Every new $1 becomes $2 dollars as fund agrees to match donations

Earlier this week, St. Francis Xavier University’s Coady Institute kicked off Circle of Abundance – Amplifying Indigenous Women’s Leadership to support Coady Institute’s International Centre for Women’s Leadership and the Centre’s Indigenous programming. Ryan Reynolds’ and Blake Lively’s $200,000 gift launched the campaign and the donation has already opened other avenues for Coady.

Inspired by the initial donation and all those since, the Jeannine Deveau Education Equity Endowment Fund is willing to commit $500,000 to Circle of Abundance – Amplifying Indigenous Women’s Leadership by matching dollar-to-dollar Blake and Ryan’s donation and up to another $300,000 to match any new donations. Reaching that target will help Coady achieve the $1 million goal for Circle of Abundance.

Jeannine Deveau graduated from St. Francis Xavier University in 1944 and had a successful career as a professor of nutrition in Montreal. Encouraged by her father to invest she did well. In 2015, saddened but inspired by the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Jeannine Deveau began investing in improving educational opportunities for Indigenous Canadians, explaining simply “It’s the right thing to do.”

“The Jeannine Deveau Education Equity Endowment Fund was established to further that objective, looking particularly to augment Indigenous-led and supported initiatives,” Bill Gunn, Jeannine’s nephew, says.

“When Jeannine was briefed on Coady and the Indigenous Women in Community Leadership (IWCL) program in 2015 she was suitably impressed with the approach and results being achieved. We are thus very pleased to be given this opportunity to support the next phase and would encourage anyone having the means and inclination to join us in this investment in the future of Canada.”

“Through engagement and collaboration, we strengthen our leadership by sharing our stories, by creating a community of practice amongst the alumni, while respecting the diverse cultures and languages of the Métis, Inuit, and First Nations across Canada. Generous donations to Coady programming ensure these voices are amplified and community-led solutions continue to be driven for and by Indigenous women.”

Victoria LaBillois

Coady mentor Victoria LaBillois, a Mi’kmaw entrepreneur from Listuguj, Quebec in the traditional territory of Gespe’gewa’gi, is a mentor and advisor to Indigenous women as part of the IWCL program. Having served in many roles for her First Nation at band, regional, and national levels as well as in federal public service, she brings her experience and wisdom to the program.

“As we shift to a mentality of abundance, Coady Institute programs such as the Indigenous Women in Community Leadership provide a platform for Indigenous women to reclaim their space, their voices, and their power,” Victoria says.

“Through engagement and collaboration, we strengthen our leadership by sharing our stories, by creating a community of practice amongst the alumni, while respecting the diverse cultures and languages of the Metis, Inuit, and First Nations across Canada. Generous donations to Coady programming ensure these voices are amplified and community-led solutions continue to be driven for and by Indigenous women.”

Monies raised for Circle of Abundance – Amplifying Indigenous Women’s Leadership will support:

  • Expanding Coady’s offerings of Indigenous women’s leadership programs across the country, for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit women leaders, both in their community as well as on-campus at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia;
  • Connecting and creating exchanges for Indigenous women globally;
  • The incubation of a new Indigenous-led and Indigenous-run women’s initiative.

“I hope that people will really take the time to educate themselves on Indigenous history, current events in Turtle Island, step up for Indigenous rights, and speak out even when you’re uncomfortable. Change doesn’t happen if you stay in your comfort zone.”

Salome Barker

Former StFX and Pathy Foundation Fellowship graduate Salome Barker is thrilled to learn about the Jeannine Deveau Education Equity Endowment Fund donation to Circle of Abundance.

“I’ve had the privilege of working at the Coady as an intern in 2018 and most recently completing my fellowship where I was working with Mi’kmaq youth in central Newfoundland,” Salome says.

“I hope that people in the StFX community and beyond will really take the time to educate themselves on Indigenous history, current events in Turtle Island, step up for Indigenous rights, and speak out even when you’re uncomfortable. Change doesn’t happen if you stay in your comfort zone. I encourage anyone from the StFX community who has the privilege to donate funds, to donate to the Indigenous Women’s leadership program at Coady. Your money allows for Indigenous women to flourish within their communities and continue the work that the Creator has set them out to do.”

Coady Executive Director Gord Cunningham is amazed by the response and buzz Circle of Abundance – Amplifying Indigenous Women’s Leadership has created, noting that individual donors have already committed $10,000 to the effort.

“Thanks to the incredible matching gift of the Jeannine Deveau Education Equity Endowment Fund every dollar adds up,” Gord says. “I encourage all to consider making a donation which will automatically double and I want to thank Ryan, Blake, Bill, and all those individuals who have stepped up to make donations that will support Victoria, Salome, and their colleagues on this journey.”

Those wishing to contribution can go to, Circle of Abundance – Amplifying Indigenous Women’s Leadership

About Coady Institute

Established in 1959 by St. Francis Xavier University, Coady Institute is committed to accompanying generations of global leaders skilled in the application of citizen-led, asset-based, and community-driven leadership for economic and social change. Located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People, on the campus of St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Coady Institute includes a network of more than 9,000 leaders in 130 countries globally.

Learn more at coady.stfx.ca

Coady International Institute

St. Francis Xavier University
4780 Tompkins Lane
PO Box 5000
Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5
Canada

Phone: (902) 867-3960
Phone: 1-866-820-7835 (within Canada)
Fax: (902) 867-3907

Stay Connected

Want to learn more? Sign up to receive our newsletter and information on course offerings.