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Wikwemikong to build teaching greenhouse

Community successful in winning $50,000 in Aviva funding
A rendering shows what the completed Greenhouse for Change might look like. (Image supplied)

A plan to build a greenhouse to teach Wikwemikong High School students construction and agriculture skills is one step further ahead after the project won $50,000 from the Aviva Community Fund.

Aviva, an insurance company, annually holds a competition to award community-led initiatives funds that will help complete the projects.

On Dec. 5, Wikwemikong’s Greenhouse for Change was named a winner in the contest’s Community Resilience category, earning $50,000 toward the venture.

In a partnership with the non-profit organization Focus Forward for Indigenous Youth, the community plans to build a greenhouse to help educate students in construction and agriculture skills, while improving community sustainability.

Owned and led by the community, the greenhouse will be constructed by students in the Wikwemikong High School construction-tech program, and a second program, Green Industries, will be launched to teach students the “benefits and challenges of creating a community-led sustainable food source.”

The program is planning to be open for enrollment by the fall of 2018.

The Aviva funding will be used to pay for building techniques and technologies, such as biomass and solar; engineering services; and the hiring of professional tradespersons to provide the educational component of the project.

Wikwemikong Unceded Territory is located on Manitoulin Island, along the north shore of Lake Huron.