Wednesday, January 21, 2009

2009 First Nations Camp Staff Application

Please use the following links to find the 2009 First Nations Camp Staff Application and Camp Staff Information document.

For more information contact:
Karen Ward
First Nations Program Coordinator
1-877-382-2262 ext. 232

Friday, January 2, 2009

Flying North

The President of FTC Canada and the First Nations Program Coordinator made a flying trip up north in December. Thunder Bay, Pickle Lake and Mishkeegogmang were among the stops in a 24 hour period.

CAMP IN 2009
Christmas cards and Candy Canes were dropped off at the school in Mish for all the campers who attended our ‘Mish Adventures’ Camp last summer. It was great to see children in the school hallways who said, “I know you. Are you coming back in the summer?”

It was great to be able to say “YES”. We will be back to operate our third year of Mish Adventures from July 13 – 30th, 2009. We are all very excited!

In Pickle Lake, we met with Tom Morris, the President of Wasaya Airlines. He has generously offered to donate warehouse space in Pickle Lake and assistance through his staff at that airport.

We will now be able to ship more supplies and goods to reservations in the north, having overcome the space deficit we have experienced for 3 years. It is more convenient to fly cargo from this airport, as it allows for more frequent distribution of supplies to the many communities requiring assistance.

Thank you to Wasaya Airlines and our friends at Tikinagan Child and Family Services for making this happen.

2009 Update

As winter settles deeply in the north, our First Nations friends have to deal with different issues and needs. Most children are back in school and, if available, involved in winter programs. Hockey is a very popular sport in the north and we are approached by many communities with requests for hockey equipment.

Through the passion and desire to help of one hockey mom, many children in the north will be playing hockey this winter. Jackie Jones, from Ancaster, Ontario, has raised awareness of the needs in the north and has hockey associations and sports stores very interested in helping out. Read the article from the Ancaster News at

FTC has shipped two truckloads north - one in October and one in December – for distribution to 30 communities in Northern Ontario. The goods shipped have included:

  • Juice and Food
  • Hockey equipment and soccer balls
  • Toys and Computers
  • Blankets and knitted afghans
  • Mittens, scarves, hats and sweaters
Thanks to the many donors who helped to secure these items
(Jackie Jones, North-South Partnership, Friends of Tikinagan Child and Family Services, Sheridan College)

Reflections on 2008

It’s hard to believe that over a month has passed since our team returned to Canada from Nicaragua. We are thankful for no sickness and total safety for our team during the eight days in this very needy country. We did have one frightening incident when our country director was kidnapped at gunpoint when our rental truck was stolen. He was able to escape by leaping from the back of the truck when it slowed for a curve in the road.

Reflecting on this mission, how blessed we are to be able to reach out with primary medical and dental care to over 3,000 children and families. Each clinic day we enjoyed the smiles on the faces of children when they received toys; the pleased and thankful expressions from mothers and fathers as we handed them parcels of food and clothing and shoes. The smiles and the word “gracias” will remain with all of us for a long time.

It is impossible for me to express my thanks in a meaningful way to our team. How do you say “thanks” to people who have given eight days of their lives to help others? The sacrifice made by our doctors, dentists, nurses, paramedics, school teachers, office workers and more.

I’m thankful for our Guatemalan staff that traveled many hours to be with us. It was not without its challenges – an overturned truck and many, many police checkpoints which delayed them several hours.

Our arrival at Toronto airport was a memorable end to the project. When I heard my name called over the PA system in the baggage area, I thought, “they probably lost my luggage”. That was not the problem – they had lost all our luggage – 32 pieces! Can you picture 28 of us standing around the luggage carousel wondering why we are the only ones from our flight still “standing around the carousel”? Well, we were told the luggage was still in San Salvador. It has not been transferred to our connecting flight. The good news – everyone received their bags four days later.

We never expect everything to go perfectly. You can become very frustrated about things that go wrong during the “heat of battle”, but on reflection, once you have time to relax and think about what was accomplished, you still feel a strong sense of having done a good thing. And we did!

Within days of our return we began to plan our next trip. Watch our site to be kept up to date on our mission to El Salvador in April 2009.

Thank you to all who have supported us in this project. We could not impact so many lives without your involvement. What we are doing is without a doubt “a team effort”.

Ken Dick