OUR DIRECTOR

Message from Our Director

Native Child and Family Services of Toronto has long recognized the need to create new and better relationships with private philanthropy, foundations, corporate and individual donors who might want to help us in our work with the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children in Toronto. Although our Indigenous families have tremendous needs, these needs have not been well understood or widely recognized when considered in the light of charitable giving. Just 3% of philanthropic support has gone to the Indigenous organizations across Canada. While some charities do raise funds none prioritize Indigenous children, even though they are dramatically over-represented in all of these areas of concern.

In 2018-2019 NCFST created the Indigenous Spirit Fund. In the words of Cree Elder, Andrew Wesley, who taught us to aspire to something great, the Fund’s vision is of:

“A world where all Indigenous children, youth and their families experience purpose, peace, joy and love.”

And so the Fund offers an opportunity to Canada’s philanthropic sector, and Indigenous children, families and organizations to build new relationships that are of mutual benefit. The fund works within the context of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls To Action and uses the Touchstones of Hope Reconciliation process which emphasize Truth Telling, Acknowledging, Restoring, and Relating and serve as the guideposts for our work. The Fund is an opportunity for the creation of a simple pathway for philanthropists to support those Indigenous families who need help the most. Through the Indigenous Spirit Fund, that support will go to help the most vulnerable of all — children.

In return, donors will find, by helping us to nurture their spirit, in return they will have nurtured their own.

About Kenn Richard, MSW, MSC

Both sides of Kenn Richard’s family come from the original Métis and Francophone settlements along the Red and the Assiniboine River in Manitoba. Kenn is the Founder, and until recently was Executive Director, of Native Child and Family Services of Toronto. He is now the Director of the Indigenous Spirit Fund. He holds a Masters in Social Work, University of Manitoba, and has been practicing social work, principally within Aboriginal child welfare, for over 40 years.

Kenn is the recipient of multiple awards including the Toronto Civic Award of Merit, The Aboriginal Affairs Award, The Chief of Police Community Award, and the Salute to the City Award for outstanding civic contribution, the Diamond Jubilee Medal, Jane Jacobs Lifetime Achievement Award, and most recently the Meritorious Service Cross, one of the highest civilian honors awarded Canadians, for his achievements for his actions toward contributing to the quality of Canadian life.

About Kenn Richard, MSW, MSC

Both sides of Kenn Richard’s family come from the original Métis and Francophone settlements along the Red and the Assiniboine River in Manitoba. Kenn is the Founder, and until recently was Executive Director, of Native Child and Family Services of Toronto. He is now the Director of the Indigenous Spirit Fund. He holds a Masters in Social Work, University of Manitoba, and has been practicing social work, principally within Aboriginal child welfare, for over 40 years.

Kenn is the recipient of multiple awards including the Toronto Civic Award of Merit, The Aboriginal Affairs Award, The Chief of Police Community Award, and the Salute to the City Award for outstanding civic contribution, the Diamond Jubilee Medal, Jane Jacobs Lifetime Achievement Award, and most recently the Meritorious Service Cross, one of the highest civilian honors awarded Canadians, for his achievements for his actions toward contributing to the quality of Canadian life.

ABOUT OUR FUND

The Fund

The Indigenous Spirit is a fund for First Nations, Métis and Inuit children, youth and their families.

The Indigenous Spirit Fund (ISF) is a new initiative established in 2018 by Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST), Canada’s largest Indigenous non-profit multi-service organization. Led by Indigenous people with expertise in child and family welfare, Indigenous cultures, and governance. Community-focused, and based in Toronto, our work will focus on local and regional initiatives that benefit Indigenous children and families.

Our Vision

“A world where all Indigenous children, youth and their families experience Purpose, Peace, Joy and Love.”

Andrew Wesley, Cree Elder

Our Mission

  • The ISF exists to create partnerships within the charitable sector to enhance the life chances of Indigenous children, youth and their families.
  • The ISF is dedicated to supporting programs and services that serve Indigenous children who are at risk of removal from their families such that risks are addressed and families preserved.
  • The ISF is especially concerned and focused on Indigenous children in foster, group, kinship and customary care including those aging out without needed supports.
  • It does its work within the context of Reconciliation specific to both the legacy of Residential Schools and the current impact of the Sixties Scoop.
  • It supports Indigenous ways of knowing and embraces the principles of wise and just services.
  • It is informed by Indigenous trauma and recognizes healing comes from a self-determined and culture-based approach.
  • It exists as an Indigenous led and accountable entity; funds raised prioritize direct services and related supports.

SUPPORTERS

Proud Supporters of Our Cause

The Indigenous Spirit Fund (ISF) is a new initiative established in 2018 by Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST), Canada’s largest Indigenous non-profit multi-service organization. Led by Indigenous people with expertise in child and family welfare, Indigenous cultures, and governance, the ISF supports local and regional initiatives that benefit Indigenous children and families.

Contact Us

Kenn Richard, MSW, MSC,
Director, Indigenous Spirit Fund

30 College Street
Toronto, ON
M5G 1K2

416 969-8510
Email Us