Information from an article in NewNewsLedger: Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic celebrated the 40th Anniversary Open House on 86 S. Cumberland Street with a traditional prayer, a smudge and a dedication Board room name in honour of Wanda White, a Board President from 1989 until her passing in August 2016 for Nipigon Area.
In 1978, the clinic opened its doors as “Thunder Bay District Native Legal Counselling Services”. Â It is the first indigenous legal clinic in Ontario. Kinna-aweya is the Ojibwa word for ‘everyone’.
Kinna-aweya legal clinic was founded by indigenous people to provide legal advice and assistance for people with low income who, due to language or cultural barriers were not able to access traditional, existing legal services funded by Legal Aid Ontario. Â The focus is on helping people obtain income maintenance benefits and maintain access to housing and tenants rights. The founding members first met in 1977 and held consultations throughout the District of Thunder Bay before opening its doors on July 31, 1978.
Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic provides legal advice and assistance with Income Maintenance benefits like Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program, and Canada Child Benefits, preventing housing evictions, obtaining personal identification, Criminal Injuries Compensation claims, and income tax returns. These benefits and services are vital for people living in poverty to meet their basic needs. The clinic also provides Public Legal Education, Community development, and systemic advocacy on issues that impact people living in poverty.
Since its opening, Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic has assisted thousands of clients to preserve their housing, obtained millions of dollars in benefits for their clients, and connected countless individuals with the appropriate and necessary community and government services and resources.
First published at http://yourlegalrights.on.ca/news/kinna-aweya-legal-clinic-40th-anniversary-celebration-1978-2018