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September 2022

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation: Calls to Action

September 30th is Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (NDTR). On this day, we honour the children who never returned home from Canada’s residential schools along with the Survivors, as well as their families and communities. Remembering the painful and tragic history and acknowledging the ongoing impacts of residentials schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process with Indigenous peoples.

On Canada’s first NDTR, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST) announced new commitments dedicated to continuing our journey to decolonize Indigenous child welfare services in the city of Toronto. Over the past year, NCFST went through a critical examination of our child and family well-being services, including standards, service eligibility criteria, assessment tools, and current practices.

NCFST invites you to join us on Friday, September 30th at 10 AM – 12 PM where we will provide a report back to community addressing the priorities for redesigning child welfare to help reduce the number of Indigenous children in care. During this virtual event we will have special guests join in the conversation around the importance of this report and we will share some exciting new announcements.

To register for this event, please click HERE!

June 2021

Mount Dennis and Malvern Aboriginal Child and Family Centres

Native Child and Family Services of Toronto recently opened the Mount Dennis Malvern Aboriginal Child and Family Centre and the Malvern Aboriginal Child and Family Centre.  These multi-service centres will have several services including an EarlyON and Aboriginal Head Start programs and will provide children, parents and caregivers access to culturally responsive programs and services in an inclusive and welcoming space that supports their well-being, enriches their cultural knowledge, and provides opportunities to strengthen relationships. Along with early years programming, the centre will also provide supports for community members across all ages, including youth programming and Elder/Senior wellness programs.

Some of the programs and services that will be offered are drop-in and group programs, sharing circles, access to Knowledge Keepers and Elders on-site and ongoing parent and education supports, pre and post-natal programs in partnership with the Seventh Generation Midwives Toronto, Mommy Matters and Parenting Together Programs. One permanent Zhishay (uncle) to support fathers, and one Ninoshe (auntie) to support mothers. Regular ceremonies will be offered with cultural teachings, language and/or community events including weekly family cultural nights and seasonal feasts and drum socials. The outdoor features a play and ceremonial space that includes a medicinal garden a fire pit and a sweat lodge.

Children aged 0 to 6 will have access to play-based learning in a culture of inquiry and experience positive developmental, spiritual, and physical health and well-being. Aboriginal families and caregivers will be able to strengthen their relationships with their children with the help of services and tools provided by the centre including on the land programming. As a community, at this centre, we will have a chance to build positive relationships with local service providers, including other Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal agencies to ensure that collaborative and integrated services are available to Aboriginal children and families that meet their unique needs.

We are beyond grateful to the following funders and friends for their support in creating these multi-service centres. We could not have done it without you all!

Mt. Dennis Aboriginal Child and Family Centre – Virtual Grand Opening

Today on National Indigenous Peoples Day, June 21, 2021, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST) is both excited and honoured to announce the opening of Mount Dennis Aboriginal Child and Family Centre, located at 1290 Weston Road in York. This new multi-service centre will have several services including an EarlyON and the Kiiwednong Aboriginal Head Start program that will provide children, parents and caregivers access to culturally responsive programs and services in an inclusive and welcoming space that supports their well-being, enriches their cultural knowledge, and provides opportunities to strengthen relationships. Along with early years programming, the centre will provide supports for community members across all ages, including youth programming and Elder/Senior wellness programs.

This virtual grand opening will include a walk-through of the new site, video statements from Faisal Hassan, MPP for York South-Weston and Katharine Bambrick, the CEO of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, as well as live speeches from Mayor John Tory, Dr. Jeffrey Schiffer, Executive Director of Native Child and Family Service of Toronto, and a traditional opening with a Community Grandmother.

The Centre will provide integrated services for Aboriginal children, families and caregivers that are culture-based and designed to engage parents and caregivers, support early learning and development, make connections for families, and meet the unique needs of Toronto’s Aboriginal community.

“We are envisioning these hubs as intergenerational spaces so we can see young kids engaging and interacting with their parents, but then also coming back for a culture night or a community ceremony with their grandparents, older siblings, and their friends, and I think having all of those generations interacting in one place is going to be very supportive for the community.” ~ Dr. Jeffrey Schiffer

Some of the programs and services that will be offered are drop-in and group programs, sharing circles, access to Knowledge Keepers and Elders on-site and ongoing parent and education supports, pre and post-natal programs in partnership with the Seventh Generation Midwives Toronto, Mommy Matters and Parenting Together Programs. One permanent Zhishay (uncle) to support fathers, and one Ninoshe (auntie) to support mothers. Regular ceremonies will be offered with cultural teachings, language and/or community events including weekly family cultural nights and seasonal feasts and drum socials. The outdoor features a play and ceremonial space that includes a medicinal garden a fire pit and a sweat lodge.

Children aged 0 to 6 will have access to play-based learning in a culture of inquiry and experience positive developmental, spiritual, and physical health and well-being. Aboriginal families and caregivers will be able to strengthen their relationships with their children with the help of services and tools provided by the centre including on the land programming. As a community, at this centre, we will have a chance to build positive relationships with local service providers, including other Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal agencies to ensure that collaborative and integrated services are available to Aboriginal children and families that meet their unique needs.

A very special Chi Miigwetch to our generous funders. Indigenous Services Canada, City of Toronto Children’s Services, Ontario Trillium Foundation, and the Aboriginal community councils for their collective support. This multi-service centre will provide access to health and wellness for the community in the city of Toronto for years to come.

We are beyond grateful to the following funders and friends for their support in creating these multi-service centres. We could not have done it without you all!

You’re Invited to attend a Virtual Grand Opening of the new Mount Dennis Aboriginal Child and Family Centre

Native Child and Family Services of Toronto is excited to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day with a Virtual Grand Opening of the new Mount Dennis Aboriginal Child and Family Centre. This intergenerational and multi-service centre will include an Aboriginal Head Start and an EarlyON that will provide children and families with a place of health and wellness in the city of Toronto for years to come.

We are delighted to invite you to attend this virtual event on Monday, June 21st at 10 AM where you will learn more about the culture-based programs and services developed to support Aboriginal children and their families. Please join us and meet the dedicated staff, experience a virtual walk-through of the new site, and celebrate with our staff and community. 

We would be honoured to have you as our guest. 

REGISTER HERE

*Alternatively, you can copy and paste this link: https://kastio.com/ncfstmtdennis into Chrome, Microsoft Edge or Safari to register* 

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