together we can grow, share and learn
Lenora s Networking Event
Niagara Site Coordinator, Lenora Gilbert's wonderful refreshment set up
Lenora s Networking Event4
Some participants deep in conversation
Lenora s Networking Event3
Networking between mainstream and Aboriginal organizations
Lenora s Networking Event6
Our Niagara Site Coordinator
‘Speed-dating’ for Networking?

Niagara groomed the room and brought in the biz!  In an afternoon of fun, interactive engagement local Aboriginal and mainstream organizations were invited to ‘bring their fun hats to share their work hats’. In other words come share an afternoon of learning and sharing without it feeling like work. 

Select regional organizations were invited to explore the who, what, when, where and ‘how can we connect’ of Niagara’s busiest programs.  Niagara Health System, Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre, YMCA, Niagara Regional Native Centre (NRNC), Recess Project, Niagara Chapter of Native Women, Bridges Community Health Centre (CHC), Southern Ontario Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative (SOADI) and Niagara Children’s Planning Council all came together to explore the Healthy Weights Connection world of networking, opening conversations for collaboration efforts and partnerships.   

Light, healthy refreshments and a variety of infused water options were available for the affair. NRNC’s Cultural Resource Coordinator opened the meeting with a Thanksgiving address in Cayuga, followed by a brief Healthy Weights Connection program presentation.   

Participants were then captivated by a unique version of ‘speed-dating’.  While speed dating is typically associated with getting to know someone on a personal level for dating purposes, this game was introduced here with the concept of breaking down business barriers; getting to know the person behind the job. Just like speed-dating each person would move around the room and meet with each of the others and have two minutes to ask questions. There was one rule; the questions could not be about their jobs/programs. While one might anticipate some level of angst at the name, or perhaps coming up with questions, there was none and players engaged delightfully, leaving little doubt that it was a complete success.  The room was still alive with laughter and excitement as everyone donned their work hats to share their programs and activities, project and partner interests.  

Out of that networking meeting NRNC and The Recess Project were able to develop a working partnership accessing local public schools as well as communications started around creating a resource in Niagara for babies between NRNC and Niagara Chapter of Native Women. SOADI and Bridges CHC were able to finally meet and open conversation.

In wrap up several prizes were drawn throughout the afternoon, contact information was shared, the Cultural Coordinator returned to do a traditional closing and a draw was held for a prize bag at the end of the day.