Fundraising Workshop how-tos

The Fundraising Workshop: A unique and meaningful way to support the campaign for justice for Indigenous women and girls (and it really *is* a workshop, with materials and tools). Participants in J4IW workshops — learners of all ages — are supplied with small wooden tiles to decorate. Each tile is to help us remember the life of a First Nations child who died in a Residential School. In this way we acknowledge the Residential School era as the original policy that incarcerated First Nations people.

After the tiles are decorated, participants are shown how to turn them into beautiful pieces of jewellery; tools and materials are supplied by the workshop hosts.


Preparation Before starting you’ll want to front-load some knowledge about the Indian Residential School era with your group. This can be done by going through steps 1 to 3 of Project of Heart.

Step 4 of Project of Heart (inviting someone with lived experiential knowledge of the impacts of the Indian Residential School system to talk your learning group) should be completed before embarking on making the jewelry. Depending on the age of the students and the comfort level of the teacher/facilitator, this person may be someone working with FNMI women and girls at risk (i.e. Elizabeth Fry Society) who can give voice to the resilience of Aboriginal women and girls living within the confines of the criminal justice system.

A good way to find a resource person here is to contact your local Native Friendship Centre, your local Elizabeth Fry Society, or your FNMI liaison with your Board of Education.

Step 5: A good way to describe J4IW is as a social justice action of Project of Heart. You will see plenty of social justice actions that you can perform by going onto the j4wi website and going to the “things I can do now” to help, and choose one action of many that you can take to help bring justice to the families and communities who have been impacted.



Click on image for how-to slideshow

Jewelry making checklist
You will need:

• A trusted member of your group to record and handle cash donations and insure they are ultimately forwarded to J4IW by cheque

• Sufficient wooden tiles, preferably already decorated via Step 3 of Project of Heart (see above)

• Sufficient jewellery hardware

• Small flat-nosed pliers, 1 pair per table of participants

• Small round-nosed pliers, 1 pair per table of participants

• Small wire cutters, 1 pair per table of participants

• 26-gauge wire is best, but it must be no thinner than 28 gauge or it will break too easily. Cheapest is from Home Hardware. A thicker option is the 24-gauge wrapping wire from Michael’s Crafts. Note: the higher the gauge number the thinner the wire. Lower numbers are thicker.

• Jump rings – 12 mm works for all thicknesses of necklace, but you can use 10mm for thinner necklaces.

• Beads, according to your own preference in colour and style. Two or more per necklace

• Sealer for the wooden tiles after decoration

• A small paint brush for the sealer

An understanding of how to make the necklaces

 Jewellery information tags (supplied in kit) , one for each piece of completed jewellery


Once the jewellery pieces are completed, experience shows that that most students want to keep their piece. We suggest that students make 2 pieces of jewelry. One piece they may keep for themselves or give it as a gift to a family member (remember to fill out the information tag with the student reflection on what they’ve learned through doing this project). The other piece we suggest contributing to a class “bank” of jewelry for a fund-raiser within the school or school community. We ask that a suggested donation of 20 dollars per piece be collected.

It is hoped that all the steps of Project of Heart can be accomplished by the learner group. If time is of the essence, we suggest contacting Elizabeth Fry and inviting a spokesperson to address your group. The tiles can be decorated and made into jewelry

Once the jewellery pieces are completed, experience shows that that most participants want to keep their piece. We ask that a suggested donation of 20 dollars per piece be collected. As well, participants can “pay a jewelry piece forward”, making a $20 dollar donation so that others who may not have the means can make their own piece of jewelry at a future date.


Learning outcome

Participants will learn to recognize when First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples are being treated unfairly and unjustly. Participants will understand that they can be part of the solution by acting on the concrete recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in its Calls for Action. By actions as simple as wearing the jewellery they created in the workshop, participants will be inspired to educate others. Taking responsibility means learning and acting. Through J4IW, participants have an opportunity to do both.

How to get involved

Contact J4IW  at the outset. We want to take your details so we can tell others about your meaningful support of Indigenous communities in their efforts to attain justice.



When you have completed your project, let J4IW know, send in a cheque for the amount that your group has raised with a report on what you did, and J4IW will put up a blog post for you. Please remember to send a couple of pictures as well. Once J4IW receives the cheque, a certificate of completion will be sent to your school.

FAQ for Workshop host