Celebrating 140 years of fraternalism – Part 1
One of Foresters first leaders was Dr. Oronhyatekha (pronounced Oh-rawn-ya-TECK-ah), an Oxford and University of Toronto-educated Mohawk who was Canada’s first Native doctor to practice western medicine.
There couldn’t have been a more perfect match for the young Independent Order of Foresters Fraternal Benefits Society than Dr. Oronhyatekha, a man fiercely committed to the Mohawk ideals of his upbringing that included peace, power, and righteousness. He joined Foresters in 1878, just four years after it was founded. Under his leadership, he was able to mold Foresters into an organization that promoted inclusivity, tolerance and humanitarianism.1
Dr. Oronhyatekha was definitely a man ahead of his time. During his tenure at Foresters he insisted on admitting women as full members, provided benefits to the orphans of members and championed the rights of minorities.
This kind of leadership and vision provided the ideal foundation for the organization we have become. Foresters is more than an international financial services provider. As a fraternal benefit society, we don’t have shareholders. Instead, we invest our financial strength into our members, their families and the communities where they live. Our purpose is to champion the well-being of families through quality life insurance, unique member benefits and inspiring community activities.
But what exactly is a fraternal benefit society? It’s a not-for-profit organization that unites individuals with a common bond through a system of lodges or branches and provides mutual aid programs for the benefit of its members and the broader community.
For 140 years, Foresters has been guided by a very powerful principle: the growth and prosperity of our members and their families is linked to the communities in which they live. That’s why we are so committed to providing members with opportunities for personal development, and why we encourage our members to participate in Foresters-supported volunteer activities that benefit the people in their very own communities.
We fulfill our common bond by:
- Providing quality life insurance and financial savings products
- Providing unique member benefits such as scholarships and grants
- Providing fun family events for our members
- Providing volunteer opportunities through Foresters Community Grants so members can contribute to their communities
- Supporting charities that benefit family and children’s health such as the American Red Cross, KaBOOM! and Ronald McDonald House Charities®
- Providing members with personal development opportunities through elected leadership positions.
Together we make a difference, and we know Dr. Oronhyatekha would approve of the way Foresters and our members continue to honor his legacy, vision and values.
For additional information about fraternal benefits societies and our commitment to you, your family and your community, visit Foresters. To find out more about Dr. Oronhyatekha’s incredible life and the important role he played in the growth of Foresters, visit Woodland Cultural Centre.
410989 CAN/US (04/15)