Indigenous Allies Working Group

“We recognize that we gather here in Nogojiwanong [Nigozh-i-wanong] in the Michi Saagiig Anishinaabe Treaty 20 territory, with affiliation to the Williams and other treaties.
We say “miigwetch” [mee-gwetch] for sharing these sacred lands and waters with those of us who are newcomers.
May we live in respectful relationship with all beings. As Treaty people, we commit to working towards understanding, justice, and reconciliation.”


Here is a calendar of Kawartha-area First Nations and other Indigenous events:



I watched a program on Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) called “APTN in Focus” with commentator Melissa Ridgen and others. The subject was Mi’kmaq Nation of Nova Scotia, which we have been hearing about in the mainstream news

I feel I received a better insight into what is happening in Nova Scotia and how the authorities are not being supportive. When the authorities step back, it’s like they are saying to settlers, “It’s okay take their traps, destroy their property.”

More importantly, I learned that Clearwater, a mega fishing corporation, is given so many liberties that even the local settler people do not have.

These figures help me get some perspective on the conflict:

–      Clearwater is allowed 6500 traps on their boats
–      Typical owner operators  have 400 traps on which is regulated by DFO
–      The Mi’kmaq have about 400 traps on their boat. (The Mi’kmag moderate livelihood fishing boat would have about 50 traps total).

I do not hear anyone stating this on the mainstream news.

I feel this program is very important to the common Indigenous peoples as well as common people like me.  This link has more details.

Irene Magill


As social justice advocates, I often feel that we chip away and chip away but I don’t really believe the “powers that be” will change.

But that’s exactly what happened this summer!

Here’s the short story

  • The Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board had a new school being built in East City that needed a name.
  • Even though they have a policy for naming schools that admonishes them to use names to forward anti-racism or otherwise support the inclusion and social justice aims of the Board, and even though the committee they formed to come up with recommendations brought forward 4 names, 2 of which had Indigenous significance, the Board over-ruled the committee and named the school “East City Public School”.
  • When this news reach the Community Race Relations Committee of Peterborough (CRRCP) and the Kawartha Truth & Reconciliation Support Group (KTRSG), they went into action.
  • The UPF Indigenous Allies Working Group supported their actions with its own letter to the Board, which was signed by over 50 members of the congregation.
  • In June 2020, Charmaine Magumbe, Chair of the CRRCP and Alice Williams, Chair of the KTRSG made a stirring presentation to the Board, asking that the Board to reconsider its decision.
  • And the Board agreed!
  • Further, the person who is to write a report for the relevant Board committee in October asked Alice to write the report with her! An invitation to true consultation.

So, a BIG THANKS to all those who signed the letter in support of the name change.

And to all you activists out there – take heart, keep up your social justice work. Sometimes it changes everything. Read more…


Wondering how to support local First Nations and Wild Rice (Manoomin)? Sign on to the Manoomin Declaration organized by Community Voices for Manoomin! The Declaration provides some ecological, historical and Indigenous background on wild rice and then a statement in support of First Nations. Some UFP members may have already signed on to a paper version at local markets, etc. UFP’s Indigenous Allies Working Group invites the congregation and our wider networks to sign the Declaration online:
Or you can look at the Manoomin Declaration on! We also are planning a fall presentation on Manoomin by Community Voices, so stay tuned …
For more information about the Indigenous Allies Working Group, see our webpage under UFP Social Justice and join us at a monthly meeting!