Indigenous Partnerships Program
As an organization that has partnered with Indigenous communities for over 20 years, the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society recognizes the importance of Truth and Reconciliation in moving forward, together, for the well-being of animals, people and communities.
The Ontario SPCA is a learning and collaborative organization that has relationships with many different communities, both remote and local to our provincial animal centres. When requested, our team provides services, supplies and food to support the health and wellness goals of our Indigenous partners.
The Indigenous Partnership Program focuses on our commitment to Truth and Reconciliation through:
• Indigenous Consultation to ensure program development, training and education is developed and/or delivered in a way that is respectful, authentic and honours Indigenous beliefs, perspectives, goals and ways of life.
• Training and Education by providing opportunities for staff and partners to build cultural sensitivity and awareness.
• Policy and Culture Development to ensure staff and volunteers are respectful and considerate in our work with Indigenous partners.
• Honesty, Respect and Authenticity in all aspects of our work with Indigenous communities to build strong and trusting relationships.
The Ontario SPCA is committed to building long-term, diverse partnerships to co-create new pathways to animal well-being, community health and future opportunities.
INDIGENOUS PARTNERSHIPS IN THE NORTH
From animal transport, spay/neuter and wellness clinics, feeding programs and resource delivery, the Animal North Network is made possible through the collaborative effort of many dedicated partners, including Indigenous communities, corporations, SPCA’s, humane societies, volunteers and other groups dedicated to animal well-being. United in supporting healthy communities for animals and people, these groups have the same goal – to make tangible and meaningful change in the North.
United by a common mission, the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society is building relationships with Indigenous communities across Canada to create healthier communities for animals and people.
Through this community-led approach, the Ontario SPCA is delivering services such as mobile spay/neuter clinics, animal wellness clinics, animal feeding programs, youth-oriented animal education and animal transport to reduce pet overpopulation. Together, we are creating change.
PARTNERSHIPS & EDUCATION
As a program of the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society, the AnimalSmart™ Humane Education Program is committed to Truth and Reconciliation. AnimalSmart™ recognizes the important role of education in the reconciliation process and seeks to be an ally in actively addressing the Calls to Action around Education for Reconciliation (Calls 62-65).
The AnimalSmart™ team is currently working alongside Indigenous consultants, including Eddy Robinson, to develop lesson plans which embed Traditional Ways of Knowing and Being, celebrate Indigenous brilliance and explore modern and traditional culture.
2021 AnimalSmart™ Day: Respect, Connect and Engage Through Humane Education
2021 AnimalSmart™ Day: Respect, Connect and Engage Through Humane Education is another extension of this intention and we are honoured to be joined by a number of inspirational Indigenous speakers.
Our hope is that educators will gain a deeper understanding of both Indigenous Perspectives, and how to bring Indigenous learning into the classroom in a way that is both respectful and authentic. This event is free and takes place virtually on November 12, 2021.
Wendy Philips, Elder
Philip Cote, Young Elder, Artist, Activist, Ancestral Knowledge Keeper, Historian & Cultural Mediator
Michael Kusugak, Inuit Author & Storyteller
Kim Wheatley, Ancestral Knowledge Keeper and Anishinaabe Traditional Grandmother
David Bouchard, Métis Author, Speaker, Educator
Indigenous artists Bruno Henry and his sons, Jacob Peltier-Henry and Jason Peltier, are creating and illustrating a storybook to accompany the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society’s new Junior AnimalSmart™ program (in development). The educational series encourages children to consider the interactions and relationships between humans and animals and integrates elements of Indigenous ways of knowing. The book will be illustrated by Jacob, an aspiring artist and illustrator from Wikwemikong First Nation. Working primarily with pen and ink, this book is a new avenue of exploration for Jacob using watercolour.
Since 2019, AnimalSmart™, as a program of the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society, has been honoured to join with other organizations in supporting Indspire as sponsors of the National Gathering for Indigenous Education. The gathering, held all over Canada, and more recently, virtually, “is a place where educators and partners can share their voices and work together to improve the educational outcomes of K-12 Indigenous students.”
Bob Joseph, the Founder and President of Indigenous Corporate Training Inc., has provided training on Indigenous relations to individuals and organizations around the world. He has delivered training courses to the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society staff and partners for many years and continues to help the organization build Indigenous relations and understand its role in Truth and Reconciliation.
The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society and Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation were invited to present at the Chiefs of Ontario 14th Annual Health Forum in February 2020. Through videos and first-hand experiences, the team highlighted the success stories of First Nations and other communities and how community-led animal wellness strategies have been realized through mutually respectful partnerships with the Ontario SPCA and the Animal North Network.
The Change for Animals Conference, an annual educational event delivered by the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society, is attended by those who work in, and/or have a passion for creating real change for animals and the societies in which we all live.
Below are some Indigenous speakers and performers who have shared their experiences and knowledge with delegates:
Bob Joseph, Founder and President of Indigenous Corporate Training Inc.
Eddy Robinson, Indigenous artist, activist and educator
The Honourable Murray Sinclair, Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Gabrielle Scrimshaw Sagalov, Storyteller, Strategist
Jean Flamand and Bruno Henry, Wiky Rez Dogs
Ella Linklater, Sandy Lake Dog Rescue
Smoke Trail Dance and Drum Group, Alderville First Nation