Posted by Bill Egnatoff on Jul 23, 2019
Robert Reid and National Committee had an update for us on their recent activities;
  1. Teaching Circle at Loughborough Public School (Heather Nogrady reporting)
This project has been in the works for a couple of years, the brainchild of Janza Giangrosso. It is an Outdoor teaching circle at Loughborough Public School. Cataraqui Rotary has contributed trees around the circle; will become wonderful shade trees, and has facilitated the putting together of this project. Stones, portraying seven Indigenous values, labelled in Ojibway and English have been placed around the circle. The kids were very, very enthusiastic about the inauguration of the circle. They listened to an elder discuss Indigenous culture and teachings, who got kids to share their thoughts on the meaning of the seven values. This helps develop pride in land and encourages learning of their cultural heritage and language, and to understand more of the history of the land and the territory. Each child was encouraged to bring his or her own stone, to be placed in the circle, giving them a connection to this particular place. It is a beautiful and meaningful space, will be loved and honoured. Our club also has it’s name on a stone because of our sponsorship. The event was covered by local papers including Whig Standard and in the Kingstonist, and was front-page news in Kingston the week.  President Ana was presented with a spirit catcher, made of Sweetgrass strands woven to be strong, symbolizing our being stronger together than individually.
  1. New Hope Bikes in Pikangikum.
We learned about this community again through Janza. Norfolk Sunrise Rotary Club has been doing regular work there. Our International Committee contributed $200 for food for a canoe trip, but it ended up being used for food for the evacuation centre after a forest fire. Once people returned, we contributed $2,000 to employ youth in bike repair workshop, housed in a cleverly repurposed shipping container.  Also part of the project was the construction of a BMX track, trails, and employing youth to fix bikes for the kids. An inspiring video was shown about the project, which can be seen at;