Keewaytinook Okimakanak receives Safer and Vital Communities funds from Ontario

The following press release describes the grant that will presented to KO today at 1 pm CDT via video conferencing. The web cast of this event can be watched by visiting

KORI press release ...


Thunder Bay, June 19, 2007 - Michael Gravelle, MPP for Thunder Bay – Superior North, was pleased to announce today that the McGuinty government under its Safer and Vital Communities Grant program is awarding $19,500 to the Keewaytinook Okimakanak (KO), a tribal council serving First Nations in Northwestern Ontario.

“Working together with police services and community groups, our goal is to help make a real difference in making our Northwestern Ontario communities safer,” said Gravelle. “We need to support activities such as KO in order build safe communities for our children, our youth and our seniors. We will continue to support community organizations in their efforts to prevent crime.”

The Keewaytinook Okimakanak Research Institute (KORI), a department within Keewaytinook Okimakanak, located in Thunder Bay, will adminnister the grant by seeking to facilitate eight online workshops to promote public safety awareness in Nishnawbe-Aski Nation First Nations communities. The workshops will be broadcast via IP videoconference and streaming video.  Each workshop will be archived on the project website. Topics will include: creating job opportunities on-reserve for youth; helping teachers, parents and youth in their response to youth gangs and violence; and developing skills in mentoring and leadership among youth. The workshops will run for one to two hours with a presentation, followed by a question and answer and discussion period. The objective is to engage youth in public safety awareness and have them supported by parents, elders, teachers and community.

Geordi Kakepetum, Executive Director of Keewaytinook Okimakanak, is pleased with the announcement.  “KO is the leader in First Nations connectivity, telecommunications and community-based applications.  We welcome the opportunity to work with the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services  to promote discussion and dialogue among First Nations community members on community safety through the use of IP videoconferencing,” he said. 

Funding was provided as part of the Safer and Vital Communities Grant program that supports the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services goal of working with partners to promote a safer Ontario. The program provides $792,800 province-wide to fund local crime prevention projects in areas such as youth crime, seniors’ safety, and protecting young Ontarians from Internet luring and child pornography. The grant program was made available to not-for-profit organizations and First Nations Band Councils.

Michael Gravelle, the Member of Provincial Parliament for Thunder Bay-Superior North will present Keewaytinook Okimakanak with the cheque on Wednesday, June 19th at 2 pm Eastern Standard Time at 216 Algoma Street south in Thunder Bay.  Media is invited.  RSVP