Hello Everyone, Happy New Year from the Thunder Bay Family Network!

Thunder Bay Family Network (TBFN) is pleased to be part of a Provincial project, Uncovering the People’s History. Thunder Bay Family Network has been invited by representatives from Family Alliance of Ontario to begin to work together on this project. Family Alliance Ontario (FAO) is an autonomous, not for profit alliance of families and people with disabilities who offer knowledge, tools and networking opportunities to individuals with disabilities, their families and friends. Their mission is to assist people in realizing a vision that includes valued relationships; choice and control over their lives; meaningful contribution and participation in their community through valued social roles. For over 20 years, FAO has been supporting local family networks to bring people together in order to create positive social change.

As the result of the historic settlement of the class action lawsuits brought forward by people of Huronia, Rideau and Southwest Regional Centres against the Province of Ontario; some of the remaining funds were allocated by the Superior Court of Ontario to provide one-time allocations to fund projects to help people share their stories, to capture the history of institutionalization and learn from this history so we do not repeat it.

Uncovering the People’s History, provides the opportunity for people who lived in institutions to share their stories, along with honouring their history. This project offers a unique opportunity for everyone to learn more about what life was like for people with disabilities living within the institutional walls. As we have begun to have conversations with people; discoveries and uncovering of histories is occurring right before us.

This historic project sees Family Alliance Ontario (FAO) joining with Family Networks (such as Thunder Bay Family Network) across Ontario to organize community gatherings. We will invite people and their families to share their experiences and their stories with Thunder Bay Family Network. While the large institutions are closed, institutional practices which control and harm people still exist. This project will bring forth the inherent dangers of the institutional model of care which people continue to experience today.

A goal of the project is to develop a travelling educational exhibit to share the stories of people that lived in institutions with the general public. It will be displayed in a variety of community settings, such as libraries, schools, and museums.

If you know of a person who has lived in an institution, or a family member of a person who has lived in an institution or know of someone who wants to tell their story, please come to our community gathering to hear about the project.

Date: January 30th, 2020

Time: 11:30-1:30 PM

Location: Boardroom of Communities Together for Children
425 Edward Street N., Suite #11
Thunder Bay, ON

Light Refreshments will be provided.

Please RSVP by contacting Thunder Bay Family Network (TBFN) Board Member Terry Lowey at lowey@confederationc.on.ca

Additional information can be found on the Family Alliance of Ontario Web Site.

For inquiries or media interviews please contact:
Terry Lowey
TBFN Board Member