Nishnawbe Aski Nation

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THUNDER BAY, ON (September 15, 2016): Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand Chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum will be joined by concerned citizens for a fast and 48 Hours of Prayer outside Shelter House Thunder Bay this weekend to raise awareness about the homeless and vulnerable members of society while praying for the safety of students, women and girls, and all community members.

“Homelessness is all-too prevalent in Thunder Bay and many urban centres across northern Ontario, and vulnerable members of these communities are often victims of violence and other forms of abuse,” said Deputy Grand Chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum. “There many contributing factors including rigid policies on housing and social assistance, court and legal issues, racism, mental health and addictions. This 48-hour fast will help raise awareness about the need for services and resources to help the less fortunate, and we ask for prayers from all community members this weekend.”

Achneepineskum will be joined by Shelter House Executive Director Gary Mack, family members of those who have been lost, and other members of the public to fast from 6 p.m. on Saturday Sept. 17 until 6 p.m. on Monday Sept. 19. They will go without food and water for the entire 48 Hours of Prayer, sitting and sleeping outside Shelter House.

The fast will honour the memory of Leslie Moonias and Otis Perkins, who were recent victims of violence, and all people lost over the years, many of whom utilized Shelter House.

NAN participates in a task force to address violence and homelessness that includes representatives from the City of Thunder Bay, the Thunder Bay Police Service, Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service, Northern Nishnawbe Education Council, Matawa First Nations Management and other community stakeholders.

NAN supports the work of Shelter House, and staff and members of the Executive Council volunteer at monthly soup kitchens. Shelter House is located at 420 George Street near City Hall. All members of the community are invited to participate in the fast to show support.

For more information please contact: Michael Heintzman, Director of Communications – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (807) 621-2790 or by email

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