July 1, 2021
Dear Friends of the French River,
As we celebrate Canada Day I wanted to reach out and talk with you about some important work being done at Dokis on Education. Valerie and her family at Riverview Cottages have created in the last several years an Indigenous Scholarship in memory and honour of Leonard Dokis. Leonard was such an important part of the river for many of us. His friendship, hospitality, commitment to the people of Dokis, our community and the safeguarding the French river for all of us over the years represent many of Leonard’s legacies. Equally important was Leonard’s commitment to education and encouraging the young people of Dokis to continue forward with a post-secondary education. Leonard had a grade four education but recognized the importance of providing access to education and all of the potential in can unlock in the community. The scholarship that Val/her family created in his honour has grown and she is granting many of Dokis’s young scholars awards that help support their education and advancement.
As we embrace Canada Day and all of it’s meaning this year we also find ourselves reconciling Canada’s history on residential schools and the tragic discovery of so many unmarked graves of Indigenous children across Canada. I think the discovery of these unmarked graves has brought home the decades of pain that was felt by the Indigenous community across this country for so many years. There is more work to do across Canada to help heal this painful memory and I’m personally encouraged by the way we are seeing so many Canadians start to understand this chapter of our history in ways we may not have understood before.
As I thought about the past, I also asked myself how can I make a contribution to Canada’s Indigenous communities to help build brighter futures. And that is why I am writing to you. The Leonard Dokis scholarship fund that Val and her family have set up serves all of the Dokis community. I would like to make an appeal to my fellow French River friends and neighbours to consider a donation to the scholarship fund this year in particular as we reflect as Canadians. My family has been on the River more than 100 years and I’d like to think that building our full friendship and support for Dokis and Indigenous people through an investment in education is an excellent way to strengthen our friendship and respect going forward.
I am personally pledging 500.00 for the scholarship fund this year. And I would ask if you would consider making a contribution to the Leoanrd Dokis Education Scholarship on behalf of your family and historical ties to the Indigenous people of the area. This is a registered charity and is a tax deductible donation. Your support/donation can be done through the attached link electronically or you can mail a cheque to Riverview Cottage payable to;
The Leonard Dokis Foundation
302 Charlie's Bay Rd
Dokis First Nation ON P0M2N1
Or online directly at