Inspiring Approaches to First Nations, Metis and Inuit Learning

Ashoka Canada hosts first ever Changemakers Summit   (April 16 – 18, 2012)

For the first time in Canada, philanthropic organizations including Community Foundations, private foundations and corporate funders joined together to begin a new and more comprehensive conversation to develop strategies urgently needed to improve education outcomes for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples.

Over $90,000 was awarded to innovators and leaders in recognition of their work in First Nations, Métis and Inuit education and learning. A first in Canada, the online initiative “Inspiring Approaches to First Nations, Métis and Inuit Learning” received over 266 entries – thirty of which were selected for awards.

Ashoka Canada engaged with leading philanthropic and citizen sector organizations, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, to launch and guide the Inspiring Approaches Initiative. More details:

The Circle joined Ashoka in hosting the “the path ahead” session to help us to inform our Collaborative Circle on Education and Learning (details coming soon).

In the meantime, if you were unable to join in or review live streaming, we have on hand blogs from the Summit and select presentations. 

Citizen Journalist Blogs:

Day 1, Day 2, Day 2a, Day 3. (Thank you Joey Paul Flowers and Shawna Snache)

Day 2 Session: What are partners and sponsors looking for? 

At a session facilitated by Anne Chabot, Executive Director, Mamow Sha-way-gi-kay-win. Representatives from partner organizations presented on concepts, tools and practices about what they look for in organizations and/or people they work with.  Here are some the messages we heard sitting in the audience and the panelist presentations as well.

Dana Vocisano, The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation

  • Approach funders as you would if you were applying for a job. Research and find out what phase of the project a funder may have interest in.  Suggestions included: signing up to funder newsletters, reading past reports and learning from stories. A book recommended in the presentation is called: Getting to Maybe (Westley F, 2007) “In order to accomplish great social movements, we must stop looking at the discrete elements of social projects and start trying to understand the complex relationships between them”.

Mario Gravelle, The Counselling Foundation of Canada

  • Discussed project, scope and planning. Stressed the need to demonstrate to the funder that the project is required by making no assumptions about “what the funder may already know”.  See additional resources here.

Dani LaGiglia, Small Change Fund

  • Proposal writing comes down to the showing the heart, the how and the now. The “now” is what would happen if you what you want to do, or are doing or will do – didn’t happen. Click here to review this presentation. There is a lovely video at the end of the presentation demonstrating and idea with a platform to succeed.

Cynthia McKinney-Drayton, Ashoka Global Changemakers

  • Effective communication and the tools for telling your story. The use of video, sharing your fan base and creating a monitoring and evaluation plan – see pointers here.

An encouraging message in all presentations to those of us looking for funding is “we want to make a change” and usually funders “want to make a change”.   The next question is where do we connect?

More PRESENTATIONS from the Summit

Strengthening Aboriginal Success: Aboriginal Education and the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada, Christy Bressette. View here.

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  1. Pingback: McConnell Foundation | News | Highlights from the Changemakers Summit!

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