I started volunteering with the first nations people at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto. NCCT is Toronto’s oldest Indigenous community organization and one of the original Friendship Centres in Canada, the NCCT provides social, recreational, cultural and spiritual services for the Indigenous community and visitors alike. I volunteered in the kitchen, preparing and serving food for the Thursday Evening Social. Thursday Socials provide a free meal to the community in the dining room as members and visitors share the traditions of the culture including drumming, dancing and language classes in other areas of the centre.
I started volunteering here because I wanted to get to know and serve the people within the indigenous community, and expand my knowledge and awareness of the indigenous culture. I met with the head chef named Kevin and started serving food. While serving food I noticed an extremely large variety of people from families to loners, young people to seniors, people who were extremely proud of their heritage and wanted to share it to people who were a little more shy. I also got the chance to hear some of the concerns within their community, and to my surprise many of the concerns had to do with their languages and how they were not being properly preserved. A nice women took some time with me to ponder on why Toronto spends money to teach "Mother Tongue" languages to school children from foreign countries but indigenous languages were not offered. I was surprised by the conversation because language preservation was something I was curious about and had an interest in prior to attending.
Overall, this was a truly enlightening and a good experience. I was not only to help out less fortunate and very kind people in my community, but I was also able to further my knowledge within the indigenous community.