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June 2020

May 2020

New Update on Summer Camps 2020

Hello, Campers and Caregivers!

I am sure you are all anxiously awaiting a new update on Camps. We have received news from the Province that has directed us how we are to proceed with camps this year.

FAQ:

Will there be a Grundy Camp this year?

The Province of Ontario has cancelled overnight camps for 2020. Unfortunately, this means that we will not be able to offer Grundy Camp Programs this year.

Will there be Day Camps this year?

The Province of Ontario has mentioned that day camp programs will be discussed as part of “Phase 2” for 2020. Unfortunately, this means that we still don’t know if we will be able to offer face-to-face day camps this year.

We will continue to plan for some potential face-to-face opportunities. We are currently working together to make sure that if we do get the go-ahead, we do so in a safe and responsible way. As previously stated, we have not received any dates or guidelines from the Province. Once we do, we will be able to provide a definitive answer to you.

What are we doing instead?

We will be offering a virtual camp for campers age 6-16. Campers will receive a camp kit with materials needed for activities and will have programming each day via Zoom.

When can I send in an application?

Online applications for virtual day camp will be available May 25 on our website – www.nativechild.org  Applications are due by June 5. 

Please note, not all applications will be accepted, status of application will be communicated via email June 12.

Is there a cost for virtual camp?

No, there is no cost for virtual camp.

In the meantime, please stay safe and continue to wash your hands frequently and maintain social distancing. Be assured that you are all in our thoughts as we go through this challenging time TOGETHER!

Please continue to check our website for updates, including information on other virtual programming offered by Native Child and Family Services of Toronto.

For questions, please send the Camps team an email at [email protected]

In unity,

Greg Flynn,
Cultural Camps Supervisor

Update on Summer Camps 2020

Hello, Campers and Caregivers!

The camping season is getting closer with each passing day. Mother Earth is starting to grow, and the sun is getting warmer! The days are getting longer, and our minds turn to the outdoors and our favourite part of summer… CAMP!

This year, as we are all aware, is different. We have to be mindful of COVID-19 and how we can all keep safe. In our last announcement, we included a survey to gauge your interest and input into how best to provide a virtual camp experience in the event a face-to-face camp is not possible. Many thanks to those of you who have responded to the survey so far. Please, if you have not done so yet, here is the link. The survey doesn’t take more than a few minutes to complete but it will be very helpful to us as we continue to plan. Please continue to check our website for updates.


Many people have reached out to ask the questions that are on all of our minds:

Is there any chance we can go to Grundy or Day Camp in person this year?

The short answer is, we do not know. The Province of Ontario has not provided any guidance on camps for 2020. However, as the situation continues to change (sometimes very quickly), we are indeed making plans that would hopefully allow us to pivot to our regular camps if the opportunity arises and it is safe to do so.

When can I send in an application?

Online applications for virtual day camp will be available May 25 on our website.

Currently, we are not accepting applications for face-to-face Grundy Camps.

Please keep checking our website for new updates.


We have been in talks with the parks, the City, and conservation partners in an attempt to have a traditional face-to-face camp, and will continue to do so over the coming weeks. We are currently working together to make sure that if we do get the go-ahead to open, we do so in a safe and responsible way. As previously stated, we have not received any dates or guidelines from the Province. Once we do, we will be able to provide a definitive answer to you.

In the meantime, please stay safe and continue to wash your hands frequently and maintain social distancing. Be assured that you are all in our thoughts as we go through this challenging time TOGETHER!

For questions, please send the Camps team an email at [email protected]

In unity,

Greg Flynn,
Cultural Camps Supervisor

If you have difficulty accessing the survey above, copy and paste the following URL into your browser:
https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=6wdBfFkMoUq57nTfL19wLScuww-5o6hNjVE8AbpALl5URFA2RTMzVTBWQlZOU1NVU0Y2WUdMOTM5Mi4u

Indigenous Youth Tech Career Pathways Program

In collaboration with Indigenous Friends and Native Child and Family Services of Toronto, NPower Canada is offering a 15-week tech training program for Indigenous young adults.

NPower Canada launches under-served young adults into meaningful and sustainable careers in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) field. The Indigenous Youth Tech Career Pathways (IYTCP) program provides Indigenous young adults (18-29 years old) with enhanced wraparound services and Elder-led counselling to support their successful completion of the NPower Canada program and their transition into meaningful employment in the tech sector.

To apply, contact Emily Hill, Education and Employment Case Manager, at [email protected], (416) 969-8510 ext. 4146, or (437) 237-4826. 

For more details, read the PDF linked below:
NPowerCanada-IYCP_Info Sheet_v3

Lyme Disease Awareness and Safety

As the weather begins to warm up and more people begin to venture outside, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto wants to help ensure that our community stays safe from Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is a growing public health issue in Canada. Spread by the bite of infected blacklegged ticks, Lyme disease can cause serious health issues if left untreated. While the risk varies across the country, everyone should be aware of steps they can take to protect themselves, their children and their families from tick bites.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has created a collection of Lyme disease resources for Indigenous communities, including information on how to check for ticks and how to protect yourself and your family from Lyme disease.

For more information about Lyme disease, visit the Government of Canada’s Lyme disease webpage.

Statement RE: Summer Camps 2020

Hello Parents/Guardians and Campers,

I would like to take this opportunity to update you on our plans for Summer Camps 2020. As you are aware, the current COVID -19 pandemic has caused severe disruptions in all of our lives and may have serious implications in how we can move forward in regard to camps this year.

It is our hope that we will continue to be able to provide our traditional face-to-face camps this year. We are assertively lobbying the government to open the parks within Toronto to allow us to offer essential on-the-land programming to our community. In the event we are unable to offer face-to-face camps, we have been working hard to find creative ways to still present camp programming.

Over the past month, we have been meeting and planning an online “Virtual Camp” experience. Families would be able to register for camps online and would be emailed directions to log on to both interactive and pre-recorded programming.

We are committed to providing cultural learning opportunities, fun and interactive activities and to staying connected as a camp community! Please complete this short survey to allow us to take your needs, ideas, questions, and feedback into consideration while developing our Virtual Camps.

Please note that we will keep the community updated regarding the type of camp programming experience we will be providing this summer.

We look forward to continuing to serve the community and hearing from each of you. Please check for updates in the coming weeks by visiting our Native Child and Family Services of Toronto website and social media accounts.

For questions, please send the Virtual Camps team an email at [email protected]

Sincerely,

Greg Flynn
Cultural Camp Supervisor
Native Child and Family Services of Toronto

Survey link: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=6wdBfFkMoUq57nTfL19wLScuww-5o6hNjVE8AbpALl5URFA2RTMzVTBWQlZOU1NVU0Y2WUdMOTM5Mi4u

Thank You to Our Partners

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST) has been collaborating with community partners to provide essential services to Aboriginal families across Toronto. Working together with staff from Gabriel Dumont Non-Profit Homes, NCFST assembled and delivered several hampers to date for community members.

We want to extend our sincere thanks to all the community partners who are helping us provide services during these difficult times. Their support has been essential as we adapt our services to meet the rising need in our community.

April 2020

A message to COVID-19 essential service professionals in Toronto

Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST) is a multi-service urban Aboriginal agency providing child safety and well-being, holistic, and culture-based programs and services for over 7,000 Aboriginal children and families across the Greater Toronto Area. We remain committed wherever possible to keep families together.

Our Concern

We are concerned about an increased risk of child abuse and neglect with families being increasingly isolated amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This crisis has created a challenging environment for families. With the closures of schools, daycares, and other services, children are increasingly vulnerable to family stress. Aboriginal families already have increased risk factors, when compared to non-Aboriginal households, as it relates to poverty, addictions, mental health, and family violence. Without the appropriate supports during this pandemic Aboriginal children are at greater risk.

The number of calls being reported by community concerning child safety & well-being has plummeted

Kids are simply not being seen during this pandemic unless families were already engaged in service. The majority of our calls historically come from schools, daycare centers, and other professionals. While we have seen a dramatic decrease in new cases being reported we have experienced an increase in demands from existing families. For many of these families, there is an increase in challenges to access food and basic necessities; there is also increased anxiety and stress. We know more than ever there is domestic violence and child abuse/neglect occurring in the community. In this time of crisis, we all need to look out for vulnerable children and families to work together to keep kids safe.

We are an Essential Service and Still Open to Serve 24 Hours, 7 Days a Week

We want the community to know we are open – we are first-responders. If anyone is worried about a child, please call. We are still here and you can remain anonymous. The duty to report obligation for professionals remains and is even more vital during times like this. The goal is to work with families early before problems become acute.

Contact Us

During a time of increased anxiety, vulnerable children, youth and families need support and care more than ever. Should you have concerns for the safety or well-being of a child, or if you are a caregiver who requires support to keep your child safe, please call us at (416) 969-8510. We are also updating our website regularly with more holistic and cultural-based service offerings.
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