How Mikinakoos was Formed
The need for Mikinakoos Children’s Fund was seen by our inaugural Board of Directors before its creation. The initial members had a long standing history working in northern Ontario, often travelling up to the remote communities. In witnessing the living conditions of First Nations children, it was decided that through a children’s fund, poverty conditions could be alleviated. Thus, Mikinakoos, “Little Turtle” Children’s Fund was born. In 2014, the charity was registered.
Since inception, we have provided food and warm clothing to several hundred children living in the north. In addition to the Mikinakoos Children’s Fund also offered support to families grieving after the loss of family members, and has been present for other community gatherings. Working with community members to address their needs is vital to our program success, along with other important collaborations including work with Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority’s Nodin Child and Family Intervention Services.
Our Name & Logo
Mikinakoos means “Little Turtle” in the ojibwe language. In many First Nations stories, the earth was created on the back of the turtle, with the turtle providing stability, patience, and care to the people. One day, an Elder in the community was given tobacco, from which the Elder first dreamt of Mikinakoos, the Little Turtle.
The Little Turtle was sick, and it was being taken care of by the community. One day, after being nurtured back to health by the members of the community, the Little Turtle was ready to be released back into nature. There was an air of excitement for the Little Turtle’s release, as the whole community gathered by the water side. The community watched as the Little Turtle was put onto a slide, and looking back, the Little Turtle smiled to the community. Mikinakoos then slid into the lake, and there was cheering for him as he surfaced in the water, ready to support himself. Mikinakoos swam through the lake, occasionally looking back towards the community, but he never ventured far away because the community had become his home. As Mikinakoos swam through the water, the back of his shell glowed yellow as the sun reflected off of it in the distance. - Elder, Lac Seul First Nation