About the foundation

 “The Vision is to enrich the lives of children and youth by inspiring achievement to dream big”

The Mazinaajim Children’s Foundation is an Anishinabek-led charitable organization established in 2009. The mandate is to support the educational, recreational and cultural and community needs of Anishinabek children and youth in North western Ontario. Mazinaajim works with over 6000 children and families who face many social and economic challenges. The need for help is great, yet many services that are vital to the health and well-being of children and families are not funded. The Mazinaajim Children’s Foundation can meet the changing needs of children and youth with support from donors.

With your support we can continue to invest in our children, families and communities to ensure they advance in their education, health and well-being. Our vision is a future where all children have the opportunity to achieve their dreams and grow and develop into healthy community members.

Our Communities

Mazinaajim Children’s Foundation is affiliated with the following 13 First Nations in the Robinson-Superior Treaty area and parts of Treaty 9:

Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek
Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek
Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek
Fort William First Nation
Ginoogaming First Nation
Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek

Long Lake #58 First Nation
Michipicoten First Nation
Biigtigong Nishnaabeg
Pays Plat (Pawgwasheeng) First Nation
Pic Mobert First Nation
Red Rock First Nation
Whitesand First Nation

How We Help

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The Mazinaajim Children’s Foundation shows children and young people that there is a world of opportunities and they have the potential to go far in life. Through our Foundation’s various funds, we are able to grant opportunities such as:

Hundreds of youth can attend Cultural Summer Camp next year where they will hear stories from their Elders, learn traditional arts and crafts and practise fishing and hunting skills. Youth will learn to understand and be proud of their rich cultural heritage.

Community-focused activities and events such as Pow Wows and community festivals will be supported that give families a chance to have fun together and help forge important connections between parents and children.

Bursaries and scholarships will be available for post-secondary education to show children and youth that we believe in their potential and that we are invested in their lifelong success.

Little Evan can play hockey like the other kids this season and will learn to play, be active, and make new friends.

Education incentive programs will also be available for younger children and youth such as the Crown Ward Education Incentive Fund that rewards high school children with a monetary stipend for every credit earned.

Youth at risk will participate in confidence, empowerment and self-esteem building workshops. As a result, they will become more positive about their own capabilities, their self-worth and their future.

Role models including NHL players and television personalities can visit Anishnabek communities to share their successes with our children and youth. They will receive peer support by mixing and talking with others who have shared similar life experiences.

 

Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors consists of the following individuals:

Tana-Leigh Harty

Tana-Leigh Harty is the Chair of Mazinaajim Children’s Foundation and the Corporate Relations & Communications Advisor for Ontario Power Generation, Northwest Operations. Tana-Leigh is excited to be part of an organization that contributes to the health, happiness and wellbeing of Anishinabek children.

Yolanda Wanakamik

Yolanda Wanakamik is the Vice-Chair of Mazinaajim Children’s Foundation and a member of Whitesand First Nation.  She works for Dilico as an Integrated Policy Officer.  Yolanda is a graduate of Confederation College and Lakehead University and is currently enrolled in a Masters program.  Yolanda has a diverse background of experience in Aboriginal governance, politics, health, tourism/marketing, social services and a strong sense of community involvement.

Jason Dulude

Jason Dulude is a Chartered Professional Accountant and is currently is the role of the Director of Finance and Corporate Services with Dilico Anishinabek Family Care. Jason was born and raised in Thunder Bay and has worked in various senior management level positions both in Thunder Bay and outside of Canada.

Crystal Davey

Crystal Davey is a Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner and lecturer with Lakehead University’s School of Nursing program. She obtained her Master of Public Health (Nursing Specialization) in 2010. Her research interests include cultural safety in the health care setting, Indigenous health, and health equity. She is the Regional Aboriginal Cancer Lead for the Northwestern Ontario region with Cancer Care Ontario in partnership with Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. Her career includes work with Indigenous individuals, families, and communities.  Her spirit name is Zongwe Biineskwe (Sounding Thunderbird Woman). She currently resides in Thunder Bay, Ontario and is a member of Biinjitiwabek Zaaging Anishnaabek (Rocky Bay First Nation).

Nicole Richmond-Crowe

 

Kristian Bouchard

Kristian is the Youth Board Member for Mazinaajim Children’s Foundation. She is a member of Pays Plat First Nation and currently pursuing her educational goals. Kristian joined the Mazinaajim Children’s Foundation because she believes every Anishinabek youth has full potential to be successful in their dreams.