Yessica Rivera Belsham is the founder and heart of Ollin.ca, an organization which promotes growth within individuals, families, and communities in a compassionate and embracing manner with workshops, events, festivals, services and more which are all fostered in inclusion, diversity, and equity within the Kingston and Ottawa area. A variety of friends and family make up the Ollin.ca Team depending on the festival, event, initiative.
Although we serve communities across various regions, we would like to acknowledge this sacred land on which Ollin.ca primarily operates. It has been a site of human activity for over 15,000 years. When the first Europeans began to arrive in Southern Ontario in the early 1600’s, the north shore of Lake Ontario and the area originally known as Katarokwi (Kingston) had continued to be a shifting home between the Huron-Wendat Peoples and the Five Nations/St. Lawrence Iroquois. In the Mohawk language, the name Katarokwi means a place where there is clay or where the limestone is, and is defined by two rivers, the Cataraqui River and the St. Lawrence River, while Lake Ontario ecologically marks the region. The French translation of the Algonquin use of the term Cataracoui, means great meeting place.
Today, the meeting place of Kingston is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work in the community, on this territory.
Credit : Kingston First Peoples: Purposeful Dialogues. Relationship Building: Phase 1. Dr. Terri-Lynn Brennan (2015)
Ollin.ca is committed to treating all people in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. We believe in integration and equal opportunity. We are committed to meeting the needs of people with varying abilities in a timely manner, and will do so by striving to prevent and remove any barriers to accessibility and meeting accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
Commitment to an inclusive environment: Ollin.ca adheres to the philosophy that all community members should enjoy an environment free of any form of harassment, sexual misconduct, discrimination, or violence.
Ollin.ca embraces a notion of an enriched and enhanced community is one with diversity along a number of dimensions, including race, ethnicity and national origins, gender and gender identity, sexuality, class, spirituality, and religion.
It is our intent to present materials, activities, and events that are respectful of diversity: gender, sexuality, disability, age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race, and culture.
Your suggestions are encouraged and appreciated. Please let us know ways to improve the effectiveness of our services from personal or group experiences.
Special Thank you to all those who have been and continue to be a huge part of Ollin.ca:
Carlos Belsham, Reyna Belsham, Théo Paradis, Venezia Rangel, Lynda Brinklow, Tracy Lynn, Lorie Young, Lisa Cadue, Randy Cadue. Kathy Brant, partnering organizations, and the community at large.
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) parters with Ollin.ca to hosts events and activities that are open to the public at (400 Elliott Ave, Kingston, Ontario). It is an open and welcoming place with wonderful resources about mental health and wellness.
Ollin.ca sits on the committee of the Kingston Community Health Centres (KCHC) Special Events and together collaborate and support each other on various events across the community.
Ollin.ca sits on the committee of the Kingston National Indigenous Peoples Day (KNIPD) Committee and together collaborate and support each other on various events across the community.
Ollin.ca sits on the committee of the Katarokwi Indigenous Day of Wellness (KIDOW) Committee and together collaborate and support each other on various events across the community.
Kingston Latino Association (KLA) partners with Ollin.ca to collaborate and support each other on various events across the community.
Ollin.ca is one of the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour (FKIH) and together collaborate and support each other on various events across the community.
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