The Indian Friendship Centre opened its’ doors for the second community breakfast on Wednesday morning.
Indian Friendship Centre President Claudette Chevrier-Cachagee said they started this event to help the community in “trying times,” such as the end of the month when money tends to be tighter.
“This is the reason why it’s near the end of the month, before their next social assistance or pay is in. It’s very trying for the families, and we try to keep that in mind when we schedule these,” she explained. “That’s the main thing – to let them know that our Indigenous Friendship Centre – known as the Indian Friendship Centre – is a caring place to be. We’re trying to do things that support and give healthy food to our youngsters, our families, our Elders, gets our moms out of the house – ’cause I raised five children, and I know what it’s like to get out of the house once in a while, and it is a treat. You see old friends, old faces – it’s really a community event.”
This event started in July, but didn’t really take off until Wednesday’s breakfast, which saw 135 people.
Chevrier-Cachagee said there are plans in the works to expand the building so they can accommodate even more people in the future. This bigger space will include a larger, urban centre that will hold a youth and gathering place for meetings, conferences, activities for youth and Elders as well as some office space and apartments above that.
“Things are really moving along and in a good direction. It’s been a long time coming,” she told SaultOnline.
She said she thinks hosting breakfasts like this is an important way to promote
Chevrier-Cachagee said she’d like to see this event continue on every month, as long as the Indian Friendship Centre’s budget can sustain it.
“It’s really beautiful to see the community members here,” she said. “I think we could continue doing such wonderful things, because everyone feels joyful and happy and cared for, and it’s all in being kind, it’s bringing back that Indigenous value of sharing and caring.
“And we’re a proud people, we’re still here, we still have that pride in our heart, we still have that sharing in our heart, and we want to share our Indigenous culture with the citizens of Sault Ste. Marie and beyond.”