StandUp4CleanUp – Making a Difference in Thunder Bay


This is Treaty Land, and We have to Respect it – Hewitt

THUNDER BAY – Josh Hewitt, a Micmac, who has lived in Thunder Bay for over seventeen years, started StandUp4CleanUp after working a night shift and heading out to the Salvation Army men’s hostel on Cumberland Street. The young man started picking up the litter left on the city streets and walkways and was amazed at how much trash he collected.

Hewitt says that he wanted to find a way to respect the land and honour the land. “We are on treaty land,” says Hewitt. The effort started small and has continued as a grassroots-based effort.

Litter in Thunder Bay seems to be an ever-ongoing problem that doesn’t go away.

Just some of the litter and trash collected during today’s StandUp4CleanUp effort in Thunder Bay

Working on a clean-up site just off Cumberland Street, the pile of litter and discards Hewitt collected today include tires, old television sets, some heavy metal items, including an old metal bed frame, and lots of other debris.

Josh comes to his task with a great deal of quiet determination.

A few weeks ago, a team cleaned up along McVicar’s Creek. Hewitt’s goal was to honour Brayden Moonias, a young man who was murdered near the mouth of the creek, by cleaning up there. This clean-up gave him a chance to meet Brayden’s mother, hit home with him about a worthwhile cause to support.

Today there were not a lot of helpers, today’s team was Cathy from the Salvation Army and Josh. Some of the people who promised to come and help out didn’t show up. That didn’t put a damper on this young warrior’s determination, he simply started work and kept at it. Perhaps there is a real lesson for us all in that manner of making a real difference in Thunder Bay.

If we all did our part, our city would be a far better and cleaner, and likely more enjoyable place for us all to live.  It has been discussed that the land be made into a community garden, but that’s another story




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