Our Foundation

History

The Ma’mo’weh Wii’soo’ka’tiwin Foundation was established in May 2019 to support the work of the Kenora Chiefs Advisory, an alliance of nine independent First Nations within the Western Region of Treaty 3 Territory.

Since 1995, KCA has been delivering effective health, mental health, social service, education and wellbeing programs that touch the lives of over 4,200 community members every year.

90% of KCA’s annual budget comes from the provincial and federal governments. Much has been achieved with their generous support, but resources are limited, and funding is usually short-term and restricted to specific activities.

To go beyond standard programming and increase its impact, KCA needs independent, flexible and more diversified funding. The Ma’mo’weh Wii’soo’ka’tiwin Foundation is a bridge to private and corporate foundations and individual donors who embrace new ideas and new approaches to strengthening Indigenous communities.

~ Mission ~

Harnessing the power of people helping people to heal, change and enrich lives in nine First Nation communities.

~ Vision ~

Strong Anishinaabe people, families and communities, now and for the next seven generations.

Core Values

Respect

Respect all life on Mother Earth. Respect Elders and people of all races. Honour all of Creation. Never hurt or humiliate others with unkind words. The essence of respect is to give and share.

Love

Love is the essence of life.  Always act in love.  Love the Creator.  Love Mother Earth.  Love yourself, your family, and your fellow human beings. Find compassion and understanding for yourself and others. Aspire to live in truth and harmony.

Courage

Listen to your heart. It takes courage to do what is right. Never be afraid to stand up for what you believe in. Take risks and learn new things, even when it means leaving the safe and familiar.

Honesty

Live and speak from the heart. Never lie, steal or gossip. Be honest with yourself and others. Be true to your word and walk with honour.

Wisdom

Everyone has been given a special gift. Use that gift to build a peaceful world. Seek to learn all you can and take the time to reflect upon our teachings.

Humility

All are equal in the eyes of the Creator and in the human family. Think of others before yourself.  Ask others for their thoughts and guidance and acknowledge your limitations. Humble yourself to the Creator by being thankful.

Truth

Always seek Truth.  Be accountable for all you say and do. Believe in yourself. Live the Truth by living all these teachings – Respect, Love, Courage, Honesty, Wisdom and Humility – and bring them to the world.

Qualified and Trustworthy

KCA has been approved by provincial and federal ministries to take on major responsibilities. Since 1998, we have provided centralized services to Ontario Works/Ontario Disability Support Program administrators at all nine First Nations. The Min-O-Qwe-Ke-Ga-Bw’en Social Services Program handles community visits, internal file audits, eligibility reviews, appeals, training, reporting on their behalf, and provides emergency support when local staff are absent or a position is vacant. In 2019-20, the governance of environmental health services in the Northwest will be transferred from the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Health Canada to KCA, with local support from the Northwest Health Unit and Waasegiizhig Nanaandawee’iyewigamig Health Access Centre.

Accreditation: KCA was awarded Accreditation with Commendation status by Accreditation Canada in 2012.

Qualified Staff: Our staff are well qualified, with a wide range of academic and professional credentials, including Master of Social Work, Bachelor of Social Work, Bachelor of Science, Registered Nurse, Registered Dietician, Personal Support Worker, Developmental Services Worker, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist, Psychotherapist, Speech Language Pathologist and Early Childhood Educator. Ongoing staff training is a priority.

Partnerships: KCA is a member of many influential groups, including the Ontario Aboriginal Responsible Gambling Program, the Ontario Native Welfare Administrators Association, the Northern Ontario Wellness Committee, the Responsible Gambling Council, the Kenora Mental Health and Substance Abuse Task Force, the Indigenous Health Council, the Kenora Coalition to End Human Trafficking, All Nations Health Partners, the Indigenous Youth and Community Wellness Secretariat, and Rapid Intervention Services Kenora.

Affiliated First Nations

  • Animakee Wa Zhing #37 First Nation
  • Asubpeechoseewagong First Nation
  • Naotkamegwanning First Nation
  • Niisaachewan Anishinaabe Nation
  • Northwest Angle #33 First Nation
  • Washagamis Bay First Nation
  • Shoal Lake 40 First Nation
  • Wabaseemoong Independent Nations
  • Wauzhushk Onigum First Nation

Board of Directors

KCA Board of Directors is made up of the Chiefs of the nine First Nations, supported by a 10-member Elders Council and a nine-member Youth Council. We are directly accountable to each of their communities, and we seek their guidance, wisdom and experience when planning, designing and delivering programs.

David Zimmer

David Zimmer, President and Chair

David Zimmer is the former Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation (2013 – 2018) and a four-term member of the Ontario Legislature. He has the distinction of being the longest serving Minister responsible for Indigenous Relations. Mr. Zimmer represented the riding of Willowdale in both the McGuinty and Wynne governments and acted as Parliamentary Assistant to Attorneys General Michael Bryant and Chris Bentley (2003 – 2011) as well as Parliamentary Assistant to Kathleen Wynne, then Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs (2011– 2013). Mr Zimmer served as a member of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (2003–06, 2007–11, 2012), Standing Committee on Estimates (2006–07), Standing Committee on Justice Policy (2006–11), Standing Committee on General Government (2012), Select Committee on Elections (2008–09). He is credited with introducing and passing “Elder Abuse Awareness Day” and measures to suspend the driver’s license of anyone who is convicted of impaired boating.

Eric Fisher

Eric Fisher, Secretary

A Member of Wabaseemoong Independent Nations of Whitedog, Eric Fisher served his home community as Chief and Council member for 20 years. He is fluent in the Ojibway language and his is “a voice of reason and understanding” when it comes to negotiations with First Nation Governments and Corporations. Eric has been instrumental in the development of both his own and the greater Aboriginal Community with his dedication and service to many Treaty and Tribal Councils, Chiefs Councils and Advisory Boards. Eric has held positions as a Crisis Intervention Worker and was on the Mercury Disability Board; his compassion and thoughtful reflection have guided many clients and peers through enormous adversities. From 2013 to 2015, he co-chaired the Treaty #3 Spring/Fall National/Chiefs Assemblies.

Hanita Tiefenbach

Hanita Tiefenbach, Treasurer

Hanita Tiefenbach is a former Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs. Prior to her retirement, Hanita held a number of senior positions at the Ontario Public Service in the areas of health, indigenous affairs and inter-governmental relations. Her areas of expertise include strategic planning, innovative policy and program development, building productive relationships, and program operations. Hanita’s background also includes experience in the hospital and private home care sectors prior to joining the OPS. Hanita has worked with the Kenora Chiefs Advisory over the years, and is thrilled to be part of this initiative that will contribute to the well-being of the member First Nation communities.

David de Launay

David de Launay, Director

David de Launay is an experienced executive, board member, and project leader presently consulting and giving back through volunteer work. He is on the Advisory Council of the Development Partners Institute which brings together mining, Indigenous, and community interests to maximize the social and economic benefits of mining.  From 2013 to 2018, David was the Ontario Deputy Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and of Northern Development and Mines capping off thirty-three years of service to the people of Ontario in various provincial government senior executive positions.  He often led negotiations and partnership building with First Nations.  His board Director experience is extensive, including Hugh’s Room for the Performing Arts, Destination Ontario, Algoma University, FP Innovations, Greater Peterborough Area Economic Development Corporation and numerous international Great Lakes organizations.

Vernon Redsky

Vernon Redsky, Director

Former Chief and current Councillor for Shoal Lake 40 First Nation.