The Best Indigenous Organizations to Support in Toronto [2023]

Indigenous organizations play an important role in the development of Indigenous communities and cultures in Toronto. Many provide essential services like education, health care, housing, and economic development. Others work to promote traditional values and culture. Whether you’re looking for a charity or organization that can support your community-you should definitely consider Indigenous organizations! We researched some of the best Indigenous organizations in Toronto based on their reputation, financial stability/independence, programming/services offered (including grants), volunteer opportunities available/attractiveness, diversity initiatives underway/progress made so far and more! 

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Summary

Why should you support indigenous organisations?

Indigenous-led organisations are helping to heal the physical and emotional trauma of colonialism, the Indian Act and Residential Schools. They are essential to the recovery of traditional culture and language that have been passed down from generation to generation but have been lost or damaged during government-led assimilation.

It is important to support indigenous organisations to be a participant in the fight for human rights. Although indigenous peoples make up only 5% of the world’s population, they account for about 15% of the world’s extreme poverty. They tend to live off the land taken from them by colonists who force them into poverty, depriving them of their identity through assimilation policies.

Supporting indigenous organiaations also ensures the survival of ancient cultures. Indigenous peoples have long been marginalised and many of their cultures are threatened with extinction due to colonialism or other factors. Today, there are more than 370 million indigenous peoples around the world – they represent more than 5,000 different peoples with thousands of years of history and traditions that must be preserved at all costs so that future generations can also continue to share them.

To be an ally to indigenous peoples, we must follow their lead and work tirelessly to heal our planet.

Best indigenous organizations to support

1. Canadian Roots Exchange

Canadian Roots Exchange is a national Indigenous youth led organization that collaborates with communities to provide programs, grants and opportunities that are grounded in Indigenous ways of knowing and being. Their initiatives aim to strengthen the voices of Indigenous youth while amplifying their impact on society as a whole. In addition to working directly with community members, Canadian Roots Exchange also engages partners from across sectors including government, business, education and non-profit organizations. 

CRE organizes three main types of activities: leadership training programs, workshops, and gatherings. Their Indigenous Youth Policy School provides space for Indigenous youth (aged 18-29) to engage with peers through interactive online sessions on a local and national level. They also have a research program which provides opportunities for youth-led and community-focused researchers to undertake research projects that address the most pressing questions facing reconciliation in their communities and across Canada. This collaborative approach allows for more effective programming that benefits everyone involved.

Business Information:

489 College St Suite 500, Toronto, ON M6G 1A5
canadianroots.ca
+14169210079

Customer Review Highlight:

“Our partner Canadian Roots Exchange - Échanges Racines Canadiennes speaks on how trust-based philanthropy supports Indigenous self-determination by focusing on shared learning and empowering community-driven change.”

Pros

Cons

2. Mennonite Central Committee Ontario

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is a Christian organisation that shares God’s love and compassion for all in the name of Christ. Their international and regional work includes responding to basic human needs, such as working with Indigenous peoples, the criminal justice system, and refugee sponsorship. MCC also offers programs at home, including work with marginalised groups like people who are homeless or addicted to drugs. If you’re interested in finding out more about what MCC has to offer near you, please read their website or contact one of their provincial offices for more information.

MCC Canada’s Indigenous Neighbours program strives to build respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. They collaborate with Indigenous partners on advocacy to promote positive political, social and economic change for Indigenous Peoples. Also MCC provides opportunities for constituents to learn about Indigenous history, rights and concerns using workshops, speaking engagements, publications and online resources.

Business Information:

50 Kent Ave Unit 203, Kitchener, ON N2G 3R1
mcccanada.ca
+15197458458

Customer Review Highlight:

“I am probably biased because I work part-time for Mennonite Central Committee. But they are very nice people who really care about what they do. They are quite inclusive of others and have a real passion for peace.”

Pros

Cons

3. Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) was founded in 1971 by seven Inuit community leaders who were concerned about the status of land and resource ownership in Inuit Nunangat. Industrial encroachment into Inuit Nunangat from projects such as the then proposed Mackenzie Valley pipeline in the Northwest Territories and the James Bay Project in Northern Québec, spurred community leaders to action. ITK has since worked to promote sustainable development among Canada’s Indigenous people through lobbying and advocacy on behalf of its members’ interests. Through grassroots activism, ITK is also working to increase public awareness of Aboriginal issues across Canada.

Their work includes research, advocacy, public outreach and education on the issues affecting our population. They work closely with the four Inuit regions to present unified priorities in Ottawa. They conduct research that informs federal agencies, lawmakers and other stakeholders about the status of Inuit as well as the effectiveness of current policies and programs. The role that they play in research helps ensure that these entities are aware of issues affecting Inuit, enabling them to make informed decisions regarding policy or intervention impacting this group.

Business Information:

75 Albert St Suite 1101, Ottawa, ON K1P 5E7
itk.ca
+16132388181

Customer Review Highlight:

“Am Pleased with MRS. HELEN KAREN with the way she managed my trading account since i came in contact with her, within 7days trading period she made me understand everything i needed to know about trading and made me an outrageous profit , seemed unbelievable until i made my first withdrawal.”

Pros

Cons

4. The Native Women's Association of Canada

The Native Women’s Association of Canada is a National Indigenous Organization that represents the political voice of Indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse people in Canada. Their mission is to enhance, promote and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of Indigenous women within their respective communities and Canadian societies. In addition to representing indigenous women politically, NWAC also provides support for various socio-economic issues such as education access for aboriginal youth, combating violence against Aboriginal women and advocating on behalf of First Nations children with disabilities. 

NWAC provides support much like a “Grandmother’s Lodge.” They—as aunties, mothers, sisters, brothers, and relatives— collectively recognize, respect, promote, defend and enhance the Indigenous ancestral laws and spiritual beliefs provided by the creator. As members of this community they are able to provide education on these topics as well as create social opportunities that allow them all to connect with each other in a positive way. In addition to providing support for one another within the Aboriginal community it also serves as an avenue for sharing knowledge about Canada’s First Peoples with others outside of their communities.

Business Information:

120 Prom. du Portage, Gatineau, QC J8X 2K1
nwac.ca
+16137223033

Pros

Cons

Customer Review Highlight:

“Top notch building and staff. Time to turn the page and support our Indigenous women and celebrate their success. An amazing storefront. I see a very bright future and new cups filling in this organisation. I had a wonderful first time visit and was greeted with kind and amazing staff. This building is a state of art. I recommend a visit and to try the natural foods, very soon, I hear the Cafe will up and running can't wait.”

5. Not Just Tourists

Not Just Tourists was founded with the purpose of getting medical supplies to those who can’t afford them. Ordinary tourists are given the means to change the lives of the locals they visit. After seeing first-hand the serious lack of medical supplies in Cuba, Dr. Ken Taylor and his wife Denise—from St. Catharines, Ontario—started taking medical supplies to remote areas in Cuba as part of their regular travel itinerary. Soon others who were travelling to Cuba began approaching them to take medical supplies too, and this phenomenon started happening more frequently over time. With each shipment that is sent out from Toronto, Not Just Tourists makes a significant impact on local communities by providing vital health care items such as antibiotics and vaccines. 

The organization has also helped improve access to healthcare for people living in poverty around the world through its distribution programs. Thanks largely due not just tourism but all forms of international cooperation which have improved human life everywhere it’s touched. Not Just Tourists receives donations from Canada’s largest hospitals, clinics, medical suppliers and individuals. The supplies donated are typically gauze, bandages, surgical instruments, masks, gloves, antiseptics, IV kits, urinary supplies and birthing kits. Everything is accomplished through volunteers.

Business Information:

240 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto, ON M6R 1L3
njt.net
+16477977438

Customer Review Highlight:

“Wonderful place, and even more wonderful people! They make volunteering a fun event, and what they are doing for the world is truly inspiring!”

Pros

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6. Habitat for Humanity Canada

Habitat for Humanity Canada is committed to helping those in need through the provision of affordable, quality homes. Together with local Habitats, their volunteers and supporters, they will transform many more lives by providing housing that helps people achieve stability and self-reliance. Through their bold new strategy, they will work tirelessly to increase their impact across Canada and around the world. They believe now is the time for a change – let’s make it happen together. 

Anyone can apply to become a Habitat homeowner, but must be in need of housing, able to make affordable mortgage payments and be willing to actively partner with their local Habitat, including a commitment to completing 500 volunteer hours. If you are selected to become a Habitat homeowner, your local Habitat will work with you to help prepare you for the responsibilities of homeownership, which may include workshops on budgeting, home maintenance and more.

Pros

Cons

Business Information:

477 Mt Pleasant Rd #403, Toronto, ON M4S 2L9
habitat.ca
+18006675137

Customer Review Highlight:

“There’s only one trustworthy and reliable forex trader I can only recommend for anyone interested in investment. Mrs Charlotte Richard is the best account manager I can ever recommend here, if anyone here is interested you can kindly reach her out for more information and also start making profits for yourself.”

7. Sew on Fire Ministries

Sew on Fire is a God-birthed ministry who with the help of an army of volunteers, schools, service groups, businesses, churches and individuals like you has been able to bless people in over 100 countries around the world. Along with 35 to 50 tons (annually) of humanitarian aid are practical items creatively packaged to help people with their specific needs. This includes things such as hygiene products for refugee camps or disaster areas; clothing for those affected by natural disasters and much more. 

By donating your unwanted clothes and accessories – whether they be new or gently used – you can make a significant difference not only in someone’s life today but also throughout generations to come. Youth and ladies groups, clubs, high school students needing volunteer hours, organisations or individuals wanting to help are all welcome. They have countless volunteer opportunities. So don’t wait any longer – give generously through Sew On Fire!

Business Information:

975 Fraser Dr Unit 6-7, Burlington, ON L7L 4X8
sewonfire.com
+19053335722

Customer Review Highlight:

“Donated old t-shirt stock, wonderful organization. Love the work they do.”

Pros

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FAQs

There are a number of ways you can support indigenous communities in Canada. You can donate money to organizations that work directly with these communities, volunteer your time or skills, buy products made by indigenous businesses and more.

There are many resources available for individuals who want to learn more about Indigenous history and culture in Toronto, including books, documentaries, and walking tours. Some organizations, such as First Story Toronto, offer educational programs and events that explore the Indigenous history of the city. It is important to seek out Indigenous-led resources and perspectives to ensure an accurate and respectful understanding of Indigenous culture and history.

Yes, it is important to do research before supporting an Indigenous organization to ensure that the organization is legitimate and that donations will be used effectively. Individuals can look for organizations that are transparent about their financials and programs, and that have a track record of effectively supporting Indigenous communities.

Supporting Indigenous communities is important because they are often the first to experience and face many of the challenges faced by society as a whole. This includes things such as environmental devastation, poverty and inequality. Aboriginal people have unique knowledge about their culture and surroundings that can be beneficial in addressing these issues.

Final Thoughts

Deciding which Indigenous organization to support can be a difficult task. There are many organizations doing amazing work in Toronto, and it can be hard to know where to start. However, by taking the time to research the different organizations and their individual missions, you’ll be able to choose the one that best aligns with your values. By supporting these organizations, individuals can contribute to reconciliation efforts and help to create a more just and equitable society for all.

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