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CIECYR Inaugural Awards and Benefit Gala

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The Community Inclusivity Equity Council of York Region’s Inaugural Awards and Benefit Gala being held on Thursday, April 30, 2015, at the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel, 600 Highway 7 East, Richmond Hill. Reverend Mpho Tutu, Executive Director of the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, and Archbishop Desmond and Leah Tutu’s granddaughters, Nyaniso and Onalenna joined us from South Africa. Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, as Chair of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, contributed to this event with a video presentation as he was unable to travel internationally at this time. In attendance was the Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of Canada’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission, the former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario the Honourable James Bartleman and Chief Donna Big Canoe, Chief of the Chippewas of Georgina.

The Diversity, Equity & Inclusivity Awards for Service (& Innovation) better known as DEIAS is an awards program that recognizes and highlights the work of individuals as well as not-for-profit and corporate entities within York Region and across the province that are dedicated trailblazers in matters of diversity, equity and inclusion in the context of organizational change and community engagement. This year our awardees are as follows: THE HONOURABLE ROY McMURTRY; ELDER WANDA BIG CANOE; CHIEF ERIC JOLLIFFE; YORK REGION SCHOOL BOARD; MAGNA INTERNATIONAL AND THE CANADIAN ROOTS EXCHANGE.

The Chippewas of Georgina Island are in the formative stage of developing funds to build a new school (a learning centre). All proceeds raised by the Benefit Gala will go towards the building of a school library in the new learning centre that will replace the existing school as well as supporting the educational needs of the children and youth of Georgina Island. The gala’s theme of Truth, Reconciliation and Engagement is inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRCC). The TRCC is investigating the truth behind the experiences of Aboriginal people during the residential school era that dates back to the 1870s. During this era, more than 150,000 First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children were placed in these schools, often against their parents’ wishes. An estimated 80,000 former students are alive today. The ongoing impact of residential schools has been felt throughout generations and has contributed to social problems that continue to exist today. Justice Murray Sinclair will be briefing delivery remarks outlining the process.

South African Women for Women

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