This post was provided by Megan Fowler, Fundraising Coordinator at the Native Women’s Resource Centre Toronto.
Incredible things are being done each and every day by Aboriginal women and youth to improve and enhance their lives and their communities. So often it is easy to succumb to the challenges and barriers faced by Aboriginal women that their strength and perseverance is not celebrated. This is why the Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto’s Minaake Awards, Toronto’s first and only Aboriginal Women and Youth Community Achievement Awards, are a vital part of the work that the Centre does.
In Ojibwe, “Minaake” (min-nah-kay) means people who are on the good path. It was given its name by an Elder in the community who teaches Ojibwe language lessons at the Centre. This event brings the community together to celebrate local Aboriginal women and youth who have made positive changes in their lives, made significant contributions to their communities, and are an inspiration to others. The awards recognize Leadership, Advocacy and Human Rights, Youth achievements, positive contributions in the LGBQT2S/Two-Spirited community, and people who are keeping Aboriginal cultures and traditions alive.
For many of the clients and members who attend the Minaake Awards, this is one of the few opportunities in the year to get dressed up and enjoy a catered event with cultural performances while supporting their friends or family receiving an award. Other attendees include supporters from the finance, education, government, communications and other agencies. Cultural performances in the past have included a women’s big drum performance and Inuit throat singing. The evening also includes an Aboriginal arts and crafts silent auction. Many women have said that they “felt like Cinderella at the Ball,” and hope to attend the Awards again in the future.
As a fundraising event, with 100 percent of the proceeds supporting the Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto general fund, some clients may face a financial barrier to attending the Awards. Therefore, we have started a CanadaHelps campaign page where you can donate and proceeds will go towards purchasing tickets for our clients to attend. To learn more, visit the campaign page »
The Minaake Awards will take place on April 14th, 2015 at the CIBC Bank Tower. Nominations are still being accepted, for more information on the Awards, please visit the awards website.