Ottawa Indigenous group serves up Thanksgiving dinner to show their appreciation to the community

Friends and family of the Assembly of Seven Generations dropped by for a special Thanksgiving meal to-go at a community centre in downtown Ottawa.

"From 3 (p.m.) to 6 (p.m.),  a group of about 50 people would enter the Bronson Centre," said Josh Lewis, one of the helpers at A7G leading the food preparations on Monday.  

Some of the ingredients were grown from a community garden that opened its doors to the organization earlier this year. 

 "That’s kind of where this came from," Lewis said. "As we grow food we wanted to collect and give back."

The food was prepared by youth of the Indigenous organization. 

"I’m really excited about the squash we are making," said Sam Wong. He was one of about 20 Indigenous youth volunteers hard at work preparing a feast that fed 200 people. 

 "You’re seeing the fruits of your labour and then you get to hold feasts like this," he said.  

 When the doors opened at 3 p.m., stuffed squash, bannock, cedar glazed carrots, bison meatloaf and other traditional indigenous foods were ready to be handed out. 

"I have both family that are Algonquin and Inuk," said Kyrstin Dumont, who picked up a few meals for her family members. "The amount of things they were able to create and the amount of cultures they were able to include was just so heartwarming."

This gesture, a thank you from the A7G team who says the community has shown a tremendous amount of support in this last year.

"Look at all these young people cooking," said Gabrielle Fayant, one of the co-founders of A7G, reflecting on how much the organization has grown since its inception in 2014.

"People closed their doors on us, people said no. Now we have a community that backs us up all the time."