By Paul MacLean – Former Volunteer who worked on First Project in Split Lake, Manitoba, 1964
It’s 50 years ago that I participated in the summer work camp at Split Lake Manitoba, the first project of Operation Beaver. I remember seeing the notice on my college bulletin board just at the time when I was wondering what to do with my summer. No pay, hard construction work, northern Manitoba … but it sounded like an adventure.
Why do we do these things? Looking back 50 years, I’m still not sure. What I can say is that summer adventure had a lasting influence on my life.
First, I went to Split Lake a somewhat insular Anglican, and I returned an ecumaniac. We were all Christians in the work group, but from many countries and denominations. There’s something about living in tents together for a month that tests one’s theological prejudices. Never again would I assume that my particular brand of Anglicanism was the superior form of religion.
We have a good news story to share and are pleased to announce that construction is underway on the AMIK III project at 3738 St. Clair Ave. E. and is ready to start at the AMIK II project at 3087 Danforth Avenue.
The St. Clair Ave. project is located in the St. Clair – Brimley area of the City of Toronto. It will be a four storey building comprised of 2 bachelors, 14 one bedroom and 6 two bedroom apartments. Surface parking for vehicles will be provided in the rear of the building and bicycle parking inside the building. Rent will be highly affordable, ranging from approximately $670 for bachelor units to $815 for one bedroom units and $960 for two bedroom units, which includes utilities. Completion and occupancy are expected in the spring of 2015.
The Danforth Avenue project is located in the Danforth-Victoria Park area of the City of Toronto, within easy walking distance to the subway.
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.
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.
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.