Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Atlantic First Nations Create New Foundation to Pursue Philanthropic Funding

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Atlantic First Nations Create New Foundation to Pursue Philanthropic Funding

Article excerpt

Atlantic First Nations look to philanthropists

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HALIFAX - Atlantic Canada's First Nations communities have established a new foundation to help gain better access to hundreds of millions of charitable dollars that currently only trickle into reserves across the country.

At a news conference Thursday, organizers said the goal of the Ulnooweg Indigenous Communities Foundation is to pursue opportunities for donations, grants and investments.

Chris Googoo, chief operating officer of Ulnooweg Development Group, said a 2017 analysis by The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada found that approximately one per cent of registered charities are Indigenous focused.

"Consistent with the significant efforts around reconciliation, there is a need to build new relationships, understanding, co-operation and infrastructure, and for the philanthropic sector and Indigenous communities to work together more constructively," said Googoo. "The new foundation will work to fill this gap."

Googoo said the foundation plans to work with Mi'kmaq and Maliseet communities in the Atlantic region to establish philanthropic plans and goals and to create and manage new endowment funds.

It is a federally incorporated registered charity and qualified donees are to include registered charities and public bodies such as First Nations bands registered with the Canada Revenue Agency.

Endowment funds will direct monies to "fields of interest" including health and education, environmental initiatives, economic development, and scholarships.

Kris Archie, executive director of The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada, said the initiative is in keeping with the values of Indigenous communities.

"The first acts of philanthropy in what we now know as Canada actually were by Indigenous communities to the first settlers," said Archie. …

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