Toronto Council Fire continues to provide programs and services remotely through online and digital services. Our physical offices and our Gathering Place are closed until May 3, 2020. We will re-examine that date following health risk assessments updates and directives from the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario.
While our Gathering Place is closed, we continue to offer 3 meals a day (2 on weekends) through the provision of take-away meals distributed from our Parliament Street entrance. See our website (councilfire.ca) for times. Clients are asked to maintain proper social distancing (2 metres apart) while waiting in line. The Centre also continues to provide food bank services and meals on wheels to registered clients. Any surplus food donations that we receive, we distribute to partner organizations and to Indigenous and community housing groups.
Thank you to all of the individuals and companies who have already made financial, service and product donations to support Council Fire’s COVID-19 efforts and our general programming. We continue to experience a need in all sectors and would also like to thank any new donors in advance.
Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre is an autonomous, vibrant cultural agency that involves and serves the Indigenous community with confidence for and commitment to their well-being.
1. To utilize our cultural teachings and languages as a base in all work we undertake,
2. To invest in the positive growth and development of our youth that prepares them to assume their rightful place as leaders,
3. To improve the quality of life of Aboriginal families by nurturing the development and creation of healthy opportunities,
4. To enhance the capacity of Aboriginal seniors and elderly in all aspect of their lives,
5. To promote and employ Aboriginal people in the area of arts & culture, education, business and information technology,
6. To promote and support housing & shelter for Aboriginal people through direct and indirect programming and services,
7. To enter into partnerships with like-minded organizations,
8. To conduct ongoing constructive assessments with the community,
9. To support the economic growth of our community while maintaining sustainable and responsible development,
10. To continue to build human, cultural and academic capacity,
11. To continue to build on our natural healing relationship with Mother Earth,
12. To work with people of the four colors,
13. To maintain our responsibility for the celebration and protection of all living things.
SECTORS / PROGRAMS
1) Core Sector: Finance - Maintenance - Restoration of Identity (ROI) Project including the Teaching, Learning, Sharing and Healing (TLSH) Space with the TRC Call to Action 82 Turtle Sculpture and the Annual IRSS Legacy Celebration at Nathan Phillips Square www.irsslegacy.com
2) Gathering Place: Drop In Kitchen - Food Bank - Counselling Housing/Homelessness - Community Events and Information Fairs
3) Child & Family Support & Wellbeing: Prenatal Nutrition Program - Family Nurturing Program - Special Programs and Events
4) Health and Wellbeing Sector: Indigenous Healing and Wellness - Life Long Care Program - Urban Aboriginal Healthy Living Program - Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin (I am a Kind Man)
5) Youth and Youth Wellness Navigation Sector: Akwe:go Program - Little Embers Program - Was-Nabin Program - Youth Life Promotion Program - Youth Wellness Navigation Program
6) Education, Awareness and Wellbeing Sector: Literacy and Basic Skiils - Apatisiwin (Employment and Training)
7) Resolution Health / Cultural Support & Indian Residential School Survivors (IRSS): Naandwidizwin – Wechihitita (Healing Ourselves – Helping Each Other) - Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Trans and Two Spirits (MMIWGT2S)
SPECIAL EVENTS AND PROJECTS
RESTORATION OF IDENTITY (ROI) PROJECT
The Indian Residential School Survivors (IRSS) Legacy initiative commits to work towards truth and reconciliation through the ROI project. The ROI project is comprised of three elements, The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Call to Action 82* Turtle Sculpture, the Teaching, Learning, Sharing and Healing TLSH Space and the Annual IRSS Legacy Celebration.
The TRC Call to Action 82 sculpture features the turtle, symbolic of Mother Earth, to acknowledge residential school survivors, nations and clans, rooting them back to their rightful place within creation. The turtle climbs over a boulder symbolizing resiliency, etched into the boulder are the names of all of the residential schools that once operated in Ontario. The intention is to recognize not only the struggles but also the continued community recovery and resilience. The turtle is a shared symbol amongst Indigenous nations all around the world. The IRSS Legacy Turtle will be placed at the physical and thematic centre of the TLSH Space.
The TLSH Space will occupy a 19,250 square foot area between the Law Society of Ontario and the overhead walkway at the south west corner of Nathan Phillips Square. The space was a blank canvas and through its ROI project, Toronto Council Fire was able to imagine it as a vibrant Indigenous cultural space that would include areas for gatherings, ceremonies, education, contemplation and community building.The space is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2022. Toronto Council Fire is currently seeking project funding through its Sovereign Wealth Fund (see funding menu). Approximately 4 million dollars remains to be raised for the Centre's share of the construction project. Additional funding will be sought for programming and maintenance for the site beyond 2022. www.irsslegacy.com
The Annual IRSS Legacy Celebration has become an annual cultural event held at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto, to honour our Residential School Survivors and to provide information on the TLSH space which will open in the fall of 2022. The Third Annual Indigenous Legacy Celebration will be held in October 2020 and will be streamed online due to COVID-19. As with the previous events, there will be performances by traditional Indigenous artists, singers, and dancers.
TORONTO COUNCIL FIRE FOURTH ANNUAL YOUTH POW WOW
Toronto Council Fire, it's Youth Sector and youth participants will be presenting it's Fourth Annual Youth Pow Wow in the summer of 2020. Organized by youth for youth, families and community members, the Pow Wow will again be held in Regent Park's Big Park across from Daniels Spectrum and Artscape.