Aboriginal Reference Group
The Aboriginal Reference Group (ARG) membership
was comprised solely of representatives from the voluntary sector.
From Spring 2001 to October 2002, the Aboriginal Reference Group
gathered 18 members coming from voluntary organizations across
Canada to discuss issues of concern to the Aboriginal voluntary
One of the accomplishments of the ARG was to produce a video on the
notion of volunteering in Aboriginal Communities. The 21-minute video
entitled “It’s Our Way” was produced with
support under the Voluntary Sector Initiative through the Awareness
Table and under the direction of the Aboriginal Reference Group, which
has evolved into the National Aboriginal Voluntary Organization (NAVO).
It’s Our Way is a celebration of voluntary action from
an Aboriginal perspective ranging from traditional to contemporary forms
of volunteering and its meaning to First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples.
The video is intended to be both a celebration and an awareness-raising
tool to showcase and share how extensive and integral that the notion
of volunteering is in Aboriginal communities throughout Canada. The
reference to the “notion of volunteering” emanates from
the fact that in research for the video, there is no specific word for
volunteer in many indigenous languages. The act of volunteering was
simply a way of life, a responsibility that was part of Aboriginal societies.
For further information on NAVO, please contact Damon Johnston