About Anishnabeg Outreach - AO CAN

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About Anishnabeg Outreach

Our Story

Introduction
Anishnabeg Outreach is an incorporated non-profit organization guided by a volunteer Board of Directors.  We work primarily with the non-profit sector and are guided by a clear mission and set of values. We provide Aboriginal people with access to culturally appropriate services and strive to support individuals with direction and assistance to overcome barriers. We encourage individual exploration of avenues that will lead to self-sufficiency and success.

The Dream
A centralized space for Indigenous people to grow, learn and to be a beacon for future generations. A place where we involve the entire person – including their families and their connections. Before moving on to our dreams, it is important to remember and reflect on our roots and our growth.

Past
As I muse on the past few years, it is with extreme pleasure and a slight hint of giddiness at the progress that has been made. When I first joined AO’s board, I listened and tried to hear what was happening and to see how the board was operating. I began to ask questions and seek out clarity. As other like minded board members began to share their views and their direction, I knew we were on to something. We wanted to make significant change in the operations of Anishnabeg Outreach as well as set AO on a new path that would set us apart. There is a great deal of personal and professional history attached to the growh of Anishnabeg Outreach within the KW community. As a board, we wanted to optimize that position and to take AO into a new direction. A direction that would solidify AO as a leader in Indigenous run organizations – through operations, strategic direction and an overall positive image.
It took some doing because everyone has busy lives and as a volunteer board, the work we do is outside of regular working hours. Many people have and continue to give up their personal time to move this organization forward. Through an incredible gift which was the donation of a house, and the funds from the sale of the house, we were now in a position to take our organiztion in a different direction. Instead of using the funds for operations of an organization that had no growth potential, we set out to hire an Executive Director who has business experience and vision to guide AO in the direction the board wanted it to go. Within the same time frame, we had a significant change in board membership, which distracted us from pursuing the hiring of an ED. A year passed and we finally had a job description that met our future needs as well as our future direction. Knowing that the house funds were not sustainable, part of the hiring requirements was for the ED to continue to seek out funds for their salary while growing Anishnabeg Outreach; And boy did we grow!

Here is a quick look at how AO has grown and continues to grow exponentially.

1996 - Established in Kitchener ON as a Heavy Equipment Training Site
1998 - Guelph site opened funded by Trillium Foundation
1999 - Sponsored by NPAAMB
2000 - Chosen as O-GI Pilot Project Site
2001 - Incorporated as a not for profit agency
2005 - Designated Charitable Organization
2005 – 2017 Established a reputation as an employment service delivery organization for urban Indigenous as well as resource for non-Indigenous organizations to obtain contacts.
March 2017 - Developed a strategic partnership with NPAAMB
November 2017 - Hired a new Executive Director – Stephen Jackson
December 2017 -Added Shane Durham, CPA CA to our Board of Directors as our Treasurer
January 2018 - Adopted a 3 year strategic plan
February 2018 - AO began its search for a new headquarters
March 2018
  • With our first 3 year plan was mostly complete we revamped, enhanced and developed our 10 year strategic plan. It has been developed to include an expanded mandate that provides for the creation and development of an Urban Indigenous Hub engaging with wrap around services and innovative economic development, training and employment plans for reserve-based Indigenous communities
  • Bold new for profit initiative and partnership with AO Home Services and its new website (aohome.ca) launched
  • New logos and rebranded for a bright future and new direction
  • Awarded funding from Region of Waterloo for the establishment of an Indigenous Early Years Centre
May 2018
  • AO hired three new employment counsellors, Shannyn Brower and Heather Majaury in our Kitchener location and welcomed back John Small to our Guelph Location
June 2018 - Launch of our new aocan.org website which describes our new service offerings
August 2018 – Partnership with St. Phillips Lutheran Church and Eastern Synod
September 2018
  • Katherine Bergman, President of St Jerome’s University joins AO Board
  • Transformation of our Employment Ontario tools and processes which includes automating and updating our employment services to be a state of the art one stop shop with easily accessible resources on line to help with resume development, interviewing skills and powerful job search and preparation (applicant tracking system)
  • Purchase of new location for the beginning of a hub of wrap around services that currently include an Early Years Drop In Center (aka. EarlyON) as well as house our current employment and training services for AO and our partner NPAAMB.
Present
We are restructuring to place AO as a forerunner in Indigenous operations that revolve around sensitive spirit building and positive beneficial relationships with all. We are restructuring to ensure more efficiency and transparency as well as a solid foundation for our growth. We are setting a bold and aggressive strategic direction that involves innovative practices and a positive, proactive approach with partners and with ourselves (spirit building). We are restructuring to transform AO into an incredible organization that will make the local community proud and perhaps be a leader or beacon for others. AO is changing and even though change is difficult, it can also be an incredible opportunity. It’s like the seasons. We might not like past seasons or the weather of those seasons, but change is good, is necessary and is inevitable.

With Stephen, as the new CEO, his bold approaches to the board’s vision has launched us into a new era. Since his arrival in November, 2017, we reduced loss of funds, created book keeping processes that are transparent and began to re-market and reposition AO. We are the lead agency for a new Indigenous EarlyON center as well as establishing the foundational element to become a hub of wrap around services. From an advertising perspective, our vision is shifted and is evident with a new logo, revised website and we are utilizing social media for more effective communication and promotions. Small examples of this work includes not only the website, but the business cards that will be made available for all board members. A small touch that goes a long way when networking.
AO is branching out to engage other organizations – both Indigenous and non-Indigenous to utilize our history and reputation to begin to offer more resources and services to our First Nations, Metis and Inuit population. The idea of a hub, or centralized service provider, is taking root by having the Early Years Drop In centre as an anchor to draw in other programs and services that enable AO to provide the necessary wrap around services for their clients and families. This is all while we currently operate as an Employment Ontario agency. As the operations takes shape, our governance and strategic direction also align.

We have muddled through various challenges as many of our board members are ‘rookie’ board members and we learned many valuable lessons along the way. We navigated difficult waters of accusations, gossip and lateral violence as we worked in confidence repairing some of the imminent issues of AO. We improved our own operations as a board and with each meeting are putting together more details, more aggressive plans and more communication amongst us all. In order for AO to grow, we as a board also need to grow and as newbies in this business of sitting as board members, we had some bumps. But in the end, each board member has a shared vision for AO and as I like to say, “ A great heart and a common purpose to make sustainable and culturally appropriate changes.” The next year is exciting as we refine and message, our vision, and our strategic direction, to meet the needs of our current generation but also ensure that AO is a leader in the community for future generations.

As we begin on the journey of diversifying AO and setting AO as a leader in operations, direction and community partnerships, I am cautiously optimistic. I am cautious as there is a metaphor within the Indigenous community of ‘crabs in the bucket.’ The story goes, “Crabs in one bucket like to keep their crabs in their bucket, and if anyone tries to leave the bucket, they get pulled back in.” However, I like to think that the AO bucket is supportive and we try to encourage our crabs to move onward and thus encourage other crabs to leave their buckets. We rely on one another, support each other and reach out to provide a hand up out of the bucket. It is time for our Indigenous ways of doing, of practising our cultures, and there is an ongoing need to recall, and genuinely use, our values of honesty, truth, respect, courage and have those values guide our decisions in a true sense … not simply as words … but as our way of moving AO toward what it was originally intended to be.

Our Future
We are Indigenous, we are wholistic, we are motivated … and that is what it will take to lead the next generation to the 8th Fire.

The 8th fire prophecy is described in more detail in these videos.


The 8th Fire is our future generation. They will take the spark and spirit of our ancestors, nurture it, protect it and then have it become a magnificent source of warmth, of gathering and of light for all generations and for all people.

AO is forging a new path of growth and partnerships. We aim to position ourselves as a beacon for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in the Waterloo Region. The privilege and distinction of being the regions first Indigenous EarlyON is the ignition to implement significant change for our Indigenous people in the region. With the opportunity to begin to support our earlier and youngest as well as their families and caregivers, we can begin to work to change future generations and to move forward in a healthy way. In a culturally relevant and respectful way, we can begin to have a foundation for our families and to enable them to create a new path for themselves.
As part of this hub and the new location, we now have the capacity for future programming to meet the varied needs of our families. These preliminary discussions with other agencies and organizations are surrounded and grounded in innovative practices that bring in experts in many disciplines associated with general wellness, Elders and Knowledge Keepers to deliver core programming with community driven initiatives.

Tammy Webster,
AO Board President


Our Philosophy
Spirit building, partnership and proactive support.

Anishnabeg Outreach Vision Statement
Build processes and tools that will position current and future FNMI generations as prosperous leaders and strategic partners in Canada’s future.

Anishnabeg Outreach Mission Statement
To help First Nations, Metis and Inuit by creating a sustainable and comprehensive suite of centralized wrap around services for urban FNMI and to establish AO as an innovative hub/heart of best practices for economic development, training and employment on reserves.

Anishnabeg Outreach Mandate
  • Create for profit companies
  • Transformation of Employment Organization
  • Setup Indigenous early years drop-in centre
  • Provide an Indigenous hub of services
  • Establish Indigenous partnerships
  • Establish Charity events
  • Indigenous Scholarships
  • Shop indigenous
  • Develop on-reserve jobs
  • Develop transitional urban housing


Our History

New in 2019 - Planned launch of  Talent Management Consulting Services to provide best practice programs for local organizations who partner with our Employment Agency.

January 2019:
AO will be offering an online Learning Management System that will provide courses and tools to support our clients with job searches, resume development, interview skills, to help them with their employment goals. Online supports will  address gaps in  skills and knowledge that create barriers to success.

October/November 2018:
AO renovates AO building - The new home of Anishnabeg Outreach, AO Early Years Family Centre, Employment Centre and Hub Space

September/October 2018 - AO buy's a building to house Employment Centre, AO Early Years Family Centre and Hub.

September 2018 - AO adds a brand new state of the art Applicant Tracking System to support job seekers more efficiently & effectively

July 2018 - Scheduled to launch AO Charity Network to raise funds for Indigenous programming and scholarships
June 2018 - Launch of our new aocan.org website which describes our new service offerings
May 2018 - Relaunched an enhanced Indigenous consulting service to enable organizations to better interact with Indigenous people and culture
May 2018 - AO hired three new employment counsellors, Shannon Brower and Heather Majaury in their Kitchener location and welcomed back John Small to their Guelph Location
March 2018 - Bold new for profit initiative and partnership with AO Home Services and its new website (aohome.ca) launched
March 2018 - Established a fresh look with new logos and rebranded for a bright future and new direction
March 2018 - Awarded funding from Region of Waterloo for the establishment of an Indigenous Early Years Centre

August 2018 - AO created a strategic alliance with Eastern Synod of the Lutheran Church
August 2018 - AO purchases building 236 Woodhaven Rd.
January 2018 - Adopted a 5 year strategic plan
February 2018 - AO began its search for a new headquarters
March 2018 - First 5 year plan was mostly complete. Revamped and enhanced 10 year strategic plan was developed to include an expanded mandate that provides for the creation and development of an Urban Indigenous Hub engaging with wrap around services and innovative economic development, training and employment plans for reserve-based Indigenous communities

December 2017 -Added Shane Durham, CPA CA to our Board of Directors to improve our financial oversight. He is now serving as our Treasurer
November 2017 - Hired a new Executive Director – Stephen Jackson who has taken innovative steps toward transforming our Mission and Mandate reflecting new directions and improving services  
March 2017 - Developed a strategic partnership with NPAAMB

2005 – 2017 Established a reputation as an employment service delivery organization for urban Indigenous as well as resource for non-Indigenous organizations to obtain contacts

2005 - Designated Charitable Organization
2001 - Incorporated as a not for profit agency
2000 - Chosen as O-GI Pilot Project Site

1999 - Sponsored by NPAAMB
1998 - Guelph site opened funded by Trillium Foundation
1996 - Established in Kitchener ON. as a Heavy Equipment Training Site

Board of Directors


Tammy Webster

PRESIDENT



Michael Seymour

VICE- PRESIDENT



Luane Roberts

Secretary



Shane Durham

Treasurer



Roxane Shawana

Board Member



Katherine Bergman

Board Member


EMPLOYMENT SUPERVISOR
   Carmen Taylor    
Kitchener

Office: 519-763-5292

Employment Counsellor
   John Small    
Guelph

Phone: 519-763-5292

Employment Counsellor
   Shanyn Brower   
Kitchener

Email: shanyn@aocan.org
Phone: 519-742-0300

Employment Counsellor
   Heather Majaury   
Kitchener

Email: heather@aocan.org
Phone: 519-742-0300


OUR TEAM CONTINUES TO GROW
EarlyOn Facilitator
Child & Family Centre
(Temp)
   COMING SOON    
Location TBA

Phone: TBA
EarlyOn Facilitator
Child & Family Centre
(Part-Time)
   Adaya Lindley    
Kitchener

EarlyOn Facilitator
Child & Family Centre
(Full-Time)
   COMING SOON    
Location TBA

Phone: TBA
SUPERVISOR, CHILD & FAMILY CENTRE
   ELLIE MURPHY    
Kitchener

Office: 519-208-5333

C.E.O.
   Stephen Jackson    
Kitchener

Direct: (226) 972-1900



LOCATIONS
We are proud to provide services in multiple locations in Ontario:

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Guelph

11A  Suffolk Street East
Guelph, ON - N1H 2H7

Standard Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday
8:30 AM to 4:30 PM


Kitchener

151 Frederick Street East
Kitchener, ON - N2H 2M2

Standard Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday
8:00 AM to 4:00 PM

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