The Board Designate, assigned by the Board of Directors, is responsible for the successful leadership and management of Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre according to the strategic direction set by the Board of Directors, taking into consideration recommendations, positions, and/or motions throughout the year including Annual General Meetings.
Reception, Administration, Finance, and Maintenance
The Core Sector is responsible for administration, finance, policy development, and corporate maintenance. The Core Sector supports the day-to-day activities ensuring that the goals, mandate, and direction are realized, as directed by the Board Designate.
The Core Sector is staffed by the Capacity Development Officer who acts as a resource to the Sector Management Team and oversees Administration, the Information Coordinator, and Maintenance Team. The Finance Director contributes to the overall success of the Centre by effectively managing all financial tasks in collaboration with the Finance Administrator and Support Team, alongside the Board Designate.
The Sector is funded by a variety of sources, namely the Community Cultural Support Program, a federal program of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), managed by the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC), in addition to management fees and funds generated through the rental of our facility, catering service, and event coordination.
Over the past year, the Core Sector has interacted with 12,500 individuals and groups who have come through our doors. These visitors come from elementary, secondary, post-secondary, and private schools; church and religious groups; aboriginal agencies and businesses; other regional Friendship and Cultural Centers; individuals and/or groups from First Nation communities, Tribal Councils and agencies; government officials; tourists, advocacy groups with like-minded goals and objectives; out of country visitors keen to learn who we are, our community, our programs & services and our history as Indigenous people. We also have expanded a working relationship with external agencies and groups interested in the use of our facilities through rental arrangements, in hosting workshops, launch movies, and hosting of larger meetings.
Restoration of Identity
Conceptual Drawing of the Teaching, Learning, Sharing, and Healing Space and IRSS Turtle Sculpture
IRSS Legacy Project
Made up of two Project Leads, a Strategy Planner, a Communications Officer, and support staff, the Restoration of Identity (ROI) team works collaboratively to plan, design develop engage and roll out the Indian Residential School Survivors (IRSS) Legacy Project. The team is responsible for realizing Toronto Council Fire’s commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 82. The Call-to-Action requests the establishment of, “publicly accessible, highly visible, Residential Schools Monument in each capital city to honour Survivors and all the children who were lost to their families and communities.” In consultation with the Aboriginal community and in partnership with the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto, the ROI team has advanced a project which intends of, “repairing what was damaged, reclaiming what has been displaced and working towards restitution for future generations.”
The IRSS Legacy Project is comprised of three components:
- The Restoration of Identity Turtle Sculpture by Anishinaabe artist Solomon King of Studio Niiwin and Stone Artisan Studios Ltd.,2.
- The Teaching, Learning, Sharing, and Healing (TLSH) space, which thus far has been the collaborative effort of the ROI team in consultation with Survivor groups, artist Solomon King, architect Brian Porter of Two Row Architects, and conceptual designer Shirin Hashemi
- Cultural Programming at the TLSH site including educational and employment training, community events, and celebrations will be guided by the ROI through consultation with Toronto Indigenous agencies as well as the Toronto community at large.
The installation of the Turtle Sculpture and the TLSH site are scheduled for 2020. The City of Toronto must complete a bidding process for contractors who will first complete below ground refurbishments to the Parking structure and site, before being guided through the installation of the culturally significant project.
IRSS Legacy Celebration
In anticipation of the installation of the Turtle Sculpture and the TLSH space in 2020, Toronto Council Fire held a three-day IRSS Legacy Celebration at Nathan Phillips Square from October 9-11, 2018. During the event, a life sized replica of the Turtle, constructed from foam and fiberglass, was exhibited on the square.
Over the three days of the celebration, attendees from across Turtle Island are expected to attend the programming and events that will include, workshops, traditional and contemporary music and dance, cultural teachings vendor, and food markets
The event is meant to inform the local community with regards to the IRSS Legacy project and its upcoming programming. As well, the event will bring together Survivors from across Turtle Island for a time of reflection and celebration.
In 2017-2018, Toronto Council Fire presented 2 IRSS Legacy Launches, IRSS Legacy Launches I at Daniels Spectrum on November 30, 2017, and Legacy Launch II at Ontario Place’s Cinesphere on June 14, 2018. Community members, partners, government officials, city councillors, potential funders, and faith groups, were invited for previews of the Legacy project. These individuals and organizations are important project supporters who have the ability to assist with project financing and promotion. Over the last year, many have gone on to their social media to promote and reach a broader audience. We welcome their ongoing support when we reach out to individuals and groups to attend the IRSS Legacy Celebration.