The eighth annual respect. Award recipients were announced today with the honour going to one local organization and one individual based on their efforts to exemplify respect in the community. Community leader Roopa Rakshit and the Therapeutic Recreation Department at Pioneer Ridge Long Term Care and Senior Services received a respect. Award by promoting attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that demonstrate respect. 

“We are proud to present this year’s respect. Awards to two very deserving recipients who empower others by leading with compassion and dedication, and always with respect,” said Tina Maronese, Chair of the respect. Working Group. “Congratulations to Roopa Rakshit and the Therapeutic Recreation Department at Pioneer Ridge for dedicating so much of their time and energy towards fostering positive relationships and inclusion in our community.” 

Since her relocation to Thunder Bay in 2012, Roopa Rakshit has immersed herself in the community. Professionally, she has committed to supporting capacity-building within First Nation communities through her organization, Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation, wherein she highlights the amazing work First Nation communities are pursuing with renewables, energy efficiency and conservation projects. She has actively volunteered with Ontario Trillium Foundation, Environment North, Eco Superior, and the City of Thunder Bay’s EarthCare. Her outreach contributions include coordinating One City Many Voices, a monthly column in The Chronicle-Journal; hosting the Asian Kaleidoscope show on Lakehead University Community Radio, and hosting her own program, “Global Vibes” (formerly, Asian Vibes) on Shaw TV. Roopa is a past President of the India Canada Association of Thunder Bay and established the Tapestry Women’s Network to weave cultures and friendships across borders. She is also part of the Warm Northern Welcome to help settle refugee families. 

The Therapeutic Recreation Department at Pioneer Ridge plays an integral role in the well-being of older adults residing in their Home. Understanding that these individuals are at their most vulnerable, they ensure their dignity is fully respected. The Department advocates for the cultural, social and spiritual needs of their residents. They host special gatherings for people of differing ethnic backgrounds and tailor programs to meet the needs of many diverse populations. They bring merriment into the Home around holiday celebrations, and cater to the diverse needs of their residents. The Department coordinates one-on-one, small group and large group programming and often incorporates music into their activities. The Department does an exceptional job showing their residents that they still matter, they are still important, and they can still give back and enjoy life in many ways. 

respect. is a joint Initiative of the City of Thunder Bay’s Anti-Racism & Respect Advisory Committee and the Crime Prevention Council, and the respect. Awards are sponsored by Diversity Thunder Bay. Currently there are over 80 local organizations that have committed to respect. Other organizations in the community are invited to sign up and be a part of this initiative. For more information and to view the video of this year’s winners, visit:


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Contact:       Lee-Ann Chevrette, Crime Prevention Council Coordinator, 807-631-4422