7th Annual Mayor’s Community Safety Awards Presented

Working to unify Thunder Bay would help build the city stronger
City Hall Thunder Bay

THUNDER BAY – NEWS – Two individuals and four community projects were recognized this evening during the Seventh Annual Mayor’s Community Safety Awards ceremony for their work to make Thunder Bay a safer community.

“I wish to offer my sincerest congratulations and thanks to each of this year’s recipients,” said Mayor Keith Hobbs. “They are setting an example through their outstanding efforts to make our community safer and more welcoming for everyone. Since these Awards began in 2011, 39 deserving individuals and projects have been recognized for their hard work and dedication to making Thunder Bay a better and safer place for everyone.”

Sponsors of this year’s event include Mac’s Convenience, Union Gas, Thunder Bay Police Services Board, Matawa First Nations Management, Generator and Apex Investigation & Security.

The 2017 Mayor’s Community Safety Award Recipients are:

Community Hero Award – Ken Miller

Ken Miller makes a difference every day as an Outreach and Engagement worker with Elevate NWO, a leading resource in Northwestern Ontario for confidential HIV/AIDS/Hep C education, prevention, advocacy, testing and harm reduction. As Chair of Thunder Pride and Canada Pride Region Director, he volunteers his time to run workshops to educate businesses and organizations on how to be open and inclusive to the LGBTQ2S+ community.

Sponsor: Apex Investigation & Security

Young Leader Award – Ardelle Sagutcheway

Ardelle Sagutcheway is a dedicated advocate for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth. Originally from Eabametoong First Nation, she moved to Thunder Bay to attend high school.

As a member of the Youth Advisory Committee with the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, she was involved in the Seven Youth Inquest. She is one of the creators of the film Chi Pi Kaaki Too Yang (Coming Together to Talk), which gave Indigenous youth a platform to share their stories so that others can better understand the perspectives and resilience of Indigenous youth.

Sponsor: Generator

Outstanding Community Project Award – BaySafe

BaySafe is a non-profit, harm reduction service in Thunder Bay. It was founded by Marcus Agombar and Ashley Brimmell in 2016. Their priorities include education, safety, confidentiality, empowerment, and community. BaySafe promotes the safety and well-being of young adults by providing accurate information about the risks associated with partying. This includes substance use, sexual activity, and noise levels. BaySafe neither condones nor condemns substance use, but believes that accurate information is important for those who choose to use substances. By engaging young adults in an open dialogue about partying, they are promoting informed decision-making and harm prevention.

Sponsor: Matawa First Nations Management

Outstanding Community Project Award – Youth Outreach Worker Program (YOW)

The Youth Outreach Workers are a dedicated group who meet the needs of youth aged 12-21 by providing support, guidance, advocacy and their time. The Program is offered by Dilico Anishinabek Family Care and provides a variety of prevention, engagement and community safety awareness activities throughout the city. They go to wherever youth who find themselves at risk are located and offer assistance. This assistance can take many forms: sometimes it’s as simple as providing a bus pass or connecting them with another service provider. They motivate youth who find themselves at risk, support them in their capacity to make healthy life choices, promote the development of skills and encourage civic participation to ensure that every youth in Thunder Bay has the same opportunity to reach their full potential and enjoy a bright future.

Sponsor: Mac’s Convenience Stores

Outstanding Community Project Award – Bear Clan Patrol

Members of the Bear Clan Patrol make a difference to community safety in Thunder Bay by patrolling the city’s waterways and streets and talking with homeless and vulnerable people to make sure they are safe. Care packages, clothing, blankets and other items are given to those who need them.

Respect is a prominent theme of the Bear Clan Patrol. They request that volunteers respect individuals who find themselves at risk, and make every reasonable effort to manage situations without involving the police. Their mandate includes helping to search for missing persons. The grassroots, Indigenous-led initiative is organized as the Bear Clan because this Clan, historically, has had the responsibility for peacekeeping.


Sponsor: Union Gas

Outstanding Community Project Award – Grace Place

Grace Place, a registered charity and non-denominational church on Simpson Street, serves over 45,000 meals a year to the city’s vulnerable population. Grace Place was founded by Gary and Melody Macsemchuk and they credit the hard work of their 110 volunteers for its success. Grace Place offers free clothing, a compassion cupboard, a monthly food hamper, free haircuts, medical assistance, free homemade meals and a sense of community. Grace Place has teamed up with numerous agencies in Thunder Bay and strives for the betterment of those less fortunate. These agencies come to Grace Place to connect with people who need their assistance. It is a safe and welcoming space for all.

Over the past 10 years, they have served over 300,000 meals.

Sponsor: Thunder Bay Police Services Board

Each Outstanding Community Project received a $1,000 award from their sponsor to support community safety efforts. The Awards were presented at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting in Council Chambers.

NAN Deputy Grand Chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum congratulates recipients of the 2017 Mayor’s Community Safety Awards announced by the City of Thunder Bay this evening.

“I am pleased to congratulate all these deserving recipients who are contributing in many different ways to make this city a safer place,” said DGC Anna Betty Achneepineskum. “I am proud to see community member Ardelle Sagutcheway and her work creating a platform for our young people to share their experiences while living in the city. I am also pleased the Bear Clan Patrol and their volunteer members have been recognized for their contributions to community safety and we will continue to support these and other efforts to increase community safety.”

Ardelle Sagutcheway of Eabametoong, First Nation, received the Young Leader Award. She is an advocate for youth and a member of the Youth Advisory Council for the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth. As a member of this Council she was an involved in the Seven Youth Inquest.

The Bear Clan Patrol received the Outstanding Community Project Award. The Patrol is a community-based solution to crime prevention, providing a sense of safety, solidarity and belonging to both its members and to the communities they serve.  Volunteers spend up to 12 hours a week patrolling waterways and recreational trails.

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