Letter from the Executive Director
Submitted by Audrey Gilbeau
I hope you have all been enjoying the great summer weather. This is an important time as we all transition to the “new normal.”

My message to our member First Nation’s leadership, band management, front line workers and citizens is that Nokiiwin continues to be a part of your team and available to assist. During these past months, we have continued to provide services and to remain responsive to your needs and priorities. Our Nokiiwin Team have continued to work collaboratively with your community using various platforms including Zoom, Facetime, telephone and email etc. What I have come to realize, is that business must continue and that the need for provision of services to members is paramount. In order to deliver on our mandate, Nokiiwin’s Board of Directors have remained involved and responsive in this unprecedented environment.  With your continued support, and the hard work of our Board of Directors and team, we are committed to delivering on some very important initiatives as per the direction you have provided. Some great news recently:
  • FedNor Funding to support Comprehensive Community Planning for the next three years
  • Ministry of Labour, Skills and Training Funding to support continuation of G’minoomaadozimin Health and Safety
  • Ministry of Attorney General funding to recruit a Social Worker to support victims of crime
  • ISC funding to continue to provide advocacy services for people with disabilities
  • ISC funding for two years for a Jordan’s Principle Service Coordinator
  • ISC funding to recruit both Education Navigator and Education Support Assistant
New and developing initiatives include:
  • Surplus Food Infrastructure Redistribution Program
  • Anti-Human Trafficking Community Supports Fund
  • Virtual Training / Meeting Strategy
Communication has been integral during this time with community and government / funding representatives. I have maintained ongoing communication with Band Administrators and other non-profit organization's management as we all navigate the development of return to office procedures.  

At this time, we do not have a fixed date that will activate our return to office plan. I think we all recognize that this is an ongoing developmental process that is subject to change as the situation improves or evolves.
This COVID-19 time has really prompted me to adopt an attitude of gratitude as so many have lost so much. I am grateful for the work that we do and the positive impact that we make together.
I wish all of you all good health and wellbeing.
Web-In-Action: COVID and Workplace Safety
Submitted by Jeff Robert, Workplace Harassment Prevention Advisor
The August Mamowenchige Web-In-Action will focus on discussing how the physical environment impacts violence and harassment at work, with additional attention given to working from home during COVID-19. 
This event will include a presentation from Murray Ritchie, an international health and safety leader. Murray Ritchie has over 30 years' experience in Occupational Health and Safety supported by a Master of Science degree in Occupational Safety and Health from The University of Greenwich. Following a twenty-year career working internationally as a health and safety consultant, he turned his attention to researching the challenges of building internal capacities for managing and leading safe work as it applies to multi-cultural workforces in developing countries. Based on the preliminary findings of this latest research he joined forces with a group of indigenous scholars, leaders, entrepreneurs and safety professionals to establish the First Nations Safety Council of BC. 

To register, please email Jeff at
Indian Day School Class Action Information
during Covid-19
Submitted by Nokiiwin Justice Team

The Indian Day School Application is a 15-page form that may also require additional documentation. The application form needs to be completed in order to make a claim for compensation through the Indian Day School Class Action. Completing this application can be traumatic. If you need to talk to a counsellor, you can call the Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 or visit

During Ontario’s State of Emergency, Covid-19 and Pandemic
Nokiiwin Tribal Council staff can only assist with filling out applications. We cannot write the application for you. If you have access to a camera phone, internet and scanner we can help with signing some portions of the applications.

  • Nokiiwin Tribal Council is here to assist in filling out the applications, and to explain the process and procedures. 
  • Nokiiwin Tribal Council is currently not Commissioning any documents until further notice.
  • Nokiiwin Tribal Council cannot change the process of the Federal Indian Day School Class Action Application
  • Always keep a copy of your application for yourself

Gowling Law Firm has confirmed that the deadline to submit your application is July 13, 2022. They will not be pushing the date any further even with the State of Emergency. 

School Reopening
Submitted by Scott Baker, Education Manager
Nokiiwin Tribal Council’s Education Department is assisting our communities with the issues around school reopening.

For those communities with on-reserve schools, Nokiiwin commissioned a report on reopening schools which was presented as part of our June education gathering. We continue to be available to provide those schools with advice and support. We have also been making sure that all communities are receiving the support they need when dealing with the Provincial School Boards and their reopening plans. We are making sure that our communities’ concerns are represented, and that the school boards involve First Nations as they develop their plans.
It is a privilege to be able to support the well-being and development of the children in our communities. Nokiiwin’s Education Department looks forward to a busy summer and fall doing our part.
Nokiiwin Economic Development Update
Submitted by Tara Ingram,
Economic Development & Community Development Advisor
The Entrepeneur Centre is now accepting applications for the third round of the Starter Company Plus program! The application deadline is September 2, 2020. 

Starter Company Plus is a training program for people who want to start a new business, purchase an existing business, or expand their existing business. Program participants have the option to apply for a grant of up to $5,000 and professional mentorship upon the completion of a business plan.
Eligibility requirements

You are eligible for Starter Company Plus if you are:
  • Running a new business (launched within the last year)
  • Proposing a new business
  • Purchasing an existing business
  • Expanding an existing business
  • Not currently a full-time student
  • An Ontario resident and Canadian citizen (or permanent resident)
  • Prepared to commit to your business full-time by dedicating full-time hours (at least 35 hours per week) to running the business
  • Prepared to complete a business plan
  • Prepared to work with a mentor by participating in monthly meetings for a period of three months following the program
  • Ready for investment!
People who are currently enrolled in another provincial entrepreneurial program (such as Social Enterprise Northern Ontario (SENO) or Futurpreneur) are not eligible for Starter Company Plus.

Your business is eligible as long as it:
  • Is a sole proprietorship, corporation, or a partnership where a partnership agreement is in place.
  • Is an independent business venture
  • Fits the Canada Revenue Agency definition of being self-employed
  • Operates at arm's length from family business ventures
  • Operates in Ontario
  • Operates full-time as defined in the business plan
  • Maintains its own books and records
  • Maintains a separate business bank account
  • Follows government rules and regulations for operating a business
  • Is commercially insured

Businesses not eligible include:

  • Franchises
  • Previous grant recipients
  • Distributorships
  • Business ventures that are continuations of existing commercial endeavours
  • Commissioned sales
  • Not-for-profits or charities
  • Multi-level marketing ventures
  • Single events such as musical ventures bands, DJs, or dance/party event organizations
  • Businesses that are strictly pay-per-click
  • 1-900 businesses
For assistance on filling out the application and assistance with their business plan please call Tara Ingram at Nokiiwin Tribal Council at (807)-474-6268 or via email at
Fingers Crossed for RFDA Partnership
Submitted by Sheriden Barnett, Comprehensive Community Planning Advisor
The Economic Development, Disabilities, and Waste Management teams at Nokiiwin have collaborated to apply for funding from the Surplus Food Redistribution available through the government of Ontario. The funding would allow for infrastructure so that communities can store and preserve surplus foods, and a potential partnership with the local Regional Food Redistribution Association would provide produce, meats, and other foodstuffs to support the program.

If any communities or organizations have questions about what how this potential partnership and funding can be accessed, please contact Sheriden Barnett at
New Growth at Nokiiwin!
Submitted by Kelly Banning, Finance Office
The Thunder Bay Correctional Centre started planting sacred medicines this spring and generously donated a large number of each to Nokiiwin Tribal Council. Six raised beds were built by the Correctional Centre as well, and four were filled with well composted earth from TD Owens.

Kelly Banning, Nokiiwin Finance Officer,  has already planted herbs and tomatoes in two of the raised beds and they’ve been growing beautifully. With that measure of success, Kelly was nominated to pick up and plant the sacred medicines. She and Janis Cox planted four raised beds, one each for sweetgrass, tobacco,  and sage, and one shared with these three as well as cedar. 

There were many still to plant after the beds had been filled, so Nokiiwin marked another 10 x 20 garden bed out on the lawn. They are now planted, and Nokiiwin looks forward to hosting a ceremony around the sacred medicines in the near future. Stay tuned!

More detailed information about Sacred Medicine and gardening can be found here:
Access to Justice Update
Submitted by Jennifer J. McKenzie
During the current state of emergency in Ontario, Restorative Justice continues to provide support by:
  • Assisting members by telephone to fill out Indian Day School Applications.  The Access to Justice team hosts a nonthly multi organization discussion on how to improve support to applicants.
  • Working with the Nokiiwin Team to assist members with Covid-19 related support.
  • Seeking funding and support for Access to Justice Services provision.
  • Assist our Debwewin Law Student, Brittany Bouchard, in the provision of public legal education on Wills and Estates presentations.  This zoom presentation will take place this month of August.
Our Justice Advisory Steering Committee continues to meet on a monthly basis.  The Justice Advisory Steering Committee comprises of:
  • Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek, Yvette Metansinine, Councillor
  • Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek, Lillian Calder, Councillor
  • Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek, Maryann Mickelson, Councillor
  • Fort William First Nation, Renee Pervais, Restorative Justice Coordinator
  • Netmizaaggamig Nishnaabeg, Deputy Chief Louis Kwissiwa and alternate Rosalind Andrews, Health Manager
We are carefully adhering to Provincial Guidelines regarding Covid-19. The committee is forging ahead with planning for the annual Unity Gathering of elders, youth, and community members to take place in Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek for summer of 2021, dependent upon the Guidelines.  

If you have any questions about Restorative Justice, please feel free to contact Jennifer at 807-252-8284, or
We are Living Well - for Another Year!
Submitted by Tiffany Rogowski, Health, Safety, and Wellness Advisor
The G’minoomaadozimin department is excited to announce many great things are happening! A new proposal to our funder,  the Ministry of Labour, Skill Development and Training may allow the utilization of surplus funds to develop and implement a Virtual Training Strategy to support Nokiiwin communities during these unforeseen times of COVID-19 and living in this new world. The delivery of many planned events and training workshops due to the pandemic was unfortunate, but it was a new opportunity to problem solve. The G’minoomaadozimin team put together six virtual training kits supplied with ipads, keyboards, clickers, green screen kits, headsets, and other supporting equipment to run an effective training session or meeting in community. Each one of the member communities will be receiving one of these kits, along with Nokiiwin to ensure the health and safety of all members by having these resources available to continue regular workplace operations while ensuring safety and physical distancing.   

The honourable Minister Greg Rickford joined Nokiiwin on behalf of Minister Monte McNaughton on August 11, 2020 to announce the great news of the continuation of funding from the Ministry of Labour, Skill Development and Training for the G’minoomaadozimin- “We Are Living Well” Initiative for another year funding $280, 500 to assist in addressing mental health and workplace health and safety in addition to expanding supports for vulnerable workers.
Infrastructure Development & Housing
Submitted by Roger Rozon, Advisory Services Manager

Our communities have busy developing their lands and have several projects on the go. Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek has commenced with their community’s electrification project. Electrical infrastructure funding has been provided to the First Nation by Indigenous Services Canada. This is a giant step forward in developing the Partridge Lake reserve. Electrification will allow the community to start planning for homes, public buildings and commercial developments.

In most of our First Nation communities there is a shortage of houses. It is also known that members that presently live off reserve would like to return to their reserve lands. New housing builds and renovation projects are constantly on the go. This year there are numerous new homes being built and many older units are being repaired and renovated.

Many of our communities’ infrastructure assets are old and reaching the end of their life cycle. Upgrades and repairs are required to ensure that these facilities will continue to provide the services to the communities. Proper planning will ensure that the communities’ infrastructure will continue to meet the community members’ needs.
Nokiiwin’s Technical Department is available to assist with community infrastructure and housing development.
Energy Savings & Upgrades for the Home
Submitted by Tara Ingram,
Economic Development & Community Planning Advisor
You may be eligible for Energy Costs Savings or upgrades to your home.  See the full details of eligible below:
If you require assistance on applying, Nokiiwin is available to help.  Please contact Tara Ingram at (807) 474-6268 or via email at

Energy Tip! 
Unplug Small appliances when not in use.

Make unplugging small appliances, like your microwave or coffeemaker, part of your clean-up routine. This will help you avoid phantom power driving up your energy use.
Do you need PPE?
Submitted by Jamie Scrimger, Emergency Management Coordinator
Since joining the Nokiiwn team as the Emergency Management Coordinator, Jamie Scrimger has been focused on COVID-19 response. After getting in touch with VIO volunteers, Nokiiwin Tribal Council was able to receive a large donation of hand sanitizer and face masks. The PPE was divided between each of Nokiiwin’s five communities. If any community organization would like assistance in acquiring PPE, or sourcing suppliers, please contact Jamie at

As we continue to deal with the new reality of COVID-19, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit provides ongoing statistics available at They are also a  great resource for COVID-19 related safety procedures. To the right is a snapshot of Covid-19 case data as of August 11th.
Socially Distant Community Clean-Up for FWFN
Submitted by Erica Tropea, Waste Management Advisor
Fort William First Nation and the Waste Management Department at Nokiiwin would like to extend a big Thank You to everyone who participated in the 2020 FWFN Community Cleanup to make it a successful event on August 6, 2020. Over 60 volunteers from the community of FWFN, Thunder Bay District Health Unit, Dilico Anishinabek Family Care, Anishinabek Police Service, Indigenous Services Canada, the FWFN Band Office, and Nokiiwin Tribal Council helped out to collect garbage from around the community. We filled over 70 bags of garbage to make the community a cleaner and greener place! Nokiiwin was happy to provide prizes for the event and a socially-distant BBQ where volunteers received a lunch to-go. Thank you to everyone for maintaining social distancing throughout the event, remaining in their bubble, and wearing PPE. A reminder to volunteers to check the FWFN Community Facebook page for a list of prize winners. 
Jordan's Principle at Work in the Community
Submitted by Brian Dunn, Disabilities Coordinator
Our Disabilities Initiative has grown! Over the past few years, we have received an increasing number of requests for help for children and families through Jordan’s Principle, and until now, our Disabilities Coordinator has helped families and communities to navigate the application process.

In the past year alone, Nokiiwin has helped bring in over $700,000 in group funding for respite care and another $50,000 in individual applications for families in our community members. We have also recently been approved $1.9 million dollars for another two years of respite funding for our member communities.

As this is a growing need in all of our member communities, we have created a new position to handle all Jordan’s Principle related requests. Nokiiwin’s new Jordan’s Principle Service Coordinator will help families to submit individual applications, work with communities to submit enhanced and group funding proposals as well as administer the respite and access funding for all of our member communities. Our Disabilities Coordinator, Brian Dunn, has stepped into this new role. You can reach Brian with any inquiries at

We are also pleased to announce that another year of funding was approved for the Disabilities Initiative. We are currently considering applications for the Disabilities Coordinator position for 2020-2021. Our focus this year is on finding services and solutions for intergenerational needs in our member communities from children and youth to adults and elders.
Copyright © 2019 Nokiiwin Tribal Council, All rights reserved.

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Nokiiwin Tribal Council
384 Fort William Road
Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 2Z3

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