Tikinagan holds 2016 Annual Chiefs Assembly in Lac Seul First Nation

Posted: August 31st, 2016

Each year, a First Nation community in the catchment area kindly hosts the Tikinagan Child and Family Services Annual Chiefs Assembly. This year, the host was Lac Seul First Nation and the two-day meeting was held on August 24 and 25.

The Chiefs Assembly is one of the largest gatherings for Tikinagan, with 30 First Nation Chiefs and proxies travelling to meet with Tikinagan’s Board of Directors and staff. It is an opportunity for Tikinagan to update the First Nations leadership on the past year’s activities as well as listen to feedback. The feedback, often in the form of resolutions, guides Tikinagan to update or change operations and policies in the delivery of child and family services for the communities.

More than 100 people attended the Assembly. Delegates were presented with messages and updates from the senior management, as well as financial statements and statistics from the previous year. The Annual Report which was presented to the leadership is available on Tikinagan’s website at http://tikinagan.org/about/publications.

As the meeting came to a close, Tikinagan had a presentation for awards of recognition. The first was the Oneesh Tam Key Award, which is given to someone who has made a significant contribution to Tikinagan and the children and families served each year. This year was a collective award, given to the three Elders who sit on Tikinagan’s Elders Council.

Translated, Oneesh Tam Key means "Someone who sits in the front of a boat or canoe guiding the direction. Others follow the direction of the one sitting in the front." All three Elders have contributed greatly to Tikinagan this past year, and in all of their years of service. Their wisdom, guidance and knowledge are integral to Tikinagan as an agency and the Board of Directors. Congratulations and thank you to Elsie Fox, Emily Gregg and Georgina Neshinapaise.

The next award handed out was the Foster Parent recognition award, which is an annual award presented to the host community’s foster parents who have shown dedication and are role models for all foster parents. This year’s recipients were Katie Chisel and Helen Goodwin. Katie has been fostering for our agency since 2003 and has cared for 44 children as primary placements. Helen has been fostering since 2010 and has cared for 12 children as primary placements. Prior to this, Helen also fostered from 2003 to 2007 and cared for six children. Thank you Katie and Helen for your commitment to helping children and families during what can be a difficult time in their lives.

The last of the recognition segment was acknowledgement of Tikinagan employees who have celebrated milestones at the agency. Tikinagan has many dedicated and committed employees and this year we saw that 175 employees have been employed by the agency for five years or more. This is substantial and Tikinagan appreciates the continuous commitment. We celebrated 25 employees who reached their 10 year, 15 year, 20 year and 25 year anniversary this past year. These employees were honoured throughout the past year with Years of Service awards.

Next year’s AGM will be hosted by Eabametoong First Nation. Thank you to all the delegates for travelling for this meeting, and thank you again to Lac Seul First Nation for hosting the 2016 Annual Chiefs Assembly.