Indigenous Awareness Committee at Rotary Club of Guelph
It is through our Committees that the real work of Rotary happens. They are a very important part of Rotary service, where members can plan and participate in specific events, get to know one another and make an important contribution to our community – locally and world wide. 
Communicating committee work to other club members sometimes is difficult. But one of the ways the Indigenous Awareness Committee has kept the club informed is by inviting Friday luncheon speakers. 
Here is a taste of a few of the speakers who have helped our Club learn about our First Nations people.
Dr. Cara Weycamp – Indigenous Issues – A Local Perspective
Colinda Cline – Walk a Mile in Our Moccasins – The Moccasin Project.
Edmund Metatawabin – Author of “Up Ghost River” – winner of Governor General’s Award
Alain Bartleman – Power Structure of the Indian Act
Prof. Ed.McBean – Clean, Safe Water Supply to our Indigenous People
Ami Gopal – Water First
John Currie – HIP (Honouring Indigenous Peoples)
Further, the Committee has and continues to honour “Orange Shirt Day”   - an event which is designed to educate people and promote awareness about the Indian residential school system and the impact this system had on Indigenous communities for more than a century in Canada. The 2020 Orange Shirt Day speaker will be Nicole Van Stone-Mascherin.   Nicole’s mother is from the Attawapiskat First Nation and she is a second generation residential school survivor. Her father is Metis.  Nicole is reconnecting to her Cree heritage and is also President of BEL Rotary Club. We look forward to having Nicole as our “Orange  Shirt Day” speaker for 2020.
And so we come full circle, to where this committee began.  When current Chair, Dianne Dance’s mother, Anne Dance, started us on this journey, one of the main goals was “to learn”. And we have learned much;  we are proud of our accomplishments. Bheny was our first major project and Water First is on the horizon.  We are confident that our purpose of LEARNING, SHARING AND SUPPORTING positive change continues to guide our actions. Kudos to the Chairs who have guided the work:  Anne Dance, Joanne McAuley, Terrie Jarvis, Rick Le Feuvre  and Dianne Dance.  We have come a long way!
Barb Holmes