Current Projects & TRC Reports
CIRCLE Updates
CIRCLE Presentations
DART’s plans for the 2015-16 year include continuing to provide information about Aboriginal issues, events and projects to 7080 clubs, not only through the DART website, but also through quarterly updates—this being the first for this Rotary year—DART information sessions, and club visits.  We’ll also begin developing a set of tools and resources for Clubs that are interested in increasing their involvement with Canada’s Aboriginal communities, including an Aboriginal speakers list, connections to Aboriginal resource groups, a 7080 Aboriginal projects database and DART presentations.  But most importantly, DART would like to facilitate taking action, for as many 7080 clubs as possible.  Please check out the DART website at:
Learn about Aboriginal events, projects, news and resource groups.  Read the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada reports—a link to the reports is posted on the DART website.  Attend one of the upcoming DART information sessions.  Talk to clubs who are executing or have completed an Aboriginal project. Consider supporting one of the 4 active Aboriginal projects being supported by a 7080 club.  Invite DART to present at a club meeting.  Hope to connect with you soon!   
DART Update – Q2 October 2015
To expand our network of Aboriginal groups, DART has continued meeting with Aboriginal Canadians, companies and organizations.  Since our last update in March 2015, DART members have met with:
  • Ivor Jones, Six Nations of the Grand River – Ivor Jones is a retired Director of Northern Aboriginal Education and now resides in Timmins
  • Gil and Debbie Sipkema, Dufferin County Cultural Resource Circle – the founder of DCCRC, Gil Sipkema was part of the 60s Scoop and was adopted by a non-Aboriginal family.The goal of DCCRC is to open an Indigenous & Friendship Centre in Orangeville.DCCRC also organized the first Aboriginal Day celebrations in Orangeville in 2014 and the first Pow-Wow in Orangeville in 2015.
  • Cory Jones, Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation – Cory Jones is President of Neegan Burnside, an Aboriginal-owned engineering and environmental consulting firm.The Company has completed over 1500 projects in more than 300 Aboriginal communities.
  • Merv McLeod, McLeod Wood Associates Inc. – Merv McLeod and Nancy Wood are founding partners of MWA, a management consulting firm that specializes in providing business, negotiation, and community engagement services to First Nations, governments and private sector businesses.
  • Joanna Hickey, Ontario Telemedicine Network – about 3,000 OTN units are installed across Ontario making possible 500,000 telemedicine consultations per year.To deliver telemedicine services to Aboriginal communities, OTN has partnered with Keewaytinook Okimakanak [KO] eHealth, which services communities north of Sioux Lookout, and also with the 10 Aboriginal Health Access Centres in Ontario.
  • Brent Peltola, Partners in Research – PIR’s Connected North Program, which launched in April 2014, delivers interactive education and healthcare services to remote and northern First Nation and Inuit communities through high definition two-way video communication.
Also since March, three new Aboriginal projects have been brought forward.  With RC Bolton’s delivery of beds to the Kingfisher Lake First Nation and RC Guelph’s Music to Their Ears project, which will help the high percentage of Inuit elementary school students in Qikiqtani [Baffin Island] with their profound hearing problems, this brings the total number of projects being supported by 7080 clubs to five.  The three new projects address two major Aboriginal issues—lower education levels, relative to non-indigenous Canadians, and food insecurity in the far north:
  • University of Sudbury First Nations Scholarship Program – brought forward by RC Oakville Trafalgar, the University of Sudbury First Nation scholarship goes to 2nd-year UofS students and is $7,500 per year for 3 years; students are not required to major in indigenous studies but must take at least one course from that program.  RC Oakville Trafalgar hopes to bring enough clubs on board to allow at least 2 additional scholarships.
  • OneXOne First Nations School Breakfast Program – RC Burlington North has decided to support the OneXOne First Nations School Breakfast Program for the Keewaytinook Internet High School, and has asked for DART’s assistance to publicize the project throughout the District.  Their goal for this calendar year is to bring 10 clubs on board in support of the project, with a commitment for $500 each, allowing a $5,000 donation to be made to OneXOne.  If that goal is met, RCBN hopes to repeat next year and apply for a matching District grant for the 2016-17 year.  KIHS is a program that allows students to complete their high school education remotely while staying in their home and community.  Classrooms are located in Fort William, Keewaywin, Mishkeegogamang, Nibinamik, North Spirit Lake and Poplar Hill.  Being near family helps students succeed and providing breakfast encourages attendance.
  • Enactus Ryerson Growing North Greenhouse Project – RC Mississauga Credit Valley has supported this project.  In 2014, Enactus Ryerson conducted a needs assessment in the Inuit community of Naujaat [Repulse Bay].  Enactus Ryerson has raised $240,000 to construct a geodesic greenhouse dome.  If successful, project managers expect the cost of vegetables and herbs will be reduced in Naujaat by 56% and 98%, respectively, and more greenhouses may be constructed.  Results will be evaluated in June/July 2016.
More info about, and/or how to donate to any of the above can be found on the DART website under Current Projects & TRC Reports, Links and/or Documents.  And if your Club would like the DART team to present at one of your club meetings, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
Yours in Rotary,
You can contact me at