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by Scott A. Sumner

“ This is the Raising Awareness Together Golf Tournament 2015, the fifth, to raise  awareness of the problems of prescription drug abuse and to raise some funds to support the programs to help people get off prescription drugs and to a more healthy lifestyle. It is a big problem for many First Nations communities. It is also a problem that affects people in all walks of life.” said Wab Kinew who works at the University of Winnipeg in Indigenous Affairs and hosts some shows for CBC Television. “ It is something everything needs to pay attention to and  to help with programs to prevent the problem.”

“ The drugs are physically addictive, and social problems can aggravate it, say problems in the home or with friends and bullying. There are many factors at work here. Today we want to show a positive space, have a good time together and have successful people come together.”    The organizers of this event feel the  need to provide support to people.  They have raised $17,000 to date and will be closer to $20,000 after this years event.  It goes a long way to help people according to Wab Kinew.

   Michael McKay is originally from Bearskin Lake and now lives in Thunder Bay. He is co founder of the event with Travis Boissoneau.  “ I am from a remote northern community and saw a change in the communities and people struggling. Before we started this event it seemed like not much was being done about prescription drug abuse.  I wanted to do something about it  and approached Travis Boissoneau to help. We want to create awareness of the problem. The funds we raise go right to the Denis Franklin Cromarty High School Drug Treatment and After care program. It can be a real struggle with prescription drug abuse and can lead to other issues. The small communities don’t  often have the resources and funds to help with these problems so we can help.” This golf event was held June 19th at the Whitewater Golf Club in
Thunder Bay.


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