting their first Indigenous Life Festival for the weekend focused on sharing of information and awareness through interactive story-telling, medicine pouch making where guests will learn the significance and importance of sacred medicines to Indigenous peoples, Indigenous Food sovereignty information sharing and tasting with Chef Zach Keeshig, music with drum and dance and much more.

Sept. 2019 - City of Barrie is planning an ILF event in September.

Watch for further details and visit

CHRIS LI GOLF CLASSIC July 8 - Native Child and Family Services of Toronto are partnering in the Chris Li Golf Classic on July 8th. The tournament begins at 11 a.m. at Angus Glen Golf Club (Markham). Funds raised will support the Indigenous Spirit Fund and NCFST Summer Camp programs, unique land-based cultural opportunities for children, youth and families to attend summer camping programs at Grundy Lake and at various sites through the GTA

July 12 – 14: 2019 Gathering with the Credit River. Erindale Park, Missisauga, ON.

September 19 – 21: Gathering – First Nation Literary Festival, Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre, Midland Public Library,

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.



  • $30,000 for Milestone Trip to Ottawa or Toronto for 14 Ahgwahbuush Memorial School grade 8 students from fly-in First Nations community of Poplar Hill. Needed for June. Sponsor: Needed.
  • 50 Laptops for Indigenous Students attending postsecondary education. Sponsor: Needed
  • $2500 for Bursaries for Indigenous students attending post-secondary education. Dollar match available. Sponsor: Needed.


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 & Donations - We 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.



HIP 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.


June 2019 Message from HIP Chair, Chris Snyder

Visit a First Nation Community this Summer and Make New Friends

Pat and I find it’s always lots of fun to visit a new place, talk with people and listen to their stories. Several years ago we realized there were many places in Southern Ontario we had not visited, in particular some of the close Indigenous communities. These included the Saugeen, Christian Island, 6 Nations, Kenisawkwe, Curve Lake, Manitouin Island, Whata, Hagersville, and Cape Croker to name a few. There are many more to go and we anticipate doing it again this summer, possibly a little further away.

Most communities in Canada have First Nation communities close by. Unknown to many is that First Nations peoples want people to visit them. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn something about First Nations people not just by observing how they live but by talking and listening to them. Many indigenous people are shy but if you can get them talking they have great stories and are a wealth of information about their communities and history.

To make this happen, just wander into a store or gas station and start a conversation. Many communities also have community centres, trading posts and museums. In the process you might, as we did at Curve Lake, come out with some wonderful indigenous art and crafts (We also spoke with the artist about the symbolism and stories in the art) or discover after a short ferry ride on Georgian Bay, the beautiful beaches on Christian Island.

You could also watch their dances, learn about the heartbeat of the drum and talk with a wise elder at a Pow Wow (Go on line to obtain a list). Every area has many opportunities and places to visit and every province has an Indigenous tourism website. In fact Indigenous tourism is growing. Think Haida Gwai in BC, the Blackfoot in Alberta, the Metis in Manitoba, the Inuit in the Arctic, the Cree in Quebec and the Mi kmaq, and early settlers in the Maritimes. It is all yours to listen, learn and enjoy.

Migwetch (Thank You) 

Chris Snyder

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

Rotary Club of Toronto