Officials with Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services and Waabinong Head Start Family Resource Centre in Sault Ste. Marie are celebrating the addition of more local Indigenous childcare spaces.
Sault Ste. Marie MPP Ross Romano announced $1 million in funding from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) to Waabinong, which provides childcare for Indigenous preschoolers, as well as education in Anishinabek language and culture.
Waabinong shares the former St. Bernadette School building with a residence for single Indigenous mothers who are looking to upgrade their education or obtain job skills. The funding from the Province allows Waabinong to expand from 24 childcare spaces to 115, as well as the creation of 24 jobs.
"The housing is for single Aboriginal women who are going back to school, who are upgrading, or looking to go to school either in college or university," says Waabinong Executive Director Kevin Tegosh. "This gives them a safe place to live, gives them shelter and gives them access to childcare.