Indigenous Awareness Committee at Rotary Club of Guelph
By Sept 2012, the Rotary Club of Guelph formed its first committee focusing on Canada’s First Nations Peoples.  It began with the name “Aboriginal Affairs Committee”, which was entirely appropriate at the time.  It is interesting to note how quickly protocol, names and attitudes started changing as the general public became more attuned to Indigenous issues, especially since Canada's Truth & Reconciliation Commission Report was published in 2015. In 2016, the Committee renamed itself to "Indigenous Awareness Committee" with an emphasis on our own role in LEARNING, SHARING and SUPPORTING. 
The original committee was co-chaired by Anne Dance and Joanne McAuley and it was a year of learning. The committee made contact with both the Aboriginal Resource Centre at the University of Guelph and with Indigenous people hired by the Upper Grand District School Board to teach classes.  Anne made contact with local Indigenous people and joined a learning circle, which she continued with up until about 2017. 
The committee sponsored speakers for the Rotary Club Friday meetings and attended the Aboriginal Heritage Festival at the Wellington County Museum & Archives held in partnership with the public school board, the Métis Council and local indigenous people. A major accomplishment of our club's committee in its early years was the establishment of an annual Youth Award and bursary for a student of Aboriginal ancestry attending a school with the UGDSB or WCDSB, who “demonstrated leadership qualities in the community and in the promotion of aboriginal culture”. This award continues today, albeit with a new name, reflecting the new name of the Festival – The Turtle Island Heritage Festival.
The $500 bursary is supported by the Rotary Club of Guelph and has been awarded to the following young people:
2014  –  Hannah Wallace-Lund
2016 –  Elise Perreault
2017 –  Analeigh Dokis
2018 –  Max Dewaele
2019 –  Alexis Hamilton
2020 –  Aalpi Galliford
Anne Dance, Former Rotarian and First Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Affairs Committee
Aboriginal Affairs Committee Minutes, 2016.
Indigenous Youth Award presented by the Rotary Club of Guelph – April 24, 2017
L-R: Ana Dokis, award winner; Terrie Jarvis, chair of the Indigenous Awareness Committee at the
Rotary Club of Guelph; Colinda Clyne, Curriculum Lead, First Nations, Métis, Inuit Education,
Upper Grand District School Board