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Hudson’s Bay Foundation and the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund Announce First Recipients of Oshki Wupoowane | The Blanket Fund’s Capacity Building Grant

Press Release

TORONTO, April 9, 2024Hudson’s Bay Foundation and the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund are pleased to announce the first round of grant recipients of Oshki Wupoowane | The Blanket Fund’s Capacity Building Grant. The Blanket Fund launched on September 30, 2022, with an initial $1 million investment from Hudson’s Bay Foundation and a commitment to direct 100% of net proceeds from the sale of all HBC Point Blankets to The Blanket Fund moving forward.

Recipients were selected through an innovative participatory granting process where the shortlisted applicants themselves played a direct role in determining how the funds would be distributed.

The recipients of the first round of Capacity Building funding through Oshki Wupoowane | The Blanket Fund are:

  • Community Arts Mentorship Program (C.A.M.P.), granted $175,000 per year over four years (Saskatoon, SK)
  • White Buffalo Youth Lodge (White Buffalo Youth Council), granted 140,000 per year over four years (Saskatoon, SK)
  • Sacred Fire Productions/Productions Feux Sacrés, granted $140,000 per year over four years (Montreal, QC)

Read more about each of the grant recipients at

Capacity Building Grants support grassroots Indigenous charities, programs, communities, and initiatives for sustainable growth through multi-year partnerships to enhance capacity, networks, programs, and profiles. Grant recipients are awarded up to $175,000/year over two to four years.

Recipients were decided through a participatory granting process with the 10 shortlisted organizations playing a direct role in deciding the priorities of the grant and how the funds would be distributed. The participatory approach ensures transparency and accessibility, facilitating capacity building in organizations and leadership while promoting a more inclusive and equitable distribution of resources by engaging stakeholders in decision-making.

“This was a first-time experience for me to be involved in a participatory evaluation process and I found it to be fair, engaging, and empowering to connect with all the great work being done by Indigenous cultural organizations across the country,” said Nadine St. Louis, VP des opérations, partenariats et financement at Sacred Fire Productions.

“We’re excited to announce the first recipients of Oshki Wupoowane | The Blanket Fund Capacity Building Grant,” said Sarah Midanik, President & CEO, Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund. “Each of these organizations moves reconciliation forward through Indigenous-led initiatives that revitalize Indigenous arts and cultural practices, strengthen community connections, and empower the next generation of Indigenous leaders. The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund looks forward to collaborating with these organizations in the years ahead on our ongoing journey of reconciliation. Miigwetch, marsii, to Hudson’s Bay Foundation, and to each of our recipients for doing this vital work in your communities.”

“Oshki Wapoowane is a foundational component of Hudson’s Bay’s Truth and Reconciliation framework. The blankets are symbolic of both the history of the company as well as the future, and we are grateful for our partnership with The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund to facilitate this incredibly important program across the country,” said Liz Rodbell, President and CEO, Hudson’s Bay.

For more information about the grant application process, deadlines, eligibility, and more please visit

Hudson’s Bay Foundation is a registered charity, working to address racial inequality by investing in education, employment and empowerment opportunities for Indigenous Peoples, Black People and People of Colour. In 2021, Hudson’s Bay Foundation launched Hudson’s Bay Foundation Charter for Change, committing $30 million over 10 years to accelerate racial equity in communities across Canada. By partnering with organizations doing critical work under its three pillars, Hudson’s Bay Foundation provides funding for programs and initiatives driving meaningful and sustainable change.

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

For further information: Media Contacts: THE BAY MEDIA OFFICE: Tiffany Bourré, VP, Communications, PR & Heritage, | 416-571-1301; GORD DOWNIE & CHANIE WENJACK FUND: Amanda Charles, Director, Marketing and Communications, Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund,



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