Toronto – On February 23, 2023, applications for Oshki Wupoowane | The Blanket Fund will open, as announced by Hudson’s Bay Foundation and the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund. This fund was launched on September 30, with an initial investment of $1 million from Hudson’s Bay Foundation and a pledge to allocate 100% of net proceeds from the sale of all HBC Point Blankets to The Blanket Fund moving forward. The Blanket Fund has since grown to over $1.5 million, which will be disbursed to successful applicants over multiple years.
The Blanket Fund will provide support for Indigenous cultural, artistic, and educational activities through two grant streams. Indigenous people, as well as Indigenous-led initiatives and organizations in Canada, are eligible.
The Capacity Building grant stream will provide up to $175,000 per year to support grassroots Indigenous charities, programs, communities, and initiatives with the potential for significant impact. The goal of this grant stream is to establish multi-year relationships with partners to increase their capacity, networks, programs, and profile.
The Reconciliation Action grant stream, with funding ranging from $1,500 to $15,000, will support community-level reconciliation activities, events, and initiatives that contribute to cultural revitalization; elevate Indigenous culture, languages, and traditions; increase understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples; or other grassroots initiatives that advance reconciliation.
Sarah Midanik, President & CEO of Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund, said, “We are proud to open applications for Oshki Wupoowane | The Blanket Fund with our partners at Hudson’s Bay. Not only will The Blanket Fund provide impactful support to Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous-led organizations, but it offers people in Canada a tangible way to join us in advancing our collective journey toward reconciliation through the purchase of the iconic and historically complex HBC Point Blanket.”
Sophia Hwang-Judiesch, President of Hudson’s Bay, added, “Oshki Wupoowane is an important and meaningful initiative that not only generates significant funding, but encourages learning and dialogue around reconciliation. We believe that support of grassroots programs led by Indigenous communities and people is critical to reconciliation and creating an equitable and just society.”
For further information about the grant application process, eligibility, deadlines, and more, please visit www.downiewenjack.ca/the-blanket-fund.