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Na-mi-quai-ni-mak Community Support Fund

Small grants to support community-based healing and remembrance

The act of remembering will shape generations to come….

Funds are available to support Indigenous communities, Survivor Organizations, registered non-profits, and others with small grants for memorial activities.

Communities and Residential School Survivors know what activities best support healing, memorials and remembrance in their communities. The program will support communities in pursuing the activities they feel are best.

Some possible activities could include, but are not limited to:

  • Community-led healing gatherings.
  • Ceremonial activities (memorial feasts, give-aways, etc.).
  • Memorial or commemorative markers (healing gardens, murals, carvings, plaques, etc.).
  • Maintenance of burial sites (fencing, cutting back overgrowth, etc.).

Download the application here.

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Download the poster here.

Jennifer Wood

Commemoration and Community Engagement Liaison Officer

Jennifer is Ojibway from Neyaashiinigmiing First Nation, Ontario and a residential school Survivor. She was the Coordinator of the Residential Schools Settlement Agreement for nearly a decade for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs She has organized some of the largest and most important Indigenous conferences in Canada.

Jennifer has worked on multiple projects and develop positive working relationships with diverse organizations throughout her career. In 2007 she planned and organized the First Residential School Survivors National Gathering for Survivors. In 2011, she coordinated the Hidden Legacy for Residential School Survivors Gathering and managed the National Protocol Signing Agreement whereby American tribes and First Nations in Canada signed a historical protocols agreement to work together and partner for business and other enterprises development.

Drawn into politics her whole adult life, Jennifer was the senior political staff adviser for then Grand Chief Sheila North of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO), a governance organization representing 31 First Nations in northern Manitoba. Prior to that, she had worked for ten years as the political assistant to Elijah Harper, one of the first Indigenous Members of Parliament.

Meet the Regional Advisory Committee

Kukdookkaa Terri Brown

Terri is a Crow Clan member of the Tahltan Nation. She has a daughter, two sons and six  grand daughters. She lived a traditional life style until she was forcibly confined in a residential school in Yukon. Her father who was a trapper and mother cared for the family of 8. Terri is former Chief of her people and former President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada.  Terri founded the Sisters in Spirit Program to document the deaths and disappearance of Indigenous sisters. She served 6 years with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada with a mandate to inform all Canadians about what happened in the residential schools. Terri is a survivor of Canadian genocide and this motivates her to work for equality, justice and peace for all.

Dawn Hill

Dawn Hill is a former residential school student of Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School in Brantford, Ontario where she attended from 1957 – 1961. Born on Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, she is a proud Mohawk of the Turtle Clan.  Dawn became an elementary school teacher and taught for 28 years. Currently, she is the Secretary/Treasurer of the Mohawk Village Memorial Park, a not-for-profit, charity organization. The Park will be dedicated to the memory of all the children who attended the Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School in Brantford.

Dorene Bernard

Dorene Bernard, Kesatum tan teli L’nuwey, Kiwnik Clan, Sipekne’katik, Mi’kmaki, is a traditional Mi’kmaq woman, of the Sipekne’katik Band, residing in Indian Brook, N.S.  She is the mother of 4 children and grandmother of 9 beautiful grandchildren. She is a Survivor of the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School, the 3rd generation to attend within her family. Dorene earned a BSW Degree at Dalhousie University in 1991, and her MSW in Aboriginal Field of Study at Sir Wilfrid Laurier University in 2013. Recently, she coordinated the IRS Legacy Project at Mi’kmawey Debert Cultural Centre, working with survivors and families in the Atlantic region to document the history of the IRS Legacy and survivors’ profiles for the archives, which she continues to do.

Esther Giroux

Esther Giroux is a proud Cree/Nehiyaw woman from The Swan River First Nation located within the Treaty #8 territory in the province of Alberta. She is a Residential survivor who attended the St Bruno’s (Joussard) and St. Bernard (Grouard) residential schools. She has a Masters Degree in Education granted in cooperation between the University of Alberta and Blue Quills First Nations University. She has thirty-eight years of teaching experience, obtaining her first Education Degree from the University of Alberta in 1983. Presently; she teaches at the Swan River First Nation Elementary School as the Cree Language and Culture teacher. She strongly believes in learning the Cree Language, Culture, and Land Based teachings is the foundation of the health and well-being of her students. As a residential school survivor, she was fortune to learn traditional Cree/Nehiyaw teachings from Elders, Knowledge Keepers and her family. She shares her personal experience of residential school with her family, work, and community.

Edna Elias

Edna Elias

Edna Elias was called by her grandmother, “Haattuliarmiutaq”, meaning “a person from thin ice” because she was born on a fishing lake in the fall. Thus the reason why she loves ice fishing in the fall and spring.

A teacher by profession, Edna is an Inuit language and cultural advocate. She has lived and breathed her culture in an urban setting; showcasing it where and when she can at Edmonton events. She shares her cultural knowledge through presentations at educational institutions and elementary schools in and around the city. Teaching Inuinnaqtun, the dialect of the Copper Inuit of western Kitikmeot in Nunavut is another passion to train adults, language teachers, staff of pre-school and daycare programs, educators  and parents of small children.

After five years as Commissioner of Nunavut, Edna had returned to her home community of Qurluqtuq, Nunavut, the most westerly community in Nunavut. Since her return home, she was heavily involved in her community; initiated a not for profit greenhouse society, opened her home to women to learn traditional sewing and fur preparation and is one of the Ayauqtiit (Guidance) members whose sole purpose is to give advice to the two schools. Volunteering continued to be a pastime. Most recently she and two former educators had opened a business to promote the preservation and retention of Inuinnaqtun through language courses, provision of educational and cultural orientation and advice, program and event planning, production of Inuinnaqtun reading material and to support the language programming in the schools.

All of the above changed and stopped quickly for Edna when an illness affected her performance and forced her to relocate to Edmonton where she could access better medical care and services. “I am happy to say that I have learned to live within my new limits and do NOT let my illness control my life,” says Edna.

Currently residing in Edmonton, Edna has been actively involved in a number of Indigenous Advisory Circles as a voice for Inuit. As of late, she joined the Grant MacEwen University Indigenous Advisory Council, the Royal Alberta Museum Indigenous Advisory Council, the Edmonton International Elders & Knowledge Keepers Circle on the project, Indigenous Spaces, the Indigenous Advisory Council for the City of Edmonton and the Indigenous Advisory Council on the project, Towards Home  (curbing homelessness).

For More information refer to the FAQ

To connect with the NCTR directly, please contact:

Mailing Address: The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

177 Dysart Road

Winnipeg, Manitoba

R3T 2N2

Toll Free: 1-855-415-4534

Ph: 1-204-914-4757

Fax: 1-204-474-7533


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NCTR’s spirit name – bezhig miigwan, meaning “one feather”.

Bezhig miigwan calls upon us to see each Survivor coming to the NCTR as a single eagle feather and to show those Survivors the same respect and attention an eagle feather deserves. It also teaches we are all in this together — we are all one, connected, and it is vital to work together to achieve reconciliation.