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Anishinabek Nation Health Secretariat celebrates 9th annual Health Conference in North Bay

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Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Reg Niganobe shared some words with those who attended the 9th annual Anishinabek Nation Health Conference on Oct. 17 in North Bay, Ont.

By Jesse Johnson

NORTH BAY –The 9th annual Anishinabek Health Conference took place at the Best Western Hotel and Conference Centre in North Bay, Ont., from Oct. 17-19.

The theme for the conference – “Noojimong Aanjitoong Ezhchigeng – Healing Through Change, Learning together to move our communities forward in the area of Health” – guided the planning and conference itinerary.

The Anishinabek Nation’s Health Secretariat organizes this conference annually to bring delegates from the 39 Anishinabek Nation member First Nations together to share information and learn about current health topics.

Stan Wesley was the master of ceremonies and Elder Mary Elliott from Atikameksheng Anishnawbek First Nation, and Elder Neil Monague from Beausoleil First Nation opened the conference with songs, laughter, and words of wisdom.

Following the opening prayer, Anishinabek Nation’s Health Director, Jamie Restoule, thanked his staff for organizing this event and thanked participants for attending the conference.

Nipissing First Nation Councillor Jane B. Commanda welcomed everyone to the territory and Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Reg Niganobe acknowledged the many challenges facing health directors and how difficult their roles are in the current landscape.

Participants attended workshops that focused on 2SLGBTQ+; lateral violence; CanChild’s About My Child; an introduction to language; and Men’s Mental Health.

There were four keynote speakers who shared knowledge on a range of topics. Keynote speakers included Dr. Andrea Sereda who spoke on the current healthcare system and how it’s failing our most vulnerable populations; Susie Jin who spoke about diabetes; Michelle Lafontaine spoke on the PAIL (prenatal and infant loss) Network; and, Dr. Astrid Guttmann and her team that spoke about Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.

“We had some incredible keynote speakers who shared a lot of important information,” said Restoule. “I’m confident our health professionals gained a lot of pertinent information that they will take back to their communities. I’m also grateful to our staff for putting together another successful conference.”

There was also the Tony H. Jocko Memorial Heroes in Health award ceremony in honour of Tony Jocko-baa who joined the Anishinabek Nation back in 2006 as the Federal Health Policy Analyst in which he provided exceptional advocacy and service.

One of this year’s winners was Kim Genereux of Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory who works at the Noojmowin-Teg Health Centre on Manitoulin Island.

“Kim is the Anishinabek Health Care Navigator serving seven First Nations on Manitoulin Island as well as off-reserve clients. Kim goes above and beyond for all of her clients, treating each one of them and their families as though they are her own family,” says her nominator.

The other award winner was Kimberly Lalonde from Nipissing First Nation.

“Kimberly’s remarkable two-decade-long tenure with Nipissing First Nation Health Services is a testament to her unwavering dedication, compassionate service, and tireless commitment to promoting health and wellness for Nbisiing citizens,” says her nominator.

Community Heroes in Health build capacity within First Nations territory by empowering residents to become more active and healthy to improve the overall well-being of the community. Each year, recipients are recognized at the annual conference for their outstanding leadership, mentorship, and best practices in each of their respective community health programs.

“I am very happy to be here with you today to celebrate another successful Health Conference and to be a presenter to a couple of individuals who have exceeded their regular duties in their community in order to keep our citizens safe. Let’s celebrate and honour those members in our territory who have stepped up and extended themselves to help others while keeping us safe during this difficult time,” says Restoule.

On the final day, there were Nookmis and Mishomis teachings from Elder Elliott and Elder Monague.

For more information about the Anishinabek Nation’s Health Secretariat, go to www.anishinabek.ca.

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Mikinakoos Children’s Fund launches $15,000 fundraiser for GivingTuesday

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Mikinakoos Children’s Fund aims to raise $15,000 to provide vital winter clothing to 18 First Nations, collaborating with the KO First Nations, Keewaytinook Internet Highschools, and Fort Hope First Nation on GivingTuesday on November 28, 2023. – Photo supplied

THUNDER BAY (November 22, 2023) — Mikinakoos Children’s Fund, an Indigenous children’s charity providing essentials to youth in remote First Nations in Northwestern Ontario, is announcing the launch of a special fundraiser in recognition of GivingTuesday.

In alignment with the global GivingTuesday movement, Mikinakoos Children’s Fund aims to raise $15,000 to provide vital winter clothing to 18 First Nations, collaborating with the KO First Nations, Keewaytinook Internet Highschools, and Fort Hope First Nation. The initiative seeks to purchase over 1,500 coats for children in these regions, ensuring they are equipped to brave the harsh winter months.

“The winter season can be particularly challenging in the remote areas we serve, where many children lack access to proper winter gear,” said Mikinakoos Executive Director Emily Shandruk. “Mikinakoos Children’s Fund believes that every child deserves the warmth of hope during the colder months. With this in mind, we’re launching this crucial campaign to make a positive impact.”

Recent support from TD Canada Trust’s Ready Commitment Funding, a $50,000 grant over two years, is boosting Mikinakoos Children’s Fund’s Warm Clothing initiatives, of which this initiative is a part. With growing requests from various communities and organizations, Mikinakoos’ GivingTuesday funding alone wouldn’t have sufficed. Thanks to the extra support, the charity can now ensure that no child is left without essential resources.

GivingTuesday, which falls on November 28, marks the opening day of the giving season—a global movement encouraging people to come together for a day of generosity and positive change. Mikinakoos invites individuals and organizations alike to join in the effort to make a difference.

Here’s how you can contribute:

Donate: Your contribution, regardless of size, will bring Mikinakoos Children’s Fund closer to its $15,000 goal. Every dollar counts. GivingTuesday falls on November 28; however, this fundraiser will run until December 31.
Spread the Word: Share our campaign on social media, with friends, family, and colleagues. Together, we can make a wider impact.

“The remoteness of the communities we serve presents challenges in shipping and distributing necessities, such as food, sporting equipment, and winter gear, especially with the absence of permanent roads,” said Shandruk. “Climate change has further exacerbated the inconsistency of ice road conditions, making the delivery of essential items even more difficult.”

Please consider contributing to Mikinakoos Children’s Fund’s GivingTuesday campaign through this link or by texting “WARMCOATS” to 807-500-1522. Interviews with spokespeople from Mikinakoos Children’s Fund are available upon request.

About Mikinakoos Children’s Fund

Mikinakoos Children’s Fund is a charity created to address poverty by providing basic amenities, such as food, clothing, and shelter to First Nations children residing in remote communities. Join us on this journey to create positive change and secure the safety and wellbeing First Nations children. Engage with Mikinakoos Children’s Fund on social through #FirstNationKidsFirst.

Contact:

Victoria Belton
Senior Consultant
Media Profile
Tel: 416-992-5179

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