With the most successful fundraising effort in Groundswell history, we are so thrilled to announce that the greatest number of Growing Change grants of between $10,000 and $100,000 were awarded to these eleven outstanding groups to support their vital, vibrant, grassroots organizing work!
Aaoodsokawin Mtigwaaking means “teachings from the land/forest” in Anishinaabemowin. This translation was given to us by an elder from G'Chiminissing (Beausoleil First Nation). We are an Indigenous 2SLGBTQIA+ and women-run land-based healing network and learning/mentorship initiative based in Southern Ontario. We formed in 2020 from collective members' shared desire to create more learning and mentorship opportunities and safer spaces for traditional ancestral skills such as gardening, plant medicines, seed saving, hide tanning, harvesting, maple sugar bushing, etc.
Niizh Manidook Hide Camp (NMHC) is a cultural revitalization initiative based in the Southern Georgian Bay aimed at restoring and preserving the art of traditional hide tanning in our shared Lake Huron, Erie and Ontario watershed territories. We are a Two Spirit hide tanning collective creating safer space for Two Spirit/2SLGBTQIA+ youth and community members. We offer Two Spirit hide camps and apprenticeships!
Disability Justice Network of Ontario - Prison Project
The Disability Justice Network of Ontario (DJNO) is an organization working towards disability justice within the province of Ontario. It is youth-led and comprised of members and staff who are disabled, most of whom are also racialized. The Prison Project is a DJNO project meant to hear, document and highlight the experiences of individuals with lived experience at the intersections of race, disability and incarceration - as well as associated systems such as policing, court, and post-release programs.
We are prison abolitionists who believe in building a care and community-centered approach to accountability and justice. We aim to mobilize concrete support for current prisoners, monitor, document and publicize facility conditions, create and provide resources specifically for those who are racialized and disabled navigating the criminal legal system, as well as educate and advocate against the expansion of prisons in Ontario and for a world without prisons.
Friends of the Attawapiskat River
The Friends of the Attawapiskat River (FAR) is a coalition of impacted community members in Treaty 9, supported by accomplices in Southern Ontario focused on stewarding and protecting the Attawapiskat River and its watersheds as the threat of mining grows in the Yehewin Aski (breathing lands). The region, recently dubbed by industry and the ruling class as the “Ring of Fire”, is located 500 km northeast of Thunder Bay, Ontario, in the Hudson-James Bay Lowlands region and in the lands of Treaty 9. While the area has been touted for its potential abundance of valuable minerals, such as chromite, copper, and gold, it is home to nearly 40,000 Indigenous peoples across 34 communities.
The Friends of the Attawapiskat River is a space for grassroots Indigenous organizers and accomplices to collaborate and build opposition to the mining development happening without Free, Prior, Informed Consent and its threat to water, sustenance, sovereignty, the climate, and human health. The Friends of the Attawapiskat River prioritize healing of our people in the face of intergenerational trauma and the ongoing colonially-rooted suicide crisis and see resistance and healing as interconnected.
Grassy Narrows Women's Drum Group
The Grassy Narrows Women's Drum group is leading a grassroots revival where women and youth are raising our voices and reclaiming our futures by protecting our forests, healing our waters, and reviving our culture.
Together with our allies, we have prevented all logging on our 7,000 sq km homeland for over a decade, built a movement for mercury justice, and become a leading voice for environmental justice and Indigenous rights. The revival of our culture and ceremonies goes hand-in-hand with the protection of the land and water. This is our source of strength in defending our water, our territory, and our people. The foundation of this work is the empowerment of our women and youth led by the Grassy Narrows Women's Drum Group.
Jane Finch Education Action Group
Jane Finch Education Action Group (JFEAG) is a resident-led group of residents, parents, students, and community workers, who share commitment to fully accessible and free public education in Jane and Finch and across the city and the province and globally. JFEAG was initiated in 2016 and established in 2018. JFEAG's principles include:
- Students, parent, and community involvement is valued in creating a neighbourhood learning environment;
- Schools and other educational programs must be responsive to the unique needs of our community;
- Holding school boards, local schools and the Ministry of Education and other relevant institutions, like colleges and universities, accountable will enhance the educational outcomes and opportunities for children, youth and adults in Jane and Finch;
- Challenging and changing the dominant system, which is racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist, Eurocentric, colonialist and neoliberal/capitalist is fundamental in our struggles for justice and equity.
Migrant Detainee Support Coalition
Migrant Detainee Support Coalition (MSDC or Midesuco) is a grassroots group of formerly incarcerated migrants, their friends, and allies. We are abolitionist, anti-settler colonial, and anti-imperialist. We centre the leadership of those who have direct lived experience of incarceration and communities who are vulnerable to immigration detention. Many of our members most impacted by this system are Black migrants. We are committed to advocating for non-carceral alternatives to detention and full access to health and social services for all migrants. Through self-determined, non-reformist reforms and community capacity-building, we aim to abolish double punishment, immigration detention, and deportation in so-called "Canada."
Groundswell is funding the operation of a phone line to support and organize with current migrant detainees held in Southern Ontario, including the Toronto Immigration Holding Centre, Toronto South Detention Centre, Toronto East Detention Centre, Central East Correctional Centre, and other provincial jails.
If your friend or family member is in immigration detention in Ontario, please email email@example.com for the number of the phone line and current hours of operation.
No More Silence
Founded around 2004, No More Silence nurtures an inter/national network of activists, academics, researchers, agencies, and communities to stop the murders and disappearances of Indigenous women and Two-Spirit people. Born from a desire to build Indigenous-led structures independent of colonial government and institutional funding, we have dedicated the past two decades to supporting Indigenous people, families and communities directly affected by gender-based violence. Our work is grounded in the principles of Indigenous sovereignty and ceremony, genuine support of gender-based violence survivors, the decolonization of gender and sexuality, police and prison abolition, community collaboration, humility and compassion. Spearheaded by Elder Wanda Whitebird, Audrey Huntley, Doreen Silversmith, and Terri Monture, No More Silence’s leadership collectively holds decades of community organizing experience alongside our own lived experiences as Indigenous women and Two Spirit people navigating state violence and settler colonialism in Canada.
No More Silence has always understood decolonization and sovereignty over Indigenous lands to be central to ending gender based violence. Our members have been and are part of Land Back struggles at Six Nations (Kanonhstaton 2006 and ongoing and currently 1492 Land Back Lane). While we have been primarily urban-based, over the years our members have moved back to their territories and we have become more involved in other landbased initiatives such as Camp Sis. No More Silence centres harm reduction and the experiences of Indigenous community members who experience the highest rates of violence and least amount of support i.e., sex workers, trans, two-spirit and disabled folks. We are grateful to our Elder, Wanda Whitebird, for always fostering a commitment to inclusivity and kindness in all our organizing.
No Pride in Policing Coalition
The No Pride in Policing Coalition is an anti-racist, multi-racial, queer, trans, and two spirit group formed in 2018 to support Black Lives Matter-Toronto and is focused on defunding and abolishing police and prisons.
We organized the 2020 Pride Day Abolish Police in Canada: A Pride Rally and Teach-in, the 2021 We Must 'Change Everything': Creating Liveable Black Queer and Two Spirit Lives without Police and Prisons Pride rally and march, the 2022 Abolitionist Pride: Reclaiming our Radical Histories and Creating Liveable Futures without Police and Prisons march, and the 2023 No More Shit!: Abolitionist and Antifascist Pride march and picnic in Toronto.
Ocama Collective is a community-directed group of birth workers of colour, living and working in Tkaronto (Toronto), who are dedicated to the reclamation of traditional and holistic childbearing and birthing practices, amongst queer and trans IBPOC folx. The Collective creates access to cost supported full-spectrum and community-based birth care as an imperative factor in reducing infant mortality, improving childbearing and birth satisfaction, and supporting maternal/parental physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.
In addition to cost-supported pregnancy and birth care, we endeavour to increase access to community-based resources for daily living and health, and revitalizing ceremonial and ritual based practices that are deeply interwoven in our communities' mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual support.
Sovereign Seeds is an Indigenous-led network dedicated to supporting Indigenous seed and food sovereignty in what is colonially known as Canada. Sovereign Seeds exists to support the revitalization, transmission, and vitality of Indigenous peoples' seeds and seed cultures. Through collaborative education, community-led research, and leadership amplification, we strengthen Indigenous food sovereignty and climate resiliency by creating meaningful opportunities by and for Indigenous communities to restore, live, and steward their food systems.
Tiny House Warriors
Tiny House Warriors is a mission to protect and defend Indigenous Territories from the Trans Mountain pipelines and tar sands infrastructure, including the massive supertankers along the Pacific coast.
Tiny House Warriors are building 10 tiny houses on wheels in a beautiful act of resistance to extractive industries and consumerism, these tiny homes are for Indigenous land defenders on the frontlines, with the new proposed build being a 24’ Tiny House Warriors mobile Tribal Feast House specifically to resist Trans Mountain tar sands tankers in the Salish Sea.