KILN expands Indigenous language offerings thanks to OTF Grant

Members of KILN and MPP Ted Hsu gathered on Sunday, Apr. 23, 2023, to celebrate a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
Pictured (L-R): Olivia Rondeau, Co-Chair, Board of Directors, KILN; Kimberly Debassige – Educational Consultant, KILN;
Dr. Lindsay Morcom – Educational Consultant, KILN; Carol Ann Budd – Co-Chair, Board of Directors, KILN;
Mandy Wilson – Community Connections Coordinator – KILN; MPP Ted Hsu;
Tracy Johnson – Member, Board of Directors, KILN; Laura Maracle – Member, Board of Directors, KILN;
Vicki Babcock – Secretary, Board of Directors, KILN; Constance Carriere-Prill, Executive Director, KILN;
Aaron St. Pierre – Treasurer, Board of Directors, KILN.
Photo courtesy of MPP Ted Hsu’s office.

The Kingston Indigenous Language Nest (KILN) celebrated a $93,300 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation on Sunday, Apr. 23, 2023.

According to a release from the organization, the grant allowed KILN to rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and grow Indigenous languages in the area.

“The preservation and sharing of traditional knowledge such as language is vital to Indigenous people and to Ontario’s multiculturalism. I am pleased that the Kingston Indigenous Language Nest has received the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Resilient Communities Fund grant to support the meaningful work they are doing in our community,” said Ted Hsu, MPP for Kingston and the Islands. 

The Resilient Communities Fund grant, awarded over 12 months, supported KILN through Strategic Planning to further their operational expansion, strengthen the leadership and resiliency of the Kanien’keha (Mohawk) and Anishinaabemowin (Ojibway) Language Warrior Teams through the creation of a Language Mentorship Program and fund the development of a robust and accessible Anishinaabemowin Language Program for beginning speakers, according to the release.

“This project has come to us at the precisely right time,” stated Constance Carriere-Prill, Executive Director at KILN. “In order to revitalize Indigenous languages, we must nourish and water seeds of language learning and help support our language teachers in expanding their own knowledge and competencies. With the support of OTF, we are able to do this in meaningful and impactful ways that will make Indigenous language learning more accessible for all.”

KILN describes itself as “an organization that connects the Urban Indigenous communities on this territory by growing safe and inclusive spaces to share and revitalize our languages and worldview, for generations to come.” Their mission is to strengthen connections to each other, the lands, our cultures and our identity through Indigenous language learning. You can find out more information about their upcoming programs by following them on Facebook, and learn more about the Kingston Indigenous Languages Nest on their website: https://kingstonindigenouslanguage.ca/

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), an agency of the Government of Ontario, is celebrating 40 years of grant-making in Ontario. Last year, OTF invested over $110M into 1,022 community projects and partnerships. Visit otf.ca to learn more.

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