Discovering Ceremony & Tradition Leads to Healthy Path for Mother of Six

Growing up in Toronto's Cabbagetown neighbourhood, Jennifer Downie struggled to fit in.  At school, she was picked on because of her Indigenous roots.  And although her father was Eagle Village First Nation (Quebec), her family did not participate in many Indigenous traditions at home.  Jennifer suppressed her identity because she only heard the negative stories in the news and at school.  She was ashamed to let others know her background.

Years went by and Jennifer struggled with both alcohol and mental health challenges.  Her anxiety was crippling and prevented Jennifer from moving  

Read more about Jennifer

East York Community Marks Orange Shirt Day by Supporting Anishnawbe Health for the Second Year

East York community hub, Old’s Cool General Store, marked Orange Shirt Day with a commemorative event on Sept. 30 to honour residential school survivors and remember the children whose lives were lost.

The event was also a culmination of fundraising organized by Old’s Cool in which t-shirts designed by Ojibwe artist Kindhearted Woman were sold and $5 from each shirt was given to Anishnawbe Health.  570 shirts were sold and $2,850 raised. 

Learn more about Orange Shirt Day and hosting your own fundraiser for Anishnawbe Health 

Empty Bowls at the Gardiner Museum

On October 24, 2019, 285+ people dined for a good cause at the Gardiner Museum.  Guests enjoyed an evening of soups made by Toronto's top chefs in bowls made by local ceramic artists and students in support of Anishnawbe Health.  At the end of the night, the bowl was theirs to keep!

Huge thank you to the Gardiner Museum for once again hosting Empty Bowls (for the 27th year!).

Read more about Empty Bowls 2019.


2019 Anishnawbe Health Toronto Annual General Meeting

On October 22, 2019, Anishnawbe Health held their 2019 Annual General Meeting.  The meeting proved to be both informative and enjoyable for all those who attended.  The AGM began with a feast, traditional drumming and an opening prayer. Attendees heard an overview of the year's achievements and what priorities lie ahead for 2020.  Thanks was also given to Anishnawbe Health Foundation Board Members - Diane Gray and Dr. Chandrakant Shah who completed their terms as Chair and Secretary-Treasurer respectively, as well as Joe Hester (pictured right) who completed serving his Board term.

We would also like to acknowledge our new Officers of the Foundation - Andre Morriseau, Chair (pictured left), Cherie L. Brant, Vice-Chair and Stephen Scott, Secretary-Treasurer.

Click Here to learn here about our Board Chairs.

Click Here to download the 2018/2019 Annual Report


Meet Anishnawbe Health Foundation's Newest Board of Directors Members
(For a complete list of our Board members and their bios click here)

Stephen Scott
Senior Commercial Account Manager, Manufacturing, Distribution & Wholesale, York Supply Chain, Commercial Financial Services, RBC

Tim Laronde
Associate Vice President, Trust Services, Peace Hills Trust 

Lyndsay G. Brisard
Student, York University


Donor Spotlight
Giving from the Heart – Darlene Varaleau

Darlene Varaleau is one of the most enthusiastic and dedicated champions of Anishnawbe Health Foundation. "I love Anishnawbe Health.  Let me repeat. I love Anishnawbe Heath,"  beams Darlene.

Darlene is an advocate for reconciliation and the rights of Indigenous Peoples.  In fact, she learned of Anishnawbe Health Toronto and the campaign for a new home for the Indigenous community health centre when she was part of a group trekking to Ottawa to advocate for the passage of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). 

Read More About Darlene


Sweetgrass Monthly Giving Circle Has Launched! 

Join the Sweetgrass Monthly Giving Circle and your monthly gift will support traditional healing and western medicine working together for better health. 

You will play a vital role in the reclamation of Traditional Healing practices and support client care that places value on the whole person while seeking to solve the root causes of health challenges.

Monthly giving reduces our fundraising expenses, helps us plan for the future, and allows you to spread out your annual contribution in convenient instalments.

Join the Sweetgrass Circle today.


Corktown Toronto Helps - All Donations up to $10,000 Matched

We would like to thank our future Corktown neighbours for leading the effort to welcome Anishnawbe Health to their community.  Led by the leadership at Corktown Toronto and Corktown News, the group has a goal of raising $25,000 to help with the build of the new home for Anishnawbe Health.  Corktown News Editor Trisha Waldron says “When I heard about the new health centre and the campaign to raise funds for the building and expand programs, I knew this was an opportunity for our neighbourhood to get involved and do something tangible to support reconciliation in our City.”  To date, $18,000 has been committed to the campaign (including matching donation to date).  

Learn More about the Corktown Toronto campaign.

Rendering of the new Anishnawbe Health Toronto.  Photo credit: Stantec & Two Row Architects.


Upcoming Events

Drumming for Diabetes - November 15, 2019

November is Diabetes Awareness Month.  Diabetes impacts the Indigenous community at 3-5 times higher than the national average. First Nations people also develop diabetes at a much earlier age often with more severe complications.

Show your support by attending this Anishnawbe Health Toronto sponsored annual event, November 15th, 4:30-8:30 at Harbourfront Centre.  For more information about this event click here.


Giving Tuesday - December 3, 2019

What is Giving Tuesday?

GivingTuesday is a global day of giving that happens each year after Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  This year, Giving Tuesday falls on December 3. 

It’s a time when Canadians, charities and businesses come together to celebrate giving and participate in activities that support charities and non-profits. 

There is no “right” way to participate as long as it supports generosity and giving. Donate, volunteer time, help a neighbour, or spread the word. 

Let us know how you plan to participate.  We hope you will include support for Anishnawbe Health Foundation in your #GivingTuesday plan. 




225 Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario M5A 1S4     |     416-920-2605    |




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