An additional $5 million dollars in funding from the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund to support the creation of Makwa Waakaa’igan in Sault Ste. Marie, is a testament to the federal government’s ongoing commitment to Truth and Reconciliation.
Previously MP Terry Sheehan had announced an investment of more than $7.1 million into this project through the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada plan.
This multi-million-dollar cultural centre will be constructed on the Algoma University campus and is another step in our collective journey of healing through education and the nurturing of relationships.
This space will serve as a venue to share and promote the culture of Indigenous peoples in Canada and showcase the work produced by Children of Shingwauk Residential School Survivors.
The new three-floor, facility, attached to the original Shingwauk Hall building, replacing the East Wing, will provide better access to culturally appropriate spaces for the local urban Indigenous population and surrounding rural First Nations communities.
The design of the building and surrounding area has been done with the full participation of the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. Once completed the operation and programming of the space will be conducted by Algoma University with guidance and advice from the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction.
MP Sheehan said, “I am pleased that our continued funding will help transform a vision to reality. It will help integrate academic research, art, healing, and ceremony and will be the home of a new Mental Health and Addictions Research and Training Institute, established in partnership with the Northern Ontario School of Medicine University.”
In addition, the facility is intended to serve as a Centre of Excellence, to promote Anishinaabe culture, and to help advance the Calls to Action put forward by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
“I look forward to the day when Makwa Waakaa’igan shines as a source of inspiration and enrichment for our communities,” MP Sheehan said.