THUNDER BAY – Don Rusnak, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Rainy River has announced that the Department of Canadian Heritage is providing $100,000 in funding for the Northern Nishnawbe Education Council’s Wake the Giant project.
“I am pleased that the Northern Nishnawbe Education Council is receiving funding through the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Multiculturalism program. Wake the Giant is an excellent initiative that will provide an opportunity for Thunder Bay to take steps towards fostering a healthy and welcoming environment for everyone in our city. I look forward to seeing the positive impacts this project will have,” says MP Don Rusnak.
These projects are receiving funding through Inter-Action, the Government of Canada’s multiculturalism grants and contributions program, which funds community engagement and development projects to promote intercultural understanding and equal opportunities for people of all cultures.
“Wake the Giant represents a positive shift in Thunder Bay and is a symbol of improving cross-cultural relations in the community. In the face of negative national news reports, Wake the Giant is about creating an opportunity, and is an invitation to Thunder Bay to be a leader in Canada to create and promote healthy Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations,” says Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School First Nations Student Success Program Coordinator and Wake the Giant Organizer, Sean Spenrath.
Wake the Giant is a cultural awareness project that identifies safe spaces throughout the city, while committing businesses and organizations to share education and resources with employees, staff and the community at large, with a goal to be more welcoming to Indigenous Youth. To participate in Wake the Giant, local businesses and organizations are asked to proudly display a Wake the Giant decal or flag at their location which will identify their site as a ‘safe space’ for Indigenous youth in Thunder Bay. To date over 80 Thunder Bay businesses and organizations are committed to participating in Wake the Giant.
Diversity and inclusion are central to who we are as Canadians. Projects like this help bring Canadians together by working to eliminate discrimination, racism and prejudice. They also provide opportunities for youth to get involved in their community through art, culture or sport.