Gimaa Laforme’s Ally Leadership Council Announced for Debwewin, Treaty 14 Day


Oakville, Ont., September 5, 2022 – In support of Debwewin: The Oakville Truth Project, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and the Oakville Community Foundation have launched Gimaa (Chief) R. Stacey Laforme’s Ally Leadership Council to coincide with the 216th anniversary of the signing of Treaty 14 in Oakville.    

The Council will work to reimagine and bring community-to-community allyship and reciprocity forward into the present, which will offer tangible outcomes for local reconciliation. Members were invited to serve because of the work being led locally by their respective organizations and their personal commitment and passion to move local Truth and Reconciliation forward. 


The Following members of the Oakville community have agreed to serve as members of the Ally Leadership Council:

  • Bindu Cudjoe, General Counsel, Laurentian Bank and Board Chair, Oakville Community Foundation
  • Don Pangman, Founder & Executive Director, ArtHouse
  • Andrew Tyrrell, President, Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton   
  • Andrea Rowe, Director Sustainable Programs, Halton Environmental Network
  • France Fournier, President & CEO, Oakville Chamber of Commerce
  • Sarah Iley, Interim Executive Director, Oakville Galleries
  • Tara Wong, CEO, Oakville Public Library
  • Jeff Bradley, Regional Vice President, RBC
  • Dr. Jane Ngobia, Vice President, Inclusive Communities, Sheridan College
  • Blair Richardson, Chair, Justice and Servant Ministries, St Jude’s Church
  • Kyle Barber, President & CEO, YMCA Oakville 
  • Susanna Zagar, CEO, Ontario Energy Board and Oakville resident

In addition the following Indigenous leads will serve as Advisors:

  • Elder Peter Schuler, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation
  • Georgia LaForme, Debwewin lead, MCFN
  • Angela Bellegarde, Indigenous Lead, Our Kids Network
  • Eddy Robinson, Indigenous Lead, Halton Region

The full biographies of the allyship council can be found on the Debwewin website.     

“MCFN has been working with many of these outstanding community leaders and are pleased with their continued support as we move forward in the next phase of the Debwewin: The Oakville Truth Project,” said Gimaa R. Stacey Laforme. “These individuals are playing a vital role when it comes to moving local Truth and Reconciliation forward in our communities.”

Treaty 14 was signed September 5, 1806 and confirmed the Head of the Lake Purchase between the Mississaugas of the Credit and The Crown. In return for the land, the Mississaugas retained the sole right of fisheries at 12 and 16 Mile Creeks along with the possession of each creek’s flats. The Mississaugas reserved the sole right of fishing at the Credit River and were to retain a 1-mile strip of land on each of its banks. Modern cities found within these lands include Oakville, Mississauga and parts of Burlington.

September 26th to 30th also marks Truth and Reconciliation Week. To honour the lost children and survivors of residential schools, their families and communities, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation will be hosting educational opportunities for all schools across Canada. Learning and commemorating the truth of our history from First Nations, Métis and Inuit knowledge keepers is an important part of the path to Reconciliation.

The Foundation is funding a local in-person gathering for students on Orange T-Shirt Day, September 29, for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The free educational program will be held at Paramount Foods Centre in Mississauga for students from grades 1-12. Registration is required.

In order to commemorate this day, residents are invited to participate in a variety of local activities, such as walking the Moccasin trails or visiting local kiosks by using the updated wayfinding map available on the Debwewin website:  



Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge all our relations, we acknowledge the first relationship with Mother Earth, the original nations of the trees and plants, the original stewards of the four legged, the flyers, the swimmers, the crawlers. We acknowledge the waters as being life and sacred as we acknowledge the carriers of those teachings, the females. We acknowledge the grandfathers, as well as Father Sun, Grandmother Moon and our distant relations, the stars.

We acknowledge Oakville Community Foundation is located on the Treaty Lands and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, as well as the Traditional Territory of the Haudenosaunee, and Huron-Wendat people. Further, we acknowledge that the Town of Oakville is covered by Treaty 14, the Head of the Lake Purchase (1806) and Treaty 22 (1820).

About Gimma Laforme

  1. Stacey Laforme is the elected Chief of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN). Born and raised on MCFN, Chief Laforme has served his community for over twenty years being first elected to council in 1999.

Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation

Mississaugas of the Credit are an Ojibwe (Anishinaabek) First Nation with 2,600 Members, 850 of whom approximately live on the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation Reserve near Hagersville, Ontario. 



Oakville Community Foundation

The Oakville Community Foundation is a local charitable solutions provider, delivering the tools to realize your charitable passions. The Foundation acts as a philanthropic medium, investing donations to generate new money for our community. We conduct local research to provide our diverse donors with knowledge and solutions to make an impact in the local community, both today and in the future. Thanks to the visionaries in our community who started The Foundation more than 25 years ago, The Foundation has granted more than $56 million to support charities locally and beyond.




Media Contacts:


Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation Contact:

Georgia LaForme (she/her) 

Communications and Engagement Lead  | 905-516-1830


Oakville Community Foundation Contact:

Michael Salem

Communications Director | 905-844-3562 x. 312