Donating to Anishnabeg Outreach means
you fuel our mission of providing a multitude of services for Indigenous peoples locally and nationally.
Below you will find information on many of the different programs we offer at Anishnabeg Outreach. Through the incredible donation of a house, and the funds from the sale of the house, we were able to take our organization in a new direction and begin the building of our centre for healing. Your donations make a difference. For example, a local church collected funds and chose to donate to AO. We were able to double the value of the donation by purchasing a washer and dryer at a Black Friday sale. Now families can donate their children’s outgrown clothing that we can wash, fold, sort and distribute to other families in the community. Oftentimes families are confronted with choosing food over clothing and the washer and dryer meant that children could have both food and clothing.
The launch of many of these programs would not have been possible without the support of the community around us. What all of the programs we offer at AO have in common is that fact that they are centred around the principle of healing. Healing is about moving forward, finding new futures, creating possibilities, alliances, partnerships and building a path forward. If you are healed the world is wide open for you. To learn more about the programs we offer and how your donation can help further their development continue reading below.
To make an online donation click the ‘donate’ button which will take you to CanadaHelps.org. Canada Helps is a online donations database that ensures safe and secure online donations. By donating through Canada Helps you can be assured that your donation will safely make it to one of the programs below.
April 2020, we began our Spirit Bundle program by converting our space, which was closed to prevent the spread of COVID- 19, into a warehouse. With some funding to help launch the program, we reached out to many organizations, donors, funders and communities of faith to request a variety of donations. With their support, we then launched our program to the Indigenous community groups and partners to spread the word. This program is serving a need we expect existed long before the beginning of the pandemic. With participant numbers rising weekly, we now serve over 100 Indigenous families every week by providing fresh produce, frozen meat, pantry food, cleaning supplies, hygiene items, clothing, masks, bicycles and furniture. In the first 6 months of the program we delivered more than 50,000 pounds of supplies to families in need worth more than $150,000. With food insecurity representing itself as an ongoing issue within the region we need continuous community support in order to continue developing and funding this program. We receive multiple emails a week expressing how helpful and essential this program is from members of the community:
“Thank you so very much for all your amazing help and support throughout this hard time its greatly appreciated”
“Thank you so much! You have helped my family immensely. <3. I don’t know what we would have done at one point”
“We received our spirit bundle of food this morning and I want to thank you from my heart. We really appreciate the help”
“I hope you all know what a difference you guys are making in ppls lives. Thank you so much”
It is estimated that 30% of our national prison population consists of Indigenous peoples. As part of our ongoing desire to support Indigenous women in prisons in our region, we are building day release programs that enable women to learn valuable skills to foster rehabilitation. One of the programs we are building is a thrifting program that can teach individuals how to upcycle and repurpose thrifted clothing items for themselves and their families. We are seeking funding for sewing machines in addition to materials and resources to continuously fund and run the program.
At Anishnabeg Outreach, we believe that the path to reconciliation is through healing. As part of our centre for healing, we planned to build a sweat lodge on the back of our property. However, as we were building it, the Spirit moved the Elder to create a healing lodge instead. Healing lodges enable spiritual healing that is often combined with traditional plant-based medicines to heal physical or spiritual ailments. Sweat lodges are used in a variety of different ceremonies to promote healing and cleansing. Sweats are a spiritual and cultural experience that vary in use. In connection with elders, we use our healing lodge for men and women circles in addition to incorporating programs and circles for women in prisons in our region. Building and having access to a healing lodge on property is another step forward in building programming at our healing centre. This is also an opportunity to provide ceremonial space for the Indigenous living in our region and returning land back to earlier uses. However, funding continues to be required in order to compensate our Elder in the form of an Honorarium for his time and travel in facilitating our healing lodge. He comes from 9 hours away in order to help the Indigenous people living in the region.
We have expanded our focus on education with the new development of our national Indigenous Mentorship Program that we have built a partnership with Communitech and multiple universities across the country. This coding-based education program provides a hand-up for Indigenous peoples (both urban and remote) by walking them through a coding program that will set them up with the basic skills to be employable in the field. Not only is the growth of this program essential in bridging the education gap that is responsible for a 500 percent higher dropout rate for Indigenous youth as compared to their non-Indigenous peers, but it creates a talent pool for companies like Communitech and diversifies ideas and work being done in the tech industry. Graduates of the mentoring program will be able to develop artificial intelligence programs or mobile applications.
Access to education is essential for individual success. We see a dire need to provide funding and scholarships for Indigenous youth looking to pursue secondary education. In addition to our mentorship program there is an essential need to build a scholarship program for Indigenous students.
Reusable Diaper Program
Over 1 billion mature trees are cut down each year to produce disposable diapers. Additionally, it takes 500 years for a disposable diaper to decompose which means that your childhood diapers are still hanging around somewhere! Reusable diapers are not only essential from an environmental standpoint, but they are also cost effective. In partnership with Thirdspace we are building a reusable diaper program to offer full sets of reusable diapers to families in the community. They have committed to providing 200 handmade diapers 2020. A $50 donation will provide a set of quality cloth diapers for a child/ family.