The Thunderbird Trust

Christmas Gesture Early Bird Winners 2022

1. Laura Gushulak – $300
2. Kaylee Sturgeon – $200
3. Christina Borris – $150
4. Preston Albert – $100
5. Theresa Dockstater – $100
6. Michael Vickers – $100
7. Kamika Kechego – $100
Congrats to all the WINNERS!
  • Monty McGahey II 163 votes
  • Megan Huff with 160 votes
  • Austin A Henry Sr 155 votes
  • R. Shane Fisher 138 votes
  • Lori Fisher 100 votes
  • Michelle Burch Council appointee
  • Evelyn Young Council appointee
G. Clinton Albert & Evelyn Young were both elected to Council and therefore couldn’t stand to be elected to the Trust per the agreement leaving the next highest votes to be Lori Fisher.  Congrats to all Trustees!

COVID-19 Office Protocol

Thunderbird Trust offices are now reopen but no drop in visits allowed at this time.  Contact the office to set up an appointment if your needs cannot be addressed over the phone.  Strict protocols for the safety of staff and members are in place and will be enforced.

Trustee Meetings

Currently we are using Zoom to meet, until we are able to resume in person meetings this will be the way we do business.  

Audit 2021 & AGM

The 2021 audit has been completed and can be made available upon written request. The AGM was held May 14, 2022, a recording is available on the COTTFN website members only section.


Congratulations to the 2022 winners!

Housing Repair Program 2022



Ardy Albert Chantal Fisher
Crystal Kechego Pamela Clinton
Hector Sturgeon Sharylin Johnston
Leona Hendrick Tracey Baker
Lisa Hendrick William Vickers

Benevolent Program 2022



Ashley Nichols Aboriginal Food Rights
Caitlin Hendrick Anishinaabe-Aadziwiin
Jake Fisher Harvest Feast
Jennifer Daniels
Contessa Martinez
Naomi Halterman
Robin Cushman

Economic Development Program 2022

Running Deer Creations Andria Dyer
Youngs Power Washing Derrick Young
Natures Finest Meat Robert Fisher
Water and Time Terri Fisher

Grave Memorial Program 2022

Melford Fisher Memorial Rena French Memorial
Valeria Wayland Memorial Lyle Riley Sr Memorial
Stephen Fisher Memorial Benjamin Kechego Memorial
Larry Fisher Memorial Amber Burch Memorial
Marietta Davis Memorial Mabel Ruth Albert Memorial

2021 Housing Repair Program

Congrats to the Winners of the 2021 Housing Repair Program!
We had higher than usual number of applications this year with a total of around 120 almost equally split between ON and OFF reserve. The blind draw was done by a random number generator wheel online. We will be in touch in the coming weeks with instructions, for now you can now start getting quotes for the work you need done.

Click the button below to view the list of winners!

Economic Projects

While the world around us keeps moving, we help keep our community moving. No economic funds in 2020.

Benevolent Purposes

We are mandated to invest into the education, health and history of Chippewas of the Thames, and for the future generations to come.

Now Available:

The ThunderBird Trust Spring/Summer Newsletter

Where the Trust began

We are the beneficiaries of our ancestors

On March 27, 2015, several amendments were made to the Trust, including a name change. Formally, the Clench Fraud Trust, a community vote approved of the “Thunderbird Trust”.

There were other amendments authorized in the 2015 vote such as, “The Trustees agree to hold the Trust Property in trust for the Beneficiaries…”, and clarifying that the settlor of the Trust is Chippewas of the Thames First Nation. However, the new amendments went on to clarify that the beneficiaries held the legal right, title and interest in all the Trust property. 

Today the Thunderbird Trust continues to operate under the rules of the Trust Agreement, guided by community processes and professional advisors. As was with our ancestors, we continue to consider our past, our present and seven generations ahead.

“the Thunderbird trust is a community trust- it is here to benefit the people from our community.”

Thunderbird Trustees

Trustees Past and Present

Since 2004

Because the original claim avoided the question of land rights and land ownership, Chippewas of the Thames First Nation (COTTFN) agreed to the financial terms of the land claim settlement. Establishing a Trust on behalf of COTTFN members was agreed to in a community vote that required the majority of the voting population to agree. The trust is administered by appointed community and community  council members.

Investing in people and our community

communication is key

Transparent Spending

Making Progress Together

We hold annual community meetings to review our audit and take recommendations. We also host community meetings when amendments are proposed, or other things that may have an impact on the Trust.

As part of our commitment to the community, we contribute to housing, economic development, benevolent projects and emergency funding.

Understanding The Trust

The Thunderbird Trust has an amendment process to reflect the wants and needs of the community. Trustees are voted into their positions every two years.

Community Meetings

We hold annual meetings to provide updates and receive input. Our meetings are announced on our website, newsletters and our social media pages.

Approving Amendments

Making a legal amendment to a trust document is a legal process. We follow the guidelines of the Trust Agreement while implementing amendments.
Trust Portfolio Today
Projects Funded To Date
Distribution Spending To Date

We Learn How Work Together For Each Other

Efforts to improve the Trust Agreement are community efforts. We exercise transparency by making updated information available to all members of Chippewas of the Thames First Nation. 

important things you should know

Questions And Answers

Theoretically, yes the Trust does have a termination date. However, the termination date is set for twenty years after the last surviving member of Chippewas of the Thames passes away.

The Thunderbird Trust Agreement governs the trust, which was ratified by the nation’s members at a referendum.  The province of Ontario have jurisdiction over statute laws, which governs the trust as well. Provincial income tax laws also apply.

The Investment Policy Statement provides the investment managers the guidelines and restrictions on how the money must be spent.

The Investment Policy Statement is a document approved by the trustees that outlines to the investment manager how the money is to be invested.

The current elected trustees must ensure the trust laws are followed. The Trustees follow the governing policies that are in the trust agreement.

Any investments in stocks and bonds require taking risks.  The Investment Policy Statement gives the ranges in which the investment manager can trade on the stock market in Canadian, U.S., and international markets.  If they go outside these parameters The Clench Fraud Trustees can take action against Ridgewood Capital Asset Management for breaching the Investment Policy Statement.

Rodgers Consulting provides advice on trust matters and serves as the watchdog on the work of the investment managers.

Investments of capital cannot be used to loan money to the First Nation.  Income generated can be dispersed as a loan to the First Nation and charged an interest rate for borrowing.  Promissory notes given to the First Nation are not considered loans and normally would not be charged an interest rate.

Trustees for 2019/2021

  • Austin Henry, Chair
  • Megan Huff, Vice Chair
  • Monty McGahey II
  • Michelle French
  • Leona Grosbeck
  • Michelle Burch
  • Terri Fisher