Tansley First Nations Projects
Tansley’s focus on this community is rooted in something that happened in the spring of 2016. Tansley United Church’s Book Club, Tansley Reads, read Up Ghost River, by Edmund Metatawabin. Edmund Metatawabin is a former First Nations Chief of Fort Albany on the James Bay coast in Northern Ontario and a survivor of the residential school system. In Up Ghost River he details his life in a loving family, his experience in the residential school system, the importance of native teachings, the land and much more.
The group was so moved by his story that over $300 was collected in one day which was used to purchase and send multiple shipments of fresh fruit (extremely expensive to purchase locally in fly-in northern communities) to early child care centres in First Nations communities along the James Bay coast and in areas close to the northern Manitoba/Ontario border through a Tansley member’s connections.
Tansley is now supporting the Fort Albany Market / Good Food Boxes which started about 10 years ago as an off-shoot of the Student Nutrition Program. Since the community and the community members were not able to afford to buy healthy foods for their families, they decided to organize produce markets to help with the food insecurity.
Now every two weeks about 3,000 lbs. of fresh fruits & vegetables are available for sale. Any food left at the end of the market is stored in refrigerators in the school and people come in anytime and shop.
The program receives a government subsidy, Nutrition North Canada, of $0.60/ lb. on all healthy food. This means that on 3,000 lb. of healthy food a subsidy of $1,800.00 is applied to, and almost covers, the transportation costs.
Good Food Boxes can also be pre-ordered by families for $50.00 box. This box contains a selection of fruits and veggies. Sometimes cheese, bread or cereal is also included in the food box. 40-50 of these food boxes are ordered every 2 weeks.
Another one of the program’s goals has been to introduce unfamiliar foods to the community, so they often have cut-up pieces of fruit or vegetables available at the markets for people to taste.
The markets are not only able to supply fresh produce to the community as a whole but also to supply the child care, elders program, school nutrition program and many other events organized in the community. These inlcude after school programs, cultural activities etc.
The funds raised today will be sent to the community to support this program.
“Miigwetch” (Thank you!)
At this years Document Shredding event we raised $1,600 to be sent to support this project.
Tansley United Church is very involved in our local community helping vulnerable populations in need. In addition, we are now focusing a bit further afield to a Far North Canadian project, First Nations communities of Ontario’s north.
Tansley’s focus on these communities is rooted in something that happened in the spring 2016. Tansley United Church’s Book Club, Tansley Reads, read Up Ghost River, by Edmund Metatawabin. A survivor of the residential school system Edmund Metatawabin is former First Nations Chief of Fort Albany on the James Bay coast in Northern Ontario. In Up Ghost River he details his life in a loving family, his experience in the residential school system, the importance of native teachings, the land and much more.
The group was so moved by his story that we collected funds to purchase and send several shipments of fresh fruit (extremely expensive to purchase locally in fly-in northern communities) to early child care centres in First Nations communities along the James Bay coast and in areas close to the northern Manitoba/Ontario border through connections of a member of Tansley.
Our next project was to supply snowsuits for these same children as there is often a shortage. Without warm winter clothing the opportunity to play outside during cold weather is limited or eliminated. A snowsuit drive was organized and over 50 snowsuits and close to 50 pairs of flannel pajamas were sent.
Our next project is to support Edmund Metatawabin’s Paquatasimik Project. Youth and elders travel the Albany River so the young people learn about the history of their ancestors. The Albany River is a beautiful river, clean and winding all the way up from Fort Albany to Lake St. Joseph north of Thunder Bay. Sadly, many youth don't get a chance to travel this historic highway very often, if at all. The youth are taken on the land and introduced to the historic aspects of the environment which can have life-changing effects on them. They undertake repairing gravesites in cemeteries along the river.
In June 2107 we held a Document Shredding event to raise funds to support this project. It was a great success and went a long way to funding this initiative.
Over the Summer $4,000 was sent to Fort Albany to support projects there. Here is the report back that we recieved.
We are planning other collaborations in the future so stay tuned.
“Miigwetch” (Thank you!)