The 2012 Mayor's Community Safety & Crime Prevention Awards honoured eight individuals and groups at City Hall on Nov. 5, 2012. The two Outstanding Community Projects received $1,000 from their award sponsors to reinvest in community safety initiatives. The awards are presented in conjunction with Ontario's Crime Prevention Week.
Sharon Johnson is the key organizer of the Full Moon Memory Walk, an initiative started in the fall of 2005 to honour and remember missing and murdered Anishinaabe and Métis women in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario.
Now in its eighth year, the Full Moon Memory Walk has established itself as an important and valued event in the city.
The Walk begins with a flag raising ceremony at City Hall and ends with a drum ceremony and sacred feast. Participants and supporters of the Walk includes various community organizations and some First Nations, as well as families and friends of women who have gone missing or been murdered.
Empowering women for nearly 30 years, the Northern Woman’s Bookstore and its team of volunteer staff plays a fundamental role in crime prevention.
Margaret Phillips, the Bookstore’s co-founder is a tireless advocate and educator for women’s issues, particularly those specific to Aboriginal women and women of Northern Ontario. As the only independent bookstore in the city, they carry literature not found elsewhere. This includes woman-centered, First Nations and Metis literature, books by local writers, as well as those dealing with violence, lesbian issues, and women’s health. They host book launches, music events, book clubs, writer’s circles, art installations and workshops.
Watch the Business Award Video
As the only Indigenous peoples film festival in the region, Binndigaate plays a pivotal role in changing perceptions of Indigenous culture to more accurately reflect its strength, breadth and diversity.
The Festival provides a unique opportunity to use artistic media to bring people together with the goal of fostering a stronger community. Building on the strong tradition of storytelling, the Festival also gives aspiring and established artists a venue to exhibit contemporary incarnations of this custom. Since its inception in 2009, Biindigaate has not only contributed to the cultural and economic development of Indigenous peoples, but because of its location in the heart of the downtown north core, also fuels the revitalization of the Waterfront District.
Watch the Media Award Video
Acceptance, regardless of your sexual orientation and gender identity, is the driving force behind The Other 10 %, a group by and for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirited, intersex, queer and questioning youth (LGBTTIQ).
Recognizing the range of stress factors that can affect LGBTTIQ youth and the need for a safe gathering space, Julia MacArthur led the creation of The Other 10% in 2011. Prior to the group’s existence, Thunder Bay had no current established place for LGBTTIQ youth to gather and connect. The Other 10% not only supports LGBTTIQ youth through its regular gatherings, but also educates the broader community about differences in gender and sexual identities by working with community members, community services and community partners, such as Children's Centre Thunder Bay and Norwest Community Health Centre.
Watch the Education Award Video
Forging connections with diverse groups of youth while educating the broader public, Reena Legarde is a trail-blazer. Through her leadership, young people are actively promoting innovative ways to reduce and deter substance use in the Thunder Bay region.
In her volunteer position as the Chair of the Thunder Bay region’s chapter of Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy (CSSDP), and as a National Representative in this cross-Canada grassroots network, she advocates and educates for drug policy reform from an evidence-based standpoint. Reena has forged connections with the Thunder Bay Drug Strategy, and has been active in bridging Aboriginal communities and drug policy impact groups. She is a key organizer in a drug policy conference to be held this fall in partnership with Fort William First Nation.
Watch the Youth Leadership Award Video
Recognizing the importance of sport in building confidence and sense of community, Julie contributed countless volunteer hours to ensure the 2011 Special Olympic Winter Games in Thunder Bay were a success. Julie has taken the lead in initiating “Student Crime Stoppers” in local schools, and is in the process of coordinating the roll out of the project with both local school boards.
At Confederation College she is developing a partnership to engage students in a video contest to promote crime prevention and community safety. Julie also helped launch Operation Freeze in partnership with Mac’s Convenience stores. Passionate about the people she serves, especially the more vulnerable members of our city, Julie knows successful crime prevention initiatives must include empowering communities and building relationships.
Watch the Enforcement Professional Award Video
With a vision that youth are the future, the Community Coalition Unified for the Protection of Our Children and Youth (CCUPCY) is an alliance of concerned citizens and organizations working together to make Thunder Bay a safer place. CCUPCY has been active in the city for over 12 years, hosting annual community and cultural events such as Paint The Town, a spring clean-up where young people work together to remove negative graffiti in the city.
CCUPCY also organizes Fall Harvest, a unique learning experience on traditional harvesting techniques, and an opportunity for Aboriginal students to feel pride in their identity. Spirit of Winter is another annual CCUPCY event that encourages positive engagement for youth through a mix of traditional and contemporary food, music and dance. Mark Sault, CCUPCY’s Co-Chair, also has a particular passion for deterring youth gangs.
Watch the Outstanding Community Project Award Video
Alana King is the Co-Chair of the Community Action Group (CAG). It takes community to make things happen. Building community is exactly what the CAG does in the Windsor/Picton/Blucher neighbourhood.
Windsor/Picton/Blucher has one of the highest concentrations of children and youth in the city. Recognizing the challenges and opportunities this brings, CAG is making the neighbourhood one of the best in the city to raise children. Alana and her Co-Chair Steve Mantis know the simple act of bringing people together toward a common goal is the first step to creating a positive family atmosphere.
Despite being active for just over a year, CAG is making an impact. Partnering with Alpha Court, Katimivik, Thunder Bay Housing and others, CAG builds community by publishing a newsletter, hosting community feasts, neighbourhood clean-ups and a road hockey tournament. Organized events bring neighbours together to have fun, and create community pride.
Watch the Outstanding Community Project Award Video