Saugeen First Nation on board for the Gran Fondo Lake Huron

Saugeen Memorial Hospital Foundation (SMHF) is collaborating with Saugeen First Nation to incorporate Anishnaabe culture into the First Gran Fondo Lake Huron cycling ride on Sunday, August 19th (2018).

At the James Mason Centre (L-R) Sally Kidson (Exec. Dir. SMHF), Chief Lester Anoquot, Jim Barbour (Chair Hospital Foundation) and Christine John (Bruce Power)

Beginning at 6:30 a.m., a traditional Sunrise Ceremony at Pioneer Park in Southampton will open the day of the ride and the first rest stop for the 160km distance will be at the James Mason Memorial Culture & Recreation Centre.

“We are very grateful for the community’s support and involvement in the ride,” said Sally Kidson, Executive Director of SMHF.  “We want our cyclists to understand our Anishnaabe friends and to be aware that the entire Gran Fondo takes place on their traditional territory.”

Saugeen’s territory, shared with the Chippewa of Nawash Unceded First Nation, extends east from Lake Huron to the Nottawasaga River and south from the tip of the Bruce Peninsula to the Maitland River system.

“We are pleased to be part of this important fundraising initiative,” says Chief Lester Anoquot of Saugeen First Nation.  “Not only are we participating to raise funds for much-needed medical equipment, but we are also building relationships so that our community members can access high quality, culturally safe health services in Grey-Bruce.”

The Gran Fondo Lake Huron will offer rides ranging from 30km to 160km with all funds raised to be put toward the purchase of medical equipment for the Southampton hospital and Owen Sound Regional Hospital.