Ogimaawabiitong (Kenora Chiefs Advisory) is sending a huge Miigwetch to the Ontario Government for a transformative $500,000 investment into the Kenora Youth Wellness Hub, which will help enhance and expand access to social services and culturally appropriate care for youth in the community.

At the Youth Wellness Hub on January 11, Kenora-Rainy River MPP, Minister of Northern Development and Minister of Indigenous Affairs, Greg Rickford, announced the $500,000 in funding through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation to support vital renovations at the hub.

Minister Rickford was joined by Niisaachewan Chief and KCA Board Chair Lorraine Cobiness, Wauzhushk Onigum Chief Chris Skead, and KCA Executive Director Jennifer Dreaver to make the announcement – which included a tour of the facility at 120 Main Street South. The hub serves youth aged 12 to 25 and provides employment, education, primary care, mental health, and substance use supports in the Kenora area.

“Investing in our youth is an investment in our future,” says Chief Cobiness. “We have to ensure the spaces we create for them are not only safe but also have our culture incorporated into every element at a grass-roots level. When we incorporate our traditional and cultural elements into physical spaces, we are creating a feeling of home and community for our youth. The enhancements to the Kenora Youth Wellness Hub will increase our presence and fill service gaps we are currently facing.”

KCA will use the $500,000 for a number of renovations within the Kenora Youth Wellness Hub, including a new accessible entryway, a kitchen space, laundry room, showering areas, and new meeting rooms, allowing additional youth to access and build life skills, share meals, enhance their education, and hold gatherings at the facility.

“Our government is proud to invest in the Kenora Youth Wellness Hub, allowing the facility to expand programming and provide additional supports to youth and families with diverse needs,” says Minister Rickford. “Targeted investments through the NOHFC, like the one we are celebrating today, are critical to promoting healthy, strong and vibrant communities across the Northwest.”

Ogimaawabiitong (KCA) sends a huge Miigwetch to the NOHFC, Ontario Government, and the Honorable Greg Rickford for their continued support of the Kenora Youth Wellness Hub and youth programming in our area.

“We’re still healing as Anishinaabe people, but it’s commitments from our partners in the [spirit] of reconciliation, and this is one of many steps that will help – especially our youth who are struggling at times – not only within our communities but throughout Turtle Island,” adds Chief Skead.

We also want to acknowledge Indigenous Affairs Ontario, Employment and Social Development of Canada, the City of Kenora and the private donations we have received from the community. We couldn’t do the work we do without contributions from our various partners and stakeholders.

Donations to the Kenora Youth Wellness Hub can be made anytime at 120 Main Street South, Monday to Friday between 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., or by calling 807-467-8468 to schedule an appointment.