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First Truth and Reconciliation day a success in Slave Lake

Updated: Jan 4, 2022

In Slave Lake, businesses got together to give back to the community on Canada's first Day for Truth and Reconciliation .

Recently, TBT spoke with Brice Ferguson, a councillor for the town.

"I've never worked with such a passionate group of individuals as those on the Slave Lake Homeless Coalition. We've made great progress, and as someone who sits on the coalition, I wanted to donate this year in honour of Truth and Reconciliation. I know how generational schools relate to trauma, and given Slave Lake's large Indigenous population, I thought we should put out a challenge to the community to get some donations."

It started with the Slave Lake branch of Domino's Pizza, owned by Ferguson, who issued a challenge to other businesses in the region to donate to the aforementioned charity.

"In the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation, we are pleased to donate $1000 to the Slave Lake Homeless Coalition to help support an emergency Mat program this winter.

We are publicly challenging other businesses and residents to donate to this vital organization," wrote Domino's Pizza Slave Lake on Facebook.

"Intergenerational trauma due to the impacts of residential schools is one of the main contributing causes of homelessness in our area. It is important that we all understand and recognize this and help do our part to make a better life for all. We believe that meaningful change will occur with education and action."

A cascade effect ensued. Groups like the Ice Breaker Hockey Game, which had begun as a one-time event to raise money for hockey clubs back in 2014, joined in as well.

"Challenge accepted," wrote manager Shawn Gramlich.

"Domino's Pizza Slave Lake/Brice Ferguson have challenged local business/organizations to match their $1000 donation to the Slave Lake Homeless Coalition and we are happy to oblige."

If this small town is to be considered a microcosm for how sincerely Canadians took the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, it appears to have been a resounding success.

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