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Danone Canada joins Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund as a Legacy Spaces partner; establishing a Legacy Space in its HQ in Toronto

Press Release

BOUCHERVILLE, QC and TORONTO, Oct. 18, 2023 – Danone Canada, one of the country’s leading food and beverage companies, is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF). By becoming a Legacy Spaces partner, Danone joins DWF on the collective journey toward reconciliation in Canada.

This partnership is announced during the company’s global Diversity, Equity & Inclusivity (DEI) Week and DWF’s Secret Path Week, a national movement commemorating the legacies of Chanie Wenjack and Gord Downie. Danone has committed $25,000 over the five-year term of the partnership and will designate its Toronto office’s main room as a Legacy Space—a safe, welcoming place where conversations and education about Indigenous history and our shared path toward reconciliation are encouraged and supported. It will allow employees to continue learning more about the rich and diverse cultures, experiences, and histories of Indigenous Peoples.

DWF, named after the late Gord Downie, a celebrated member of The Tragically Hip and solo musician, and Chanie Wenjack, a 12-year-old Anishinaabe boy who died fleeing Cecilia Jeffrey Residential School in 1966, focuses on improving the lives of Indigenous people by building awareness, education, and connections between all peoples in Canada. Through multiple initiatives, DWF seeks to shed light on the unique traditions, history, and challenges Indigenous communities face.

“As a company that is deeply rooted in Canada, we must embrace our history and understand how we can have an impact on the future of reconciliation by continuing our Indigenous education journey. This reflects our unwavering commitment to our communities and DWF has a powerful mission that resonates perfectly with our values at Danone. This partnership was a natural fit to continue our learning journey and is a humble step in contributing to the wider reconciliation efforts,” says Melanie Lebel, SVP of Human Resources at Danone Canada.

“DWF is thrilled to have Danone Canada join the Legacy Spaces program. Demonstrating their commitment to reconciliation in Canada, Danone has designated the main room in their Toronto office as a Legacy Space. Legacy Spaces provide employees with the opportunity to educate themselves on the true history of Canada, Indigenous peoples, and consider how to incorporate reconciliation into their daily practices and work,” shared Sarah Midanik, President & CEO of the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund.

This initiative is one of many intended to support Indigenous communities through its mission of bringing health through food in Canada, including Danone’s multi-year $1.2 million commitment to Breakfast Club of Canada to support the creation of new school breakfast programs in regions where the need is greatest.

For more information about Danone Canada, visit www.danone.ca, Facebook (@danonecanada), Twitter (@DanoneCanada) or LinkedIn.

About the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF)

Inspired by Chanie’s story and Gord’s call to build a better Canada, the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund aims to build cultural understanding and create a path toward reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Our goal is to improve the lives of Indigenous people by building awareness, education, and connections between all peoples in Canada. Learn more at DownieWenjack.ca.

For further information: Media relations, mediarelations@danone.com

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