On Thursday June 26th, Frontiers Foundation celebrated the 50th anniversary of its Operation Beaver program with a breakfast held at the Flora McCrea Auditorium of Timothy Eaton Memorial Church, Toronto.
From our very first project in Split Lake, Manitoba back in 1964, volunteer participation has always been a cornerstone of Operation Beaver. We were quite happy to see one of our very first volunteers Paul Maclean managed to be among the one hundred people who gathered at this annual event.
(FF President Lawrence Gladue with Iolene Bjorna from Batchawana Bay, Ontario and author James Bacque)
The breakfast began at 7:45 a.m. as President Lawrence Gladue welcomed guests and introduced the MC for the day Jane Dawson, a member of Innu First Nation and current Board member of New Frontiers Aboriginal Residential Corporation, who introduced the head table: Olivia Chow, Lawrence Gladue, Barbara Catto and Rev. Andrew Sterling. Well respected Elder George Bruce said a native prayer and before the buffet breakfast was served, Rev. Sterling said grace.
Toronto Mayoral candidate and Keynote Speaker Olivia Chow, spoke passionately about the work of Frontiers Foundation addressing the issue of affordable housing across Canada. She pointed out how Frontiers Foundation has dealt with the real causes of poverty and homelessness. She singled out the Founder of FF Rev. Dr. Charles Catto who on March 1, 2012 went to Parliament Hill during a snow storm to voice the plight of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples. Like Charles, Olivia was critical of the purchase of F-35 at the cost of 40 billion dollars that should instead be spent on affordable housing; she mentioned that the Globe & Mail recently announced that purchase of these deadly crafts was suspended at last.
(Guest Speaker Olivia Chow with AMIK housing manager Oriana Lessard and FF Executive Director Marco A. Guzman)
Executive Director Marco A. Guzman indicated that out of 15 Operation Beaver volunteers we had an outstanding volunteer from Ontario, Adrienne Talbot, who will be returning to Inuvik, NWT for the fourth time this September. Adrienne is our Volunteer of the Year, Guzman said, and showed the award to be sent. He also paid a special homage to the Founder of Frontiers Foundation / Operation Beaver Rev. Dr. Charles Catto as a preacher of truth and paid tribute to his widow Barbara to a clamorous applause.
President Lawrence Gladue thanked TEMC for hosting the venue and those who prepared the breakfast and particularly Iolene Bjornaa, her son Joseph and nephew Seth who brought and prepared the fresh fish all the way from Batchawana Bay, Ontario.
(Suzanne Jones and Louise Da Re, FF 2015 Rally participants)
A Gala event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Operation Beaver is being planned for this October; kindly contact head office for further details.
Assembly of First Nations - In Honour and Respect for Frontiers Foundation Founder Reverend Charles Catto
Assembly of First Nations
In Honour and Respect for Frontiers Foundation Founder Reverend Charles Catto
Aanii, Watchee, Bozhoo!
We are all saddened to learn of the passing of a good friend and an upstanding individual who truly cared about First Nations people. Charles leaves a memory and legacy built over decades of dedicated work in providing shelter and comfort to the vulnerable and forgotten.
The Assembly of First Nations enjoyed a positive and mutually supportive relationship with Charles and the Frontiers Foundation. Most recently, Frontiers Foundation assisted in a project that the Pikangikum Working Group/Friends of Pikangikum undertook to provide support to this community. Charles truly believed that things that needed to be done must be done and shall be done, that somehow someone will provide. Armed with this belief, his persistence and dedication resulted in the installation of water cisterns and wastewater holding tanks for 10 homes in Pikangikum First Nation in northern Ontario through funds raised by members of the Pikangikum Working Group.
Although Charles was not there to see for himself the result of a family’s happiness to have hot and cold running water for the first time, former National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo witnessed firsthand the joy in the faces of the great-grandmother, grandmother, and grandchildren who lived in one of the homes. Former National Chief Atleo remarked that he could see the dignity and pride restored in this family – and this was just before Christmas! Thank you, Charles, for helping to make that happen.
This is not the only place where Charles and the Frontiers Foundation made an impact for First Nations. His work at Kitcisakik First Nation in Quebec and in northern Manitoba through the “Standing Tree to Standing Home” initiative that assisted those communities to become self-sufficient in building homes for themselves is something the AFN wants to emulate in other communities. In many ways, First Nations citizens and Aboriginal people on and away from their communities have benefited from the work of Frontiers Foundation.
We were pleased to invite Charles to deliver a presentation about Frontiers Foundation at our National First Nations Infrastructure Conference and Trade show in February. Again, Charles seized the opportunity to have a one on one discussion with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, the guest speaker, to seek support of the work of Frontiers Foundation.
Today, we offer our prayers and condolences to the family, friends and all those whose lives were touched by Reverend Charles Catto.
The AFN recognizes the tremendous work Charles has accomplished and the lasting legacy he leaves behind. With his dedicated supporters, with the Frontiers Foundation, through his good works, inspiration and the strong homes and communities he has built, we know that his memory and example will endure.
Tchi-miigwetch – Thank you!
ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS
55 Metcalfe Street, Suite 1600
Ottawa, ON K1P 6L5
Telephone: (613) 241-6789 | Toll-free: 1-866-869-6789
Fax: (613) 241-5808 | www.afn.ca
We are very sad to report to you that our dear friend and spiritual leader Charles Catto passed away on Friday night.
As you may know, on April 9th Charles underwent heart surgery at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre in Toronto. Since then, he remained at the hospital in and out of the intensive care unit due to complications with his kidneys and lungs, at times he had to be on life support.
Finally, after almost a month he was allowed visitors, immediate family and close friends, Executive Director Marco A. Guzman, Board member Roland Niganobe and I had the opportunity to visit Charles on Tuesday, however, since then his health condition has deteriorated with Charles contracting pneumonia.
May he rest in peace,
Lawrence Gladue Marco A. Guzman
President Executive Director
During February 3-5, 2014 the Assembly of First Nations sponsored The National First Nations Infrastructure and Tradeshow “Building for a Sustainable Future” at Toronto’s Westin Harbour Castle Hotel. Frontiers Foundation Founding Director Charles Catto was invited by the AFN to give a 45 minute presentation (translated) featuring our national “Standing Tree to Standing Home” activity but also including our history, our educational and overseas profile addressing total community needs.
Opening prayer was led by Elder Gary Sault of the New Credit Mississauga First Nation, followed by our longtime friend Jimmy Dick’s Drum and Song and welcomes from Mississauga’s Chief Brian Laforme, Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy, and Bill Traverse (AFN Housing and Infrastructure).
In his opening address National Chief Shawn A-In-chut Atleo appreciatively recognized Frontiers Foundation. His presentation was followed by Irving “Bing” Leblanc, Associate Director on Housing, Infrastructure and Emergency Issues who gave an overview of the agenda. During the succeeding three days Federal (AANDC and CMHC) and Provincial (Hon. Kathleen Wynne) speakers outlining available government programs was followed by appropriate concurrent workshops on Private Public Partnerships for First Nations, National First Nations Housing strategy, Infrastructure and Alternative Financing, Clean Water Initiatives and Innovative Solutions, Identifying Housing Challenges, Drinking Water Safety, Building and Renovating to Avoid Mold, Asset and Maintenance Management, Successful Housing Essentials, Housing as a Business, Sustainable Community Infrastructure, Sustainable Wastewater Treatment, Building with Aboriginal Wood, Fire Prevention Programs, First Nations Health, Disaster Coping Capacity, Financing Options, Building Resilient Communities, Improved Housing Construction, Governance Structures, Infrastructure Delivery Options, Revolving Loans, Home Insurance, Affordable Homeownership and Building Skills, Drinking Water Chlorination and other related issues.
Concurrently the conference hosted a magnificent trasdeshow showcasing the complete range of housing construction products and related programs .
At Conference closing, Charles was presented with a “Make it Right” all purposes tool combining hammer, screwdrivers, bottle opener, punch, etc.!
Thank you Shawn, Bing and all at AFN for honouring Frontiers Foundation as an effective partner in the cause of First Nations housing.
FRONTIERS FOUNDATION / Operation Beaver WISHES YOU ALL THE BEST FOR 2014 WITH LOTS OF HAPPINESS AND MUCH SUCCESS.
DESEANDOLES TODO LO MEJOR PARA EL 2014, CON MUCHA ALEGRIA, FELICIDAD Y EXITOS.
Building permit to proceed with construction of 20 units, located at 3087 Danforth Avenue was approved by Toronto City Hall.
Sod turning for Amik II housing complex at Victoria Park/Danforth area will follow soon.
The New Frontiers Aboriginal Residential Corporation (NFARC) strives to make affordable housing a reality for many aboriginal citizens that live in Toronto. Projects Amik II and III are materializing both in East Toronto to be occupied by First Canadians. Sod turning for Amik III at 3738 St. Clair Avenue East will be mid-November.
Project Amik team: L to R: Nick Ainis, FusionCorp Builder Ed Starr, SHS Consultant Marco A. Guzman, NFARC President Steve Hilditch, Architect
Toronto Multicultural Calendar covered the Whiphala raising at city hall which was run by CANO. Follow the link to the article.
September 27, 2013
Last night at Frontiers Foundation AGM, President Lawrence Gladue praised you for your work and being a splendid person. He wanted to personally present this medal to you, however due to your daughter’s health you couldn’t make it.
Back in 1996 I was fortunate to meet you for the first time at Wagoshig First Nation building log houses after which you became one of our Aboriginal Operation Beaver volunteers of the year. In subsequent years I saw you in action in many housing projects in Northern Ontario and in Quebec at Kitcisakik, handling our LT40 Woodmizer. Also wherever and whenever you laboured, that wonderful Evelyn was with you, sharing your assignment and equally worthy of recognition.
Thanks to your presentation at the Indigenous Conference in Vancouver, B.C. the world learned about Frontiers volunteer work in Canada’s third world.
Your personal contribution to voluntary sector resulted in improved health and better living conditions for so many families in Northern Ontario, Northern Quebec and lately in Northern Manitoba.
Thank you for sharing your housing construction skills, expertise in handling our donated Woodmizer sawmills, recruiting volunteers like Liss Larson, training so many young Aboriginal people and foremost, thank you for your spirituality.
May the Great Spirit bless you,
Marco A. Guzman, LL.D.