In the fall of 2021, the Canadian Bishops announced a $30 million national financial pledge to support healing and reconciliation initiatives for residential school survivors, their families, and their communities. The Indigenous Reconciliation Fund is an arms-length, federally incorporated not-for-profit registered charity. It was set up to independently manage funds received from the dioceses. The Fund receives grant requests submitted through the local diocesan and regional reconciliation committees. The Fund also sends money to the people working for the approved reconciliation projects and initiatives.
As our share of the $30 million pledge, the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall has agreed to raise $1.2 million. “A Christ-Centred Co-Journey Towards Healing: The Fundraising Campaign in Support of Reconciliation” is what we are calling our initiative to raise funds and to better the relationship between the Archdiocese and Indigenous Peoples it serves.
Yes. For purposes of transparency and accounting, all monies raised in the Archdiocese will be paid into the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund. However, one hundred percent of the monies raised in the Archdiocese will be used to fund healing and reconciliation projects and initiatives undertaken by local Indigenous groups and organizations that operate in the area served by the Archdiocese.
A Christ-Centred Co-Journey Towards Healing is a direct appeal to the people of the Archdiocese, to ask them to make a pledge or a gift as a tangible expression of their commitment to walk with Indigenous Peoples of this land along the pathway of hope. In harmony with Catholic teaching, local Indigenous groups and organizations will be able to apply for grants to fund projects and initiatives for:
No. The funds raised through A Christ-Centred Co-Journey Towards Healing will be used exclusively for local Indigenous projects and initiatives.
The Indigenous Reconciliation Fund will be managed with financial measures in place to ensure transparency and good governance. Board directors and members of the corporation will collectively bring a strong financial acumen and deep commitment to the healing and reconciliation journey. The three initial directors of the Board include:
• Chief Wilton Littlechild, Ph.D, a Cree chief, residential school survivor, and lawyer who served as a Commissioner for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Chief Littlechild has been a Member of Parliament, Vice-President of the Indigenous Parliament of the Americas, North American Representative to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and a Chairperson for the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Commission on First Nations and Métis Peoples and Justice Reform.
• Giselle Marion holds a law degree from the University of British Columbia and was called to the Bar in the Northwest Territories in 2008. During her articles, Ms. Marion worked for the Department of Justice. She is a Tłı̨chǫ Citizen and was born and raised in Behchokǫ̀, NT. She is the Director of Client Services with the Tłı̨chǫ Government out of the Behchokǫ̀ office.
• Rosella Kinoshameg, an Odawa/Ojibway woman from the Wikwemikong Unceded First Nation Territory is a Registered Nurse with over fifty years of nursing experience, mostly working with First Nations communities doing community health, maternal child health, immunizations, and home and community Care. She was one of the original members of the CCCB’s Indigenous Council and continues to serve as a member of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Circle.
The members of the corporation include:
• Natale Gallo, a former Supreme Director of the Knights of Columbus, where he represented Canada on the International Board of Directors.
• Claude Bédard, National President of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in Canada.
• Barbara Dowding, former National President of the Catholic Women’s League of Canada.
According to the 2020 Canadian census, there are more than 40,000 Indigenous people living in Ottawa. Approximately 49% are First Nations, 47% are Métis and 4% are Inuit. In addition, there are roughly 1,500 Indigenous people living on the Cornwall Island portion of Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne, which is located across from Cornwall.