News

Raised over $200 for Shannen’s Dream

Jesse Mellott | Fulcrum Staff

Photo by Mathias MacPhee

The University of Ottawa’s Foot Patrol raised money last week for Shannen’s Dream, a First Nations charity dedicated to equal education for all students. Foot Patrol, a student-run service provided by the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) whose volunteers safely escort students to locations within a 45 minute walking radius around campus, donated $1 to the charity for every person they walked from November 5–9. The SFUO matched the donations. Foot Patrol accompanied students on approximately 100 walks, and the total donation came to $224.40.

Catherine Wagner, the supervising coordinator at Foot Patrol, said donating to a charity through a walkathon is a tradition the SFUO service began last year.

“Every year or semester … we pick a different charity, and for every walk we get during the week of the walkathon we will donate $1 to that charity,” Wagner said. “So every time a client uses our service this week, we will give a dollar to charity.”

Shannen’s Dream is overseen by the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada (FNCFCSC). Andrea Auger the Touchstones of Hope coordinator at the FNCFCSC Auger was contacted by the U of O’s Foot Patrol back in October and was told that Shannen’s Dream would be receiving proceeds from the walkathon. Auger was glad to know their message was getting out to the broader public and organizations like Foot Patrol.

“It makes us really happy to know that our message is getting across to lots of different organizations, not only in Ottawa, but around the country,” Auger said. “It just makes us really excited to know that other people care and they want to make a difference.”

Shannen’s Dream started as a campaign for equitable schools that promoted a safe and comfortable learning environment, not only for First Nations children but for all students across Canada. From 2007–08 it was called the Attawapiskat School Campaign (ASC) and was led by Shannen Koostachin, an Attawapiskat high school student. The ASC was formed as a result of a long-standing problem in the community schools of Attawapiskat in the James Bay region of northern Ontario. Diesel fuel was leaking into school portables, an issue the community has had to deal with since the 1970s. Koostachin and her fellow students created a campaign to make the broader public aware of the problem.

Koostachin tragically passed away in a car accident at the age of fifteen in 2010, but as Auger explained, Shannen’s Dream lives on.

The U of O’s Foot Patrol helps to provide students with a safe environment in and around campus—a safe environment that Shannen’s Dream also believes in.

For more information about Shannen’s Dream go to: http://www.fncaringsociety.com/shannensdream