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Local businesses support Anishnabeg Outreach

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The $1M “Local Legends” program launched by Mazda Canada has reached Kitchener with a donation of $5,000 from local dealership Kieswetter Mazda to benefit Anishnabeg Outreach through Borealis Grille & Bar’s “Neighbourhood Good Fund.”

Kieswetter Mazda general manager, Sarah Budd, is a frequent patron of Borealis Grille & Bar located on King Street East in Kitchener and familiar with the restaurant’s unique concept of using business as a force for good.

Borealis Grille & Bar’s core ethos of using business to create thriving communities and a sustainable future includes operating as carbon neutral, offering health benefits to all staff and generating fundraising opportunities for local non-profits through their “Neighbourhood Good Fund.”

Recent focus for the restaurant is their partnership with Anishnabeg Outreach, a local Indigenous-led non-profit, to help raise funds for their Spirit Bundle program over the holidays with a $10 for $10 initiative.

Every $10 donation made by guests in the restaurant is matched with a $10 gift certificate for them to use on their next visit.

Seeking to support the local Indigenous community along with the hard-hit restaurant industry, Budd realized this was just the kind of initiative and partnership the “Local Legends” program intends to support.

“Kieswetter Mazda is excited to partner with Borealis Grille, as part of Mazda’s Local Legends program. Like them, we share the view that local businesses form the backbone of our communities. We have a role to play in supporting and sustaining our own neighbourhoods in an inclusive way. In the spirit of reconciliation and healing, Kieswetter Mazda is proud that this partnership will benefit Anishnabeg Outreach as they work to holistically serve the Indigenous community in Kitchener,” Budd said.

With their early focus being on employment, Anishnabeg Outreach has now set their mission to help Kitchener’s First Nations, Métis, and Inuit by creating a sustainable and comprehensive suite of centralized wrap-around services and to establish themselves as an innovative hub of best practices for economic development, training, and employment on reserves.

Their Centre of Healing provides multiple services to urban First Nations, Métis, and Inuit such as their Spirit Bundles that deliver essential items to local Indigenous families, wellness and healing programming, children’s services such as their EarlyON program, employment services, mentorship, and truth and reconciliation training for non-Indigenous peoples.

“Anishnabeg Outreach is a centralized space for Indigenous people to grow, learn and be a beacon for future generations. A place where we involve the entire person – including their families and their connections. Before moving on to our dreams, it is important to remember and reflect on our roots and our growth,” said Tammy Webster, Anishnabeg Outreach board president.

In conjunction with the $5,000 donation to Anishnabeg Outreach, Borealis Grille & Bar has created custom $10 gift certificates available to Kieswetter Mazda staff and customers as a small gift over the holidays and to inform the community about the vital work being done by the non-profit.

Court Desautels, CEO of The Neighbourhood Group that includes Borealis Grille & Bar, is equally inspired by the generosity of other local businesses and what can be accomplished with our Indigenous neighbours.

“We know there needs to be a significant shift in how we treat Indigenous People in Canada as we find our path towards reconciliation,” Desautels said.

“This type of collaboration between businesses is a great place to start and we’re looking forward to building upon this commitment, especially during times when people need it most.”

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