Downie Wenjack Fund launches first ReconciliACTION grant of $5,000 to Hockey Cares
For Immediate Release May 18, 2017
Oakville, Ontario—The Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund is helping to launch reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth from Attawapiskat and Oakville by donating their first $5,000 towards the inaugural Hockey Cares tournament from July 6-10. Hockey Cares is a project under the umbrella Canadian registered charity, True North Aid, spearheaded by Sue Heddle, Executive Director from Oakville, Ontario.
Hockey Cares brings youth hockey players ages 13 to 15 from remote reserves and urban centers to play in a tournaments that not only provide an opportunity for Indigenous youth to play hockey in a large tournament, but to showcase some post-secondary opportunities and gain life experiences to empower them and build self- confidence. Oakville youth hockey players will also learn about the traditions and cultures from their Indigenous teammates taught by Elders and leaders. Both teams have the opportunity to play alongside each other and amalgamate within the duration of the tournament. All participants will make connections by playing together, learn from each other and encourage real “reconciliation” through Hockey Cares.
“The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund is excited to support the Attawapiskat/Oakville Hockey Cares initiative through our first ReconciliACTION grant. Grassroots, community-based collaborations like this one with Hockey Cares will be the cornerstone of Downie-Wenjack Fund contributions to our collective reconciliation journey,” said Charlene Bearhead, Co-chair of The Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund.
“We are filled with gratitude. The generous donation from the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund provides much needed funding to bring 17 hockey players from Attawapiskat to Oakville to play hockey, make new friendships and gain opportunities,” said Sue Heddle.
During the tournament, players will be housed at Sheridan College and participate in cross-cultural and educational activities and tour the Hockey Hall of Fame to rare Indigenous hockey artifacts.
About The Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund
The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund is part of Gord Downie’s legacy and embodies his commitment, and that of his family, to improving the lives of First Peoples. The goal of the fund is to continue the conversation that began with Chanie Wenjack’s residential school story, and to help the reconciliation healing process through a combination of awareness, education and action. The Fund is a donor advised fund at the Tides Canada Foundation. For more information about The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund, visit www.downiewenjack.ca
About the Hockey Cares Project
The Hockey Cares Project provides youth Indigenous communities to play with local teams in hockey tournaments across Canada. The organization works with leaders at colleges and universities that provide information to youth on post-secondary opportunities. Hockey Cares is a project under the umbrella of True North Aid Charity. Contact Sue heddle firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416 906 7998.
About True North Aid
True North Aid is a registered Canadian charity providing support and practical humanitarian aid to Northern communities who need it most. For more information,