Bimbo Canada has unveiled what it calls a "Legacy Space," in partnership with the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF).
Located in the atrium of its Winnipeg, Man. bakery, the installation features resources for employees provided by DWF around Indigenous history and reconciliation.
Bimbo launched its first Legacy Space at its head office in Etobicoke, Ont. in March 2022 and over the next two months will create two more at its bakeries in Montreal, Que. and Moncton, N.B.
Each space is unique and “designed to help build cultural understanding, connections and a path toward reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples,” the company stated in a release.
The Winnipeg team's first "reconciliACTION" was the commissioning of a local Indigenous artist – a family member of one of its associates – to create a mural on an exterior bay door at the facility. The mural will tell a story about Indigenous peoples and residential schools and will be painted in three different parts over the next three years.
"In Winnipeg, we are taking action to bring awareness to and educate everyone in the history of residential schools as a way to show our support for all the families that have been impacted by this and honour the memories of the Indigenous kids who never made it home," said Emmanuel Osagie, bakery supervisor, Bimbo Canada. "We can never forget what happened and must do something to spread the word and inspire change."
Other efforts by the company to raise awareness about Chanie Wenjack's story and the true history of residential schools in Canada include providing ongoing training and educational opportunities for associates through The Indigenous Cultural Competency Training (ICCT) program offered by DWF and participating in Walk for Wenjack during Secret Path Week, among others.