Posted by John Currie, Executive Director, Honouring Indigenous People

Here is the latest Honouring Indigenous People Rotary News and Events, projects, blogs, photos, films, and resources. There are many major initiatives and resources available to you and your Rotary club, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our District 7070 Action Committe's Areas of Focus Coordinator is John Currie from the Pickering Rotary Club. John is also the  Executive Director of H I P and can be reached at .   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 .........

Dear Friends & Supporters,

These days virtually every newspaper article, TV show and radio program reminds us of the dangers associated with the current COVID-19 crisis if we do not follow the suggested health guidelines. The same media though is also highlighting opportunities (albeit sometimes it requires thinking) of the many acts and benefits of collaboration and reaching out to others brings.

As it relates to Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, the dangers this crisis brings includes further alienation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and accentuating and perpetuating the inequalities from the past.

Reaching out to each other, however, creates a wonderful opportunity for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to get to better know each other and expanding our relationship by working together against our common enemy, the COVID-19 virus.

Here are few ways you can do this:

1. Call or email an Indigenous person if non-Indigenous or vice versa. Find out about how they are doing or how they are feeling. Is there anything they or their community needs? Is there a way you/we can help? Show them you care. One of our board members called a chief a week and found out his community had a food delivery problem. The chief was isolated at home. In turn, the board member contacted our district HIP Coordinator who had further contact with the chief. She, in turn, contacted some other people who could possibly help. As it turned out, the chief solved his problem without our help but our effort I believe further developed our relationship.

2. If you do not know someone in the Indigenous community and would like to reach out or have your club involved, contact HIP ( We can assist.

3. A number of clubs already have ongoing contact with Indigenous Peoples and their communities. Call the club or your District Coordinator. See if there is a way you can participate. They may need volunteers or money or food or specific supplies such as masks, sanitizers or food. Make sure, though, they have a need before you jump in.

4. If you have some time on your hands, it could be an ideal time to find out more about Indigenous Peoples. There are plenty of books and videos mentioned on our website Richard Wagamese is one great Indigenous writer of three excellent books Indian Horse, Ragged Company and Medicine, Walk. One person I know decided to take this time to find out more about treaties. There is a wealth of information about treaties online available at your fingertips. Also try YouTube. The video Dish with One Spoon is about the land issues at Caledonia. It is very revealing.

5. HIP is developing a fund to assist Indigenous communities with their needs. To make a tax-receiptable donation, you can click on the Donate Now button through CanadaHelps on our website and select HIP COVID-19 Fund.

There are other ways too to become involved. I hope you will take this opportunity and do something.

Chi Miigwetch / Thank you

Chris Snyder, Chair on behalf of the Board of Directors.

Let’s Stay In Touch!


Be sure to read the HIP Circle Newsletters all of which appear on their website. Here is the link to the newsletters.

What is your club doing to Honour Indigenous People? 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)


Rotary 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. Be sure to see the link:

May 23-Aug 14, 2020 - Indigenous Art Exhibit - Woodland Cultural Centre

Oct. 7, 2020 - Tanya Talaga - Rights Before Reconciliation - Sanderson Centre



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.