Pathways Project Breaks Down Barriers to Transportation for First Nations Community

Oct. 18, 2017

For the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, transportation is a critical barrier to improving the quality of life for members of the community. Due to the rural location of the reserve, individuals face challenges accessing many basic services. Currently, at least 75% of community members have known transportation barriers to employment, housing, education, health, and overall wellness.

With the help of a grant from the Fund for Canada’s 150th, the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation will embark on Pathways, a three year pilot transportation project for the community. Through the purchase of a bus, members will be offered a way to commute daily between their community and the city of London. With the intention of creating a long-term transportation solution for the community, the learnings from the pilot initiative will be tracked and evaluated to ensure sustainability.

Without a reliable method of transportation, individuals cannot take advantage of employment opportunities, education, healthcare, food, and other basic services. This is a systemic issue that is not unique to the Chippewas of the Thames, but one experienced by many Indigenous communities across Canada. Inequalities such as this contribute to the growing disparities faced by Indigenous People in comparison to the rest of the Canadian population. By enhancing mobility with an accessible transportation system, the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation can foster a sense of belonging and forge a pathway out of poverty for its community members, increasing the overall well-being of the community.

The initiative will be launched Friday, November 3 with a celebration to include a ribbon cutting, sweetgrass ceremony, and bus tour. This launch will provide an important opportunity for the community to come together and raise awareness of Pathways transportation service and the impact it will have on the community.

Thank you to the donors who made it possible for us to obtain a match from the Canada 150 fund. London Community Foundation and the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation are incredibly grateful for your support.

  • Bowden Family Fund
  • Michael Halls Social Services Fund
  • Wilson Family Foundation
  • Cec Rorabeck Sr. Memorial Fund
  • Ashley Grace Powell Memorial Fund
  • Bourne Family Fund
  • MacDonald Pierce Foundation