Posted by John Currie, Executive Director, Honouring Indigenous People

Here is the latest Honouring Indigenous People Rotary News and Events, projects, blogs, photos, films, and resources. There are many major initiatives and resources available to you and your Rotary club, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your Club can help.  Our District 7070 Action Committee's Areas of Focus Coordinator is John Currie from the Pickering Rotary Club. John is also the  Executive Director of H I P and Past President of the Rotary Club of Pickering. He can be reached at .   If you have a good news story, please send it to John. Here are some highlights .........

Click here to view their new website. For more news, check the Areas of Focus Action Committees Menu Bar in the District Newsletter under HIP.  This rapidly growing nation-wide movement, HIP,  is a partnership between Indigenous Peoples & Rotarians. The new website contains stories about supporters, just like you and your Club, who are making an impact across Canada by taking action to create lasting change! Here is a link to all of their latest Newsletters. 

News from April 2022:

COVENANT OF NATIONS PARTNERS WITH HIP : Responding to the challenges of today.  Together.

Rotary HIP is excited to announce its support for the Covenant of Nations. The goal of the Sacred Wampum gathering is to revitalize the original strong, respectful relationship between the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and the Anishinaabeg Nation to be better able to respond to challenges to nationhood, the environment, and the future of both nations. "Relationship building is the cornerstones of HIP's mission," says John Currie, Executive Director of HIP. "We are proud to play a supporting role and know this event will make a lasting impact that will be documented as an example for peacebuilding around the world." The Haudenosaunee Confederacy and the Anishinaabeg Nation last met together in 1840. This wampum has not been renewed since that time. For more information, and to support this initiative, visit

HIP continues to be engaged with Rotary clubs, First Nations communities and organizations in Rotary District 7070. HIP is working with Rotary clubs in developing Land Acknowledgements, club speakers, HIP Talks, promoting local Indigenous exhibits in Mississauga and Cobourg and was involved in the Rotary Club of Toronto Eglinton fundraiser in fall 2021.

Some highlights:

  • Y2Y (Youth-to-Youth) Initiatives
    • Two engagements co-ordinated between District 7070 and the Williams Treaty First Nations communities in 2022
    • Virtual teaching on nibi (water) with students on April 28th hosted with a panel of local Elders and Knowledge Keepers
    • Camp Kawartha in-person event on October 7-9, 2022 with 25 Indigenous and 25 non-Indigenous youth. Youth will learn about treaties, Indigenous heritage and culinary experiences with Knowledge Keepers in the Williams Treaty Territories. HIP encourages youth to apply today! Details and application are found on
  • Misko Aki: Convergence of Cultures Digital Exhibition
    • a Muskoka innovation of virtual and in-person exhibitions of native history and culture located at Gravenhurst Wharf.  The Huron-Wendat, Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, and Métis people have inhabited and traversed the Muskoka region (and most of District 7070) for millennia. Community leaders and award winning artistic director Tim Johnson lead this project.   The Centre will be lead Indigenous museology and provide the Muskoka region with a profound expression of reconciliation in action. The innovative approach, contrasting the indigenous and settler histories, is being transformed into a digital presentation to promote reconciliation by offering these historical teachings to a broader audience.  HIP is organizing a District 7070 Tuesday Talk, on May 10, to promote the Misko Aki project.
  • Literacy
    • Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program is being renewed. The program will continue in the Scarborough and downtown Toronto area. District 7070 HIP working group will partner with local Indigenous schools and Elders.
  • Welcome Boxes
    • Welcome Boxes will be sent to fly-in First Nations students living with host families and attending Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School (DFC) in Thunder Bay in Sept. 2022. The boxes are filled with school supplies, clothing and personal products. Other supply shipments will be sent to remote communities in 2022.

What is your club doing to Honour Indigenous People?

Please email Julie Dunaiskis ( with a brief summary so we can post on the HIP website and provide an update in upcoming newsletters. This will help other clubs and provide a sense of how we are involved. We do not know the precise number of clubs across Canada who are involved in educational and awareness activities, however, our guess is we are close to 175 and growing. Some clubs were involved well before HIP, many on their own and some because of our encouragement and leadership.


Julie Dunaiskis

Administrator, HIP (Honouring Indigenous Peoples)

Follow Chris’s journey on Facebook @70YearVolunteer & Twitter @70YearVolunteer

Hello, All,  She Kon

Indigenous Led Olympic Bid
Olympic followers and many others have likely heard that four First Nations communities from BC have announced they will be seeking the feasibility of a First Nations-led bid to host the 2030 Olympics. The four First Nations are the Lil̓wat7úl (Líl̓wat), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh). They are being supported by the mayors of Whistler and Vancouver plus the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee.

While approval is a long way away, the fact this is even being considered is a positive happening. Faith in the First Nations by the mayors and Olympic associations says a lot about their perception of the First Nations.

It should be noted, most of BC has never been ceded to the provincial or federal government. Much of the strength of the bid is because of the success of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and because much of the infrastructure is already in place. This includes a better highway between Vancouver and Whistler.

Spokespeople point out an Indigenous-led bid will show the Indigenous Peoples are not invisible, make people around the world aware of who they are and where they come from and what Indigenous Peoples are capable of doing.

In the words of Professor Emeritus and former Olympian, Bruce Kidd, "a bid has great potential for affirming Indigenous rights and increasing environmental sensitivities". It will also do much for the self-esteem of First Nations Peoples across the country. If I was an Indigenous person, it would make me feel proud that my peoples are making this bid. In fact, it makes me proud as a non-Indigenous person.
To me, this bid fits into the same category as recent Indigenous-led ventures such as possible significant ownership of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, the Mikmaq purchase of Clearwater Seafoods, major Indigenous real estate ventures in Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal and a recently announced logging agreement in BC in which a number of Indigenous communities signed an agreement with the government and a forestry company to curtail old growth logging. This agreement could result in revenue sharing agreements and possible part ownership of forestry companies by Indigenous communities.

An Olympic bid will also help to dispel the stereotypical views held by many non-Indigenous peoples. What do you think?


Chris Snyder
Co-Chair, HIP (Honouring Indigenous Peoples)

Rotary District 7070 HIP Co-ordinator:

We are pleased to let everyone know that Bill Empey, Rotary Club of Toronto, is our Rotary District 7070 HIP Co-ordinator. If you are looking for a speaker or for a project, Bill is definitely the person to contact. He can be reached at .


Request a Speaker - Would your club like to have a Speaker at an upcoming meeting?


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Recommended Education: 

Indigenous Canada is a 12-lesson Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada. From an Indigenous perspective, this course explores key issues facing Indigenous peoples today from a historical and critical perspective highlighting national and local Indigenous-settler relations. Topics for the 12 lessons include the fur trade and other exchange relationships, land claims and environmental impacts, legal systems and rights, political conflicts and alliances, Indigenous political activism, and contemporary Indigenous life, art and its expressions. 

Click here to learn about Indigenous Canada


Events and Activities: 

Click here to see the full list of events and activities.


About HIP: Our Story, Our Logo, Our Mission and Vision: click here

LEARN & SHARE:  Click here

VIDEOS: Watch an assorted list of education, cultural & event videos

BOOKS: HIP has compiled a list of recommended reading

PODCASTS: Listen to leaders sharing thought-provoking conversations

TERMINOLOGY: Learn appropriate terms that show respect.

HIP BLOG: Sharing information and news from people just like you.



HIP continues to research, listen and learn. By visiting many Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, we seek to understand shared purpose and values. We thank the Knowledge Keepers, Rotarians, Elders, Teachers, Leaders, Allies, Stakeholders, Partners, Sponsors and other subject matter experts who have supported our journey and provided wisdom and guidance.  HIP is happy to share our knowledge and resources to inspire, engage, educate and enable Indigenous and non-Indigenous relationship building.  If you do not find what you are looking for, please contact us

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