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Caisse helps to develop community projects

The Caisse Populaire’s Community Development Project Fund funded nine projects last Monday evening. (Jessica Deer, The Eastern Door)

Purchasing new canoes and helping radio shows flourish are just some of the ways this year’s Community Development Project Fund is contributing to local organizations and project.

“It’s through member support of the Caisse Populaire Kahnawake products and services that we can contribute to the economic and social wellbeing of the community through the Community Development Fund,” said Stephen “Skippy” Lafleur, president of the Caisse’s board of directors.

On April 27 at the Annual General Assembly, Caisse members voted in favour of contributing $45,000 of collective dividends to the fund to support local projects.

“The Caisse has met the prerequisites for distribution, and tonight we have the pleasure of distributing the collective dividends to nine projects that enhance our culture and contribute to the development of our community,” said Lafleur.

This year’s recipients were presented with cheques on Monday evening, and included the Echoes of a Proud Nations Pow Wow ($5,000), Iakwahwatsiratatie Language Nest ($3,570), Karihwanoron Mohawk Immersion ($9,324), as well as the Kanien’kehá:ka Onkwawén:na Raotitióhkwa Language and Cultural Center ($2,000) for its upcoming language gathering in February.

Step by Step Child and Family Centre also received $2,500 to build an outdoor classroom, the Saint Francis Xavier Mission received $700 for a signage in the Catholic cemetery for people to find their loved ones, and Onake Paddling Club received $10,000 to purchase four canoes.

“As we expand, as we go into other ventures into canoeing, we also need to upkeep our equipment, so this is going to help us purchase four additional canoes that these girls, as well as the other community members, will use wisely,” said Sharon Rice, manager at Onake.

“It’s actually the eighth or ninth boat that we received through this development fund, so we very much appreciate it, and the boats last a long time because we take good care of them.”

Tewawennakará:tats, a Kanien’kéha talk show on K103 Radio, also received $5,506, and $6,400 went to Michael Dell’s Walk in My World.

“What we want to do with money is to help expand the radio show to include more community members as special guests, also we have a lot of folks from other communities, so we want to be able to offer them small honorariums for going through the trouble of coming to our community to talk on the show,” said Callie Karihwiióstha Montour, who co-hosts Tewawennakará:tats with Konwanénhon Marion Delaronde.

The show, which features the two second-language learners, airs every Tuesday evening from 6-7 p.m.

“We also want to get the required software and hardware so that we can offer USBs with recordings of our shows for community members to purchase, but also just to have for school, KOR, or whoever might benefit from the Kanien’kéha learning material,” said Montour.

Walk In My World is a radio and TV show that chronicles the life of Michael Dell, a Kanien’kehá:ka man living with Cerebral Palsy. While the radio show airs on K103 the first Monday of every month, Dell said the money will help with additional video production to air on local cable.

“It’s been a long time since Walk In My World has been on the air and on TV. It would not be possible without the Caisse Populaire Kahnawake getting behind my project because when I did it back many years ago, I didn’t think it would last for as long as it has,” said Dell.

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