Aboriginal Women’s Organization Receives Vote of Confidence Thanks to $99,000 OTF Grant

Fort Erie – The Niagara Chapter-Native Women Inc. (NCNW) gets a helping hand thanks to a $99,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF). Michelle Sault-White, an OTF representative and Fort Erie Mayor Doug Martin were on hand to celebrate the good news and present the group with a plaque. 

Tim Hudak, MPP for Erie-Lincoln, was unable to attend the event and sent his best wishes. “Fort Erie’s identity has been rooted in Aboriginal culture for centuries,” said MPP Hudak. “The dedicated work of the Niagara Chapter of Native Women has helped to ensure those roots continue to grow and stretch into new territory. This grant will help to allow the organization to expand its own services to see those roots extend for future generations.” 

Funding from OTF could not have come at a better time. The three-year grant will help to stabilize the NCNW, by providing resources and skills to strengthen the organization’s ability to offer programs and services to Native women in the Fort Erie area. 

“We are very thankful and appreciative to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for the confidence they have placed in us to stabilize ourselves and re-establish programs we had to cancel due to lack of funds,” said President Susan Maracle. “The grant will enable us to engage in developing an annual Fundraising Campaign, which includes an Annual Public Festive Event on August 11, 2007, to enhance our fee-for- service school-age program and develop new, culture-specific programs for urban Aboriginal women in the area.” 

Niagara Chapter of Native Women was established in 1983 to promote and support the varied interests and needs of urban aboriginal women in the Fort Erie area. Over the years, they have donated nearly $100,000 to various organizations and institutions in the community, and close to $50,000 has been given to the Douglas Memorial Hospital, the Public Library and Leisureplex. In addition, the chapter has awarded more than $30,000 in post-secondary scholarship funds to aboriginal students pursuing higher education. The chapter currently operates a fully licensed after school program called School Outreach and Remedial (SOAR), conducts a weekly ceramics class at the local high school, hosts ongoing traditional bead and leatherwork classes, houses a reference library and provides information, references and advocacy as needed. For information, please contact Wendy Sturgeon at (905) 871-8770 or edncnw@ncnw.net. 

The Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Ministry of Culture, receives funds from the government’s charity casino initiative. The Foundation allocates grants to eligible charitable and not-for-profit organizations in the arts and culture, environment, human and social services and sports and recreation sectors. For more information, please visit www.trilliumfoundation.org. 

For more information, please contact: Wendy Sturgeon, Executive Director, 905.871.8770 edncnw@ncnw.net  

Sue & Michelle OTF 07
L-R Susan Maracle, President NCNW and Michelle Sault-White, OTF Representative