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Celebrating the importance of Canada’s First Nations

Barbara Davidson has incredible memories from her childhood on a farm in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
She and her brother Dan would walk around the grounds and find flint artifacts from First Nations who roamed the land centuries before her. The elm trees lining the property were planted in the late 1700s, harkening from the time of the MacNab land grant.
“We always had a strong sense of the people who were there before us,” Barbara said. “When you’re a kid, some things make such a deep impression that when you’re older, they become important.”
Those memories have compelled Barbara, now in her late 60s, to establish the Niagara Aboriginal Advancement Fund to benefit the local chapter of Native Women Inc. The fund, dedicated solely to benefiting Niagara’s First Nations communities, is the first of its kind within the Foundation. Barbara and Dan have both made bequests in their wills to assist the fund and Foundation.
So far, the money has provided scholarships and bursaries to fund the training and education of First Nations youth interested in environmental issues. It will also support cultural events, and cover other needs that arise.
“Canadian history hasn’t really reflected how important native peoples are,” Barbara said. “They are the natural people to teach us how to care for the environment.”

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