“I would like to congratulate Habitat Thunder Bay on this important milestone…” Greg Rickford MP

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Habitat for HumanityTHUNDER BAY – Habitat for Humanity Thunder Bay celebrated the first Aboriginal Family to join the growing not-for-profit organization. Habitat volunteers gathered at 44 Banning Street this morning to welcome the family to the neighbourhood, and help bless the new home.

“I would like to congratulate Habitat Thunder Bay on this important milestone event- it’s first Aboriginal build,” said Greg Rickford, Parliamentary Secretary for Official Languages, and Member of Parliament for Kenora, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. “The Government of Canada, through CMHC, is proud to be the Lead National Partner with Habitat for Humanity in helping to find creative housing solutions for Aboriginal families.”

The Banning Street home is very significant for Habitat for Humanity Thunder Bay. The dwelling has been a Habitat home for several years; however the Habitat family that has lived in the home since construction is now ready to move out. Habitat for Humanity Thunder Bay CEO Diane Mitchell says; “Over the past couple of months Habitat volunteers have been busy at work renovating the home for a new family. This is a very exciting accomplishment for the organization to have one family ready to move forward on their own, while helping another family get started. We have truly come full circle.”

The new family moving into the Banning Street home consists of a Mother and Father, nine-year- old daughter, six-year-old son, two-year-old daughter, along with a young relative that the family has currently taken in so he can attend high school.  Today Habitat for Humanity Thunder Bay presented the family with a stain-glass eagle feather. In aboriginal culture the eagle feather is a symbol of stability, strength and foundation.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is the lead national sponsor for the Habitat for Humanity Aboringinal Housing Program that was launched in September of 2007.

This is the 22nd Habitat Family in the community of Thunder Bay. 2010 is a very special year for Habitat for Humanity Thunder Bay, being the first year that two separate builds are happening within the same construction season, and a third home has been renovated providing a place to call home for three families.

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