Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic’s Awenen Niin Identification Program assists clients in the District of Thunder Bay to obtain birth certificates so they may access housing, income maintenance, education, banking, employment, and other programs and services.
Through the Ontario Poverty Reduction Strategy, this program received three years of funding in 2018, which will allow us to expand our services and advocate for systemic change. Fabienne Spiess was hired as the program’s ID Service Coordinator and has assisted with setting up ID clinics in the community, raising awareness about our ID Bank, building relationships with ID service providers and partner agencies, and assisting clients with accessing income supports and social services with their ID.
Our clinic continues to be an active member on the ID Action Group, which is a committee of local service providers that all work together to assist low-income and other marginalized individuals obtain ID. Members from various fields meet once a month to share best practises, expertise, and resources, as well as host training sessions for front line workers. We have taken a leadership role on the Indigenous Subcommittee, which focuses on addressing the gaps in services faced by First Nation communities. We are continuing to work with NAN, Indigenous Services Canada, and Service Ontario to map out current services and create community partnerships. One such new community partnership is with the Thunder Bay Public Library. We worked with the Lakehead University Legal Services to run an ID Clinic at the Waverly Resource Library in July 2018 and over 40 birth certificate applications were completed. We plan to run future ID Clinics at other library locations as we strive to increase access to ID services within the community.
For more information about the Awenen Niin Identification Program, please contact Fabienne at (807)344-2478.
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