Adam Deleary is a member of Council for Deshkan Ziibiing known as Chippewas of the Thames First Nation.
“We are the Anishinaabeg of the territory of Deshkan Ziibiing, also known as Chippewas of the Thames First Nation. We call ourselves Anishinabek which means the original people. Known as the Ojibway, who are a band of the Algonquin language family who originally migrated to the Great Lakes area from the north-eastern region of North America. Our political alliances are with the Odawa (Ottawa) and Bodaywadami (Pottawatomi) who together form the Three Fires Confederacy.”
What is your mission statement?
"Chippewas is a forward-thinking nation with a strong grasp of our traditional values. Through culture, heritage, and continued education we are working towards a better future and towards being a self-governing First Nation. We are located on the north bank of the Thames River approximately 20 km southwest of London, Ontario. The majority of Southwestern Ontario is our modern traditional territory."
What do you love most about what you do?
"In my role as a member of council, I am a voice for the community of Deshkan Ziibiing at the council table when it comes to Community Development, Nation-building, and advocacy on behalf of the membership. I also get to represent and participate at the negation tables with London, Ontario, Canada, or other agencies in the best interest of the Nation."
How does the work that you do change the world or give back to our community in a positive way?
"The work that I do for Chippewa is vital to the local economy on Chippewa's traditional territory "Bear Creek" because it keeps the partnerships and communication alive between all parties involved. Also, building relationships with local, provincial, and federal members of the Government of Canada in the region ensure we are all working together to make Canada and London a better place to live."
What do you love most about working at Innovation Works that you are looking forward to coming back to?
"I like the location of the building, the other NGO's, non-for-profits, small businesses, and government agencies who share space in the building. I feel like this is a good place for partnerships to be formed, relationships to be built, and ideas to be shared."
What is the best thing that has happened for you or your business as a result of working at Innovation Works?
"It has made it more accessible for urban-members from Chippewa to connect with a Member of Council, outside of the administration or government building located on-reserve. In the future, I would like to see other departments of Chippewa of the Thames First Nation lease space for specific programs and services to build stronger relationships with our members and Londoner's within the City of London."
How have you had to adapt your business as a result of COVID-19?
"Our Nation has adapted to the restriction of COVID-19 by participating in zoom meetings, phone calls, and emails."
Have you been able to contribute to any community initiatives to help those impacted by COVID-19?
"I have been a part of approving and allocating COVID-19 funds from Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) administered by the health department to create emergency care packages, essential food hampers to those in need during the pandemic."