Kenora Chiefs Advisory welcomed two Ontario Ministers to the Youth and Family Wellness Camp on Tuesday, October 11th, 2022.

Kenora-Rainy River MPP and Minister of Indigenous Affairs, Greg Rickford, and Michael Tibollo, Ontario’s Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, took time to tour the Youth and Family Wellness Camp after the province announced $1.7 million in funding for the property.

Funding will be used to expand the already established Binesi Wazisawan Youth Mental Wellness Service program – expanding the on-site community home from 2 beds to 8, allowing them to service more at-risk youth with complex needs in Kenora and throughout Northwestern Ontario.

“The best care is community-based care, and the Kenora Chiefs Advisory understands this,” said Tibollo.

“Through the expansion of these treatment spaces and the Makwa Patrol, they are creating safe spaces where young people can engage with mental health workers, law enforcement and Elders in a manner more conducive to their well-being. Both will help youth reintegrate into their communities and facilitate better wellness for them, their peers and their families.”

“I am confident that youth in the Kenora area will benefit from a safe place to receive treatment, resulting in better outcomes for the entire community,” said Rickford.

“Mental health is health, and our government is focused on making targeted investments that further our collective prosperity and ensure youth have the best opportunity to lead prosperous lives.”

The duo also announced $110,000 in funding over two years to help KCA and Kenora Makwa patrol raise awareness for cybercrime and hate speech through social media. This funding comes as part of the Safer and Vital Communities (SVC) Grant.

“This support will provide important resources to help raise awareness and prevent cybercrime and hate speech in social media channels and throughout the community,” said Rickford.

In partnership with local law enforcement and social services programs, KCA and Kenora Makwa patrol will work in collaboration with the City of Kenora and nine surrounding First Nations communities to address hate-motivated crime and speech.

“As we continue to expand and grow our programming to best meet the needs of our community members, I’m grateful we can continue our close partnership with the province and offer to program as you can see from the two announcements today in a wide variety of areas,” said Chief Chris Skead of Wauzhushk Onigum Nation.

“By working with Makwa Patrol and providing this funding- it allows for a huge opportunity in terms of battling racism and allowing the public to hear from our most vulnerable, and the very real lived experiences they have.”

“We must take the stigma away from those who are in a tough position right now and show compassion, empathy, and support. By enabling us to share those voices and stories I think it will go a long way in terms of public perception and helping educate and teach about the very real system gaps and missed services these people face.”