First Nations Solidarity Working Group: Furniture drive

The CUPE 3903 red-star logo

The CUPE 3903 red-star logo

From the First Nations Solidarity Working Group (FNSWG):

Dear friends,

We are excited to announce that members of Mishkeegogamang First Nation and the First Nations Solidarity Working Group of CUPE 3903 are launching a second furniture drive, with a 53′ 18-wheeler truck making the 28-hour trip north again in June 2015.

In the context of our ongoing relationship with members of Mishkeegogamang, we are committed to continue with the support the furniture drive provides, based on feedback and lessons learned from the first drive. We need to continue to build a network of grassroots support to make this initiative possible. Please see specific requests for fundraising and volunteer support below.

During this drive, we are prioritizing requests from youth and support for building and structural renovations that can take place during the spring months. We are collecting:

  • Youth sports equipment
  • Tools and building materials
  • Furniture for sleeping

Colonialism and the housing crisis in Mishkeegogamang

We must continue to expose the colonial injustice of a housing crisis and chronic underfunding in Mishkeegogamang Ojibway Nation. Here is a short documentary made as part of the last furniture drive.


We need community grassroots support in this initiative in order to send a truck out this June. Please support and share our Indiegogo campaign. Click here.

Media & more info

For more information, including how to donate useful items, media from our last drive, please click here. We will be collecting donations and doing pick-ups of useful items beginning second week of May.

For more information, or to reach out to us in anyway, please email

Thank you for your continued support!

In solidarity,
CUPE 3903 First Nation Solidarity Working Group


Mishkeegogamang First Nation is an Ojibwa nation located 500km north of Thunder Bay. Like other northern communities struggling against colonial dispossession, Mishkeegogamang faces traumatizing poverty despite billions of dollars of resources being extracted from their territory by the gold mining industry. A Northwestern Health Unit report stated that as many as 21 people live under one roof, and it is not uncommon for people to sleep in shifts to assure everyone access to a bed.

In the face of the ongoing colonial injustice of a housing crisis and traumatizing poverty, members of Mishkeegogamang and the CUPE 3903 First Nations Solidarity Working Group are organizing a drive for furniture for sleeping, youth sports equipment, tools and building materials. A truck will make the 28 hour drive north to bring the useful items from Toronto at the end of May 2015. We will be fundraising in April 2015, and collecting donations of useful items in May 2015. This drive is a follow-up to our successful first Furniture Drive in December 2014.

While the initiative in December 2014 was successful, it only reached a fraction of the community as the need is so significant. Also, the response in Toronto to the call-out for donations was overwhelmingly well-received, so we know we will be able to bring much more. We are doing another drive with the same focus on furniture for sleeping. We are also responding to the feedback from the last drive in prioritizing youth sports equipment, tools and building materials.

For more information, please click here.

What we need

We need to fundraise $4,500 to cover the costs of the fuel to drive the truck to Mishkeegogamang Ojibway Nation. $1,500 will go towards the costs of cargo van and storage unit rentals. All the items will be donations and picked up by volunteers. Please help make this initiative possible!

The impact

In filling a 53′ truck, we are able to send the equivalent of the volume of a small house of furniture, tools, equipment, building materials.

For a better idea of scale: in December 2014, after a month of collecting donations, we were able to fill the truck with about 30 couches, 30 mattresses, 10 bed frames, 40 chairs, 10 dressers, kitchen appliances, 30 boxes of kids toys, 200 bags of warmclothes, 75 bags of bedding, 50 boxes of jackets and much, much more. We filled 5 10′ by 15′ storage units. After we filled the truck, we had a storage unit left. We gave what we still had to Native Men’s Residence and Toronto Council Fire in Toronto.

Now we’ll do it again but with a focus on tools and building materials, youth sports equipment as well as furniture for sleeping.