Cherie Brant vividly remembers participating in Anishnawbe Health Toronto’s (AHT) youth programs growing up. “The youth program was a real outlet for me. AHT brought me together with other Indigenous youth in the City and helped me to connect with my Ojibway and Mohawk culture and identity. Through programming at AHT, I developed confidence and my own voice. Each year that I had access to my traditions I gained a stronger sense of who I was, who I wanted to be and what I was so grateful for in my life. I credit the program with instilling in me the importance of local community development, which is an area that I work in today in my capacity as a commercial lawyer assisting First Nations, ” says Cherie.
Cherie’s also grateful for the support that her brother, Joseph Brant, received at AHT. “My mother was instrumental in arranging for Joseph to meet with the late Adam Lussier, a Chippewa healer from Red Lake Minnesota. Adam worked with his medicines and determined that Joseph needed immediate treatment for his kidneys and proceeded to treat him for five days at his home community. We could have never afforded for Joseph to get the medical support he received through AHT.”
When Cherie, a Partner at the law firm Dickinson Wright LLP and Chair of the firm’s Native American and Canadian Indigenous Law Practice Group, learned Anishnawbe Health was starting a new Foundation, she readily accepted the invitation to join the Foundation as one of its first members of the Board of Directors in 2017.
In 2018, Cherie deepened her commitment by pledging $100,000 to support the Foundation’s campaign to raise funds to support a new home for Anishnawbe Health that will bring all of its services and programs under one roof. Her gift will support a Group Meeting Room on the Primary Care Floor of the new Health Centre. The room will be named the Clare Brant Meeting Room in honour of her father who was well known for his role in operating Wigwamen Incorporated, a company that provides affordable housing for Indigenous people. The room will be a place for clients, particularly clients with Diabetes, to connect with staff and others in the community through sharing circles, culturally-based workshops and information sessions.
“Our father passed away just before his 51st birthday. He operated Wigwamen for 25 years and helped establish affordable housing for families all over the City. I was just 18 and Joseph was 16. We turned to AHT in that time of need and once again AHT was there for us. I attended a weekend retreat to help me with my grieving process. AHT gave me the tools I needed to help me in one of the most difficult times in my life.”
“Anishnawbe Health Toronto means a lot to me and I want it to grow and help others. I’m proud to be a leadership donor to the campaign for a new home for AHT and grateful to honour our father in this way,” says Cherie.
For more information on how you can support the work of our Foundation, please visit our campaign page here.