Indigenous Awareness Committee at Rotary Club of Guelph
Our District Shows Leadership, Too!   
Meanwhile, discussions about Indigenous issues were also percolating at our District 7080 level. According to Karen Mackenzie, a Cree-Métis & HIP Board Member: “In 2014, a small group of Rotarians from several southern Ontario Rotary clubs sat in the basement of a building in Oshawa talking about creating a country-wide organization to work in partnership with Indigenous Peoples.”
From those initial discussions, HIP (Honouring Indigenous Peoples) was created. Today, the 20 member board selected from coast-to-coast is supported by a strong list of stakeholders including Indigenous elders, Rotarians, Teachers, Education Councillors, Knowledge Keepers and other ethical leaders.
 The HIP logo was designed by Jennifer Wemigwans, Anishnaabekwe (Ojibwe/ Potawatomi) from Wikwemikong First Nation. The four colours represent the four races of human kind.  They are intertwined and inter-related to symbolize that we are all dependent upon one another and that only together do we represent the strength of the circle – a complete unity.
The HIP mission is to catalyze societal change by inspiring Indigenous & Non-Indigenous relationship building, strengthening community well-being and advancing the next generation of leaders.
The HIP vision is that all Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Peoples work together, interconnected and interdependent, for the benefit of future generations.
HIP Website, Karen Mackenzie, Cree-Metis & HIP Board Member
District 7080 DART team transitions to CIRCLE team 
While HIP’s focus was Canada-wide, District 7080 also became active in 2014 at a more local level. DART (District Aboriginal Resource Team) was formed to “foster dialogue and relationships between Indigenous communities and clubs in Rotary International District 7080.”
But just as the Rotary Club of Guelph’s Aboriginal Affairs Committee saw the need to update its name to Indigenous Awareness, so too did DART. As of 2017, DART became the CIRCLE team or Community Indigenous Resource Committee for Learning and Education
In many Indigenous cultures, not only in Canada but worldwide, circles represent important principles in the Indigenous worldview and belief systems, namely, interconnectedness, equality, and continuity.
According to traditional teaching, the seasonal pattern of life and renewal and the movement of animals and people were continuous, like a circle, which has no beginning and no end. Circles suggest inclusiveness and the lack of a hierarchy. They are found throughout nature – for instance, in the movement of the seasons and the sun’s movement from east to west during the day.
Circles are also used in the construction of teepees and sweat lodges; and the circular willow hoop, medicine wheel, and dream catcher are powerful symbols. And so, CIRCLE proceeded with the same mandate as DART but with a new name.
Ingrid Sproxton   -
Visit the Rotary District 7080 website for updates on all topics, including this one: Indigenous Resource Committee - 7080 CIRCLE        
To foster dialogue and relationships between indigenous communities and clubs in Rotary International District 7080.
CIRCLE Mission
To act as a resource group to clubs in Rotary International District 7080 who:
  • Have established meaningful relationship with Indigenous Communities.
  • Wish to enlarge their knowledge about indigenous traditions, culture and protocol; and
  • Seek the opportunity to collaborate with indigenous groups.
 CIRCLE can assist by:
  • Providing you with the schedule for upcoming CIRCLE meetings and information sessions
  • Putting you in touch with Aboriginal committee members at other 7080 clubs
  • Providing you with information about current and planned Aboriginal projects, as well as projects that have been completed
  • Connecting you to Indigenous resource groups
  • Helping you find speakers
  • Presenting at one of your Club meetings
The District 7080 website will indicate the name of the current CIRCLE Committee Chair.
The Truth & Reconciliation Commission's reports provide an extraordinary resource to non-indigenous Canadians to learn about the history of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Canadians. Please join the thousands who have already signed up for the TRC Reading Challenge at
Rotary District 7080 Website
 John Lomax, CIRCLE Committee Chair.