AT OUR CLUB June 28, 2022

Incoming President for 2022-23 Brian Walmark presided today, with assistance from co-hosts Warren Philp, Matt Villella, and outgoing president Jim Madder
Members acknowledge the excellent Newsletter communiques executed by Jim over the past Rotary year. 
Thus, please review Jim's June 27th communique for a fulsome overview of this week's news.

Special welcome guests today included Frank Wilson (WT RCAT) and Mike den Haan (VP External Relations at LU)

Brian's expanded land acknowledgement today was special. It was meaningful, relevant and what he termed " the first step only, in true reconciliation"

Warren Philp introduced our distinguished speaker today. Fort William FN Chief Peter Collins spoke to us from his office, (whilst juggling other significant demands) on economic development : past, present and future at Fort William First Nation.
See pic

Chief  Collins is the long serving Chief of Fort William First Nation. He will be stepping aside at the end of this his tenth and final term.  He has overseen a massive transformation of Fort William First Nation in terms of economic, social and educational development.  Chief Collins is one of those rare leaders who balances the economic needs of his people with social development.  He is a strong champion of education and its potential to empower members of his community. He previously served 9 years as Regional Grand Chief of the Northern Superior Region, chair of Dillico Child and Family Services and currently holds a Board position with the, Anishnawbek Nation, formally know as the Union of Ontario Indians.  

He was first elected chief in 1998, following several years on band council. His extensive experience covered relations between Anishnabwek peoples (and non) in this area  and by sheer determination, resulting major economic successes over the years. The accompanying photo shows him wearing a Resolute ball cap. The original Fort William FN agreement with (then) Bowater resulted in the mill build, principally by his people. A number of other accomplishments were then discussed. FWFN members are treaty rights holders, not "opponents" They work hard to succeed as a community.

 Chief Collins reaffirmed in addition his commitment to education of his youth and a special desire to assist members with disabilities.

The club is indebted to Chief Collins for his taking the time from his  busy schedule to address us. There are many positive commonalities between our organizations. He was thanked by Brian Walmark.


(refer to Jim Madder's communique June 27th)

1. (Warren Philp): Waterfront Trail Rotary Action Team: acknowledgements abound to contributors including President Madder.
 An economic and tourism impact study is moving ahead on this big project, as well as a website.

2. (Bob and Joanne Tomlinson): Wilderness Discovery Centre: final electrical and plumbing touches are completed at the staff quarters. Bob showed slides-very professional results.
RYLA transportation salutes Leslie Savitsky (front leg to Duluth) and Brenda Winter (returnees arriving back from Duluth).
Country on the Bay at FT William Historic Park; preparations being finalized with club volunteer assignments forthcoming.

3. (John Stephenson): Our Thai incoming student Fern will be attending St.Ignatius High School. Matt Diegel and John are working on final touches and Shelley Crawford is coming on board as Youth Exchange Student Counsellor. A 2nd potential host family is identified. Two more host families need to step up.

4. (Brian Walmark) thanked Kim Gurnett and  Jim Madder for a wonderful Passing the Gavel afternoon at Jim's residence.
Kevin Holloway showed a variety of videos including the spoof Rotary Philharmonic Band and Choir effort. All fun.

5.(Shelley Crawford) encourages participation in a big funding announcement at TB Art Gallery (3:30 p.m.) Thursday, June 30th.

6. Happy Dollars: Once again nice contributions engineered by Warren Philp.