Message to Members of COTTFN:

Our website is secure, however due to multiple technical issues we have decided to shut down the online application at this time. You can still fax/call or email your information as outlined in the policy to [email protected] If you have already applied with the online application you do NOT need to apply again.

The volume of response we have gotten so far is extremely overwhelming, we are incorporating extra support to ensure the quickest response. We do realize the phone system is full and will be taking care of this tomorrow.

I have not begun to respond to any emails yet as I was dealing with other pressing coordination of working from home and ensuring funds were available to issue the COVID-19 Relief Fund. We will do our best to send a confirmation email to the over 500 emails sent thus far by the end of the week of April 6-10. Sending multiple emails, messages and applications only slows down the process and response time.

Hopefully by next week we will have a better understanding of the timeline to provide this support to members. I appreciate your patience, stay home and stay safe!

Deadline June 5, 2020

Hard copy to sign and return click here:


Online form coming soon

website under construction

For any inquiries please email

Phone: (519) 264-2626

Fax: (519) 264-2628

For the People of Deshkan Ziibiing

The Thunderbird Trust

News & Announcements


Distribution Funding

We will make announcements and have applications, dates and other information here.

X-Mas Gesture

Every year the Thunderbird Trust assists CTFN citizens with an X-Mas Gesture.

Economic & Benevolent Projects

While the world around us keeps moving, we help keep our community moving.


Where the Trust began

We are the beneficiaries of our ancestors

In 1834 an Indian Agent named J.B. Clench made several land deals on behalf of Chippewas of the Thames. At that time the reservation was known as Caradoc Indian Reserve No. 41. Over the next twenty years the Chippewas would petition the Crown for the money made from selling portions of their land. In 1854 a public inquiry came to the conclusion that the federal Crown owed the Chippewas five thousand dollars. The case became known as the “Clench Defalcation Claim”. In the decades to follow, the Crown would delay and deny the money owed. By 1896 the Chippewas had lost patience and hired a lawyer, Andrew Chisholm, to sue the federal Crown. With all the land and money in control of the Crown, the Chippewas had limited resources but they knew they had a strong case. Apparently, so did the Crown as they blocked the Chippewas from accessing their own trust fund in a successful effort to stop the lawsuit. Years would pass and families of Chippewa would struggle to meet basic needs while the Crown and settlers around them flourished…Read More


X-Mas Gesture

Helping Hand

Every year the Thunderbird Trust makes a contribution to help Chippewas of the Thames First Nation citizens with holiday expenses. 

Benevolent Funding

Assistance Needed

The Thunderbird Trust has invested into the community in a number of ways. One way we do our part is by investing into projects that directly benefit the Chippewas of the Thames memberships health, land, environment and/or facilities.

Economic Development


We don’t have all the answers to help our community become more economically sustainable, however, we are mandated to contribute.

“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 (CTFN) agreed to the financial terms of the land claim settlement. Establishing a Trust on behalf of CTFN 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.


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

All efforts to improve the Trust 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