This past Saturday, May 14th, over 40 community members attended the first Elgin Community Conversations event at the Pinafore Park Dance Pavilion.

Saturday’s event included drumming by members of the Deshkan Zii Bi Indigenous Women’s Association, as well as booths featuring 3 Hills Crafts (traditional hand made drums and shakers made by three generations of Hills) Nicole Arseneault (a Métis artist who is a part of the Turtle Clan from Tyendinaga, Bay of Quinte), St. Thomas Public Library, Elgin County Library, the St. Thomas Elgin Coalition to End Poverty, and Rainbow Optimists of Southwestern Ontario.  Participants enjoyed traditional corn soup, fry bread, and a strawberry drink provided by Gramz Kitchen. 

Additionally funds were raised to bring potable water to the Oneida Nation of the Thames reserve that has been under a boil water advisory since September 2019. Anyone wishing to donate to this cause can contact Chris Patriquin at Simply Pure Water,

The Community Conversations planning group has members from St. Thomas Public Library, Elgin County Library, the St. Thomas Elgin Local Immigration Partnership, St. Thomas Elgin Social Services, the Rainbow Optimist Club of Southwestern Ontario, and several community volunteers. Thanks to everyone who came out on Saturday!  For information about future Community Conversations, please watch the websites and social media of the agencies involved in planning or email

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