BAWAAJIGEWIN BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President: Mary George
Vice President: Susan Byrne
Treasurer: Mary Watson
Secretary: Sherry Caibaiosai
Directors: William Caibaiosai, Bradley Gibson, Bonnie Murphy, Alyssa Mcleod, Melissa Nakashima, Loranda Stenton
The Bawaajigewin Aboriginal Community Circle (BACC) is an Aboriginal-led incorporated non-profit agency in the Durham Region. Bawaajigewin is an Ojibway word that means the action of taking something that is a dream and making it into something you can see in real life. BACC strives to respond to and advocate for the dreams and visions of the Durham Region Aboriginal community. BACC was developed through numerous community partnerships and consultations in the Durham Region, particularly through the assistance of the Carea Community Health Centre and the Durham Region Aboriginal Advisory Circle. Through this partnership, the Carea Community Health Centre was able to hire an Aboriginal coordinator in 2014 who took the lead on hosting community gatherings to reach out to Aboriginal people in Durham Region. The gatherings met with great success engaging community members and volunteers, and by August of 2015, the Bawaajigewin Board was fully incorporated. The Board of Directors has responsibility for the stewardship of organization by establishing appropriate governance and risk management strategies to ensure the effective delivery of strategic objectives and outcomes, protection of assets, promotion of the Board’s Mission, sustainable long-term growth, and viability. BACC then set out to conduct a large-scale community needs assessment through an Ontario Trillium Fund Grant to create a Strategic Plan that was responsive to the current needs of the community.
VISION AND MISSION
A Place To Heal: Building a Community that Embraces our Teachings with a Vision of Today’s Needs
Our values are represented by the Sweetgrass braid. Through the Sweetgrass teachings, we value a positive sense of belonging for urban Aboriginal peoples through the creation of responsive, Aboriginal community-driven services. We value Aboriginal culture-based practices that are rooted in kindness and are respectful of the diverse Aboriginal peoples of Durham Region. BACC has opted to continue to identify as Aboriginal but respects the wishes of community members in their personal terminology preferences. BACC welcomes the unique gifts that all Aboriginal community members inherit from Creation. BACC welcomes the gifts of being Two-Spirited, the differences that disability provides, the opinions of children and youth as equally legitimate to adults, and the customs and traditions of all Aboriginal Nations who call Durham Region home. Like Sweetgrass, we are stronger together.
To build a strong sense of community, awareness and cultural pride by empowering Aboriginal voices, supporting family and community development, and celebrating the diversity of our knowledge, perspectives and teachings.
- To create a place of gathering and belonging; a space that creates opportunities ignites interaction, builds on the inherent strengths of the people, and evokes collective aspirations for a stronger and more prosperous future.
- To develop, expand, and preserve Aboriginal cultural identity through the delivery of programs and services that address the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of Aboriginal people of all ages.
- To develop initiatives that support individuals in their search for traditional knowledge, spiritual growth, healthy families, and strong bonds of friendship.
- To raise awareness, and encourage cross-cultural communication through activities that educate the public on the diversity of our histories, knowledge, and perspectives.
- To construct collaborative partnerships with local organizations and communities, with the aim of maximizing resources, supporting community-driven initiatives, and working towards the development of a clear and effective voice for Aboriginal peoples in the Durham Region.