Northern Nishnawbe Education Council
Incorporated in 1979, the Northern Nishnawbe Education Council (NNEC) is a First Nations, band-empowered, not-for-profit educational organization under the direction of the Sioux Lookout District Chiefs. NNEC delivers secondary and post secondary education programs and services for First Nations people through the Pelican Falls First Nations High School and Centre, Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School, and Wahsa Distance Education Centre. NNEC also hosts post-secondary programs and has offices in Lac Seul, Sioux Lookout and Thunder Bay. The Council receives its funding by direct contribution from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and through service arrangements with member First Nations; the Council is incorporated in Ontario as a not-for-profit organization. NNEC exists to support the advancement of First Nations’ self government, self determination, and economic self sufficiency through its provision of culturally relevant, values-based education for the Sioux Lookout District First Nations. The NNEC established “Wake the Giant” in 2019 as a cultural awareness project that identifies businesses and organizations in Thunder Bay that are willing to share educational resources with employees, staff and the community at large, with a goal of creating more welcoming spaces for Indigenous People. The three-day Festival culminates in a truth and reconciliation concert that has a specific focus on Indigenous people and promoting Indigenous musicians. The 2019 line-up included July Talk, Wolf Saga, and Metric.
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Wake the Giant 2023
This application is for “Wake the Giant 2023”, taking place September 14 to 17, 2023, at the Thunder Bay Marina. Wake The Giant consists of three different components: (1) Wake The Giant Music Festival; a cultural awareness project in Thunder Bay aimed at building understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and showing Indigenous people that they are valued members of the Thunder Bay community. The music Festival celebrates all cultures, explicitly focusing on Indigenous people and promoting Indigenous musicians. A significant component of this Festival features Indigenous culture (six of nine performances will be by Indigenous artists). These performances include music, spoken word poetry, jingle dress dancing, and drumming. The Festival will feature musical performances by Ruby Waters, Deadmau5, Dean Lewis, Sagatay, Mattmac, X-Ambassadors, Sara Kae, and Thunder Spirit. This event will be used to highlight up and coming Indigenous artists by pairing them with visiting acts. The Festival also includes ‘Feed The Giant’, a cocktail party organized by Thunder Bay’s own Hayden Johnston of Top Chef Canada fame, and ‘Red Bull’s Skate The Giant’. The event will feature world-class skaters from Team Redbull, Indigenous skaters, and the official Red Bull team DJing a live skating and BMXing event; (2) Decal Program where local businesses and organizations display a decal which identifies their site/organization/place of business as an inclusive and welcoming space for Indigenous youth; and (3) Orientation for First Nation youth: Canada's most extensive orientation for First Nation youth is a three-day event led by Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School.. The orientation and welcoming events are designed to introduce and familiarize Indigenous youth to the City of Thunder Bay.