Dear Thunder Bay...

THUNDER BAY – LIVING – On Thursday, October 31, 2019, from 1:00 to 3:30 pm, The I.D. Action Group is hosting an I.D. Services Community Forum for agencies who want to help clients secure personal identification.  A birth certificate is the necessary foundation for every individual, as proof of identification to access health care, medical services, housing, bank accounts, employment, income support, tax benefits, education, food banks, and many other government and community services.

“We invite all service providers and agencies that wish to improve I.D. Services for their clients to attend,” says Fabienne Spiess, I.D. Services Coordinator at Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic. “Topics will include current I.D. Services; resources and training opportunities for agencies wishing to provide their own I.D. Services; and an update from the Lakehead University Research Team, who have been exploring how to eliminate barriers and improve access to personal identification through client surveys and focus groups.”

“Registering a birth is the first step to securing a legal identity, for identification to access health and social and financial assistance programs, to obtain a Certificate of Indian Status, and to obtain a SIN to be able to work,” says Anita Jean, Manager of Community Development and Engagement at the NorWest Community Health Centres.  “If you do not have a birth certificate, you are not able to access benefits to which you are eligible.  The longer you wait, the more complex the process becomes to securing I.D.”.

The I.D. Action Group is a collaborative of agencies, started under the leadership of Kinna-Aweya Legal Clinic, involving members such as the Lakehead University Community Legal Services, Service Canada, Thunder Bay Counselling, and the NorWest Community Health Centres. We are working together to assist low-income and individuals who are vulnerable in the District obtain identification.  Together we help several hundred individuals secure I.D. each year.

For more information on programs and services at the NWCHCs, go to

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