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Algoma Steel board donates $20K to Children of Shingwauk alumni

'We are grateful for this educational opportunity, and the inspirational work carried out by the Survivors of the Shingwauk Indian residential school has deeply moved us'
Algoma Steel Group Inc. board of directors donated $20,000 to the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association.

Algoma Steel's board of directors has donated $20,000 to the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association, a contribution they say will further the group's ongoing efforts to promote the well-being and healing of survivors of the Indian residential school system.

Algoma Steel recognizes the role CSAA has in shaping Algoma University’s past, present and future in the creation, development, and future of Algoma University, a news release says. Shingwauk Hall, an integral part of the Algoma University campus, stands on the historic grounds of the Shingwauk Indian residential school. It was originally established in 1873 as a residential school for First Nations children and operated as such until its closure in 1970.

The lasting impact of residential schools continues in our society today, the release notes. Survivors of the Shingwauk Indian residential school, along with their families and communities, are dedicated to sharing the true history of these schools. The CSAA and Algoma University play a vital role in providing access to education on the true history of Canada and the lasting impact of the residential school system through initiatives such as the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre.

"As an organization operating in the Robinson Huron Treaty territory, the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe People, we hold a profound responsibility to contribute to reconciliation and support impactful community organizations," said Algoma Steel Group Inc. Board of Directors Chair Andy Harshaw. "The Algoma Steel Board had the privilege of visiting Shingwauk Hall and learning about the history of colonization and residential schools in Canada. We are grateful for this educational opportunity, and the inspirational work carried out by the Survivors of the Shingwauk Indian residential school has deeply moved us. Algoma Steel takes immense pride in providing this financial contribution to support the CSAA and its mission."

The donation enables residential school Survivors to share their experiences with Canada, contributing to reconciliation efforts like the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The donated funds will assist the CSAA in promoting awareness of their reconciliation and truth-telling initiatives through their annual gatherings. 

“The CSAA is deeply grateful to Algoma Steel Inc. for their very generous donation,” said Treasurer Cheryl Barbeau in a collective statement from members of the CSAA. “Shingwauk Elders and Survivors Shirley Horn and Jackie Fletcher were thrilled to meet board members and share their stories and plans during the presentation. This marks the beginning of an incredible partnership and ongoing friendship.

"As Chief Shingwauk's grandson, Dr. Dan Pine Sr., said, 'The Shingwauk School never closed; it just entered a new phase of development. It has to finish what it started.' In this spirit, we will collectively forge a path for future generations to learn about this historic site and Canada's Indian residential school system, and  build a brighter future for both our communities."

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