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Ontario Chamber of Commerce delegates sew up quilt blocks for residential school survivors

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The Ontario Chamber of Commerce hosted its Annual General Meeting and Convention this week in Timmins, Ont.

Around 100 delegates from throughout the province travelled to the city to take in some northern hospitality and set goals for the upcoming year.

One of the optional activities during the conference, held at Cedar Meadows Resort and Spa, was to create a square to be included in a quilt for a residential school survivor.

Founder of ‘Quilts for Survivors,’ Vanessa Genier was on hand with fabric, notions and sewing machines and taught interested delegates how to be part of a project that’s promoting truth and reconciliation.

“Once I have enough and I have several blocks now, I can probably make two tops, I'm going to start sewing them together and they'll be finished tops,” said Genier.

“Then I'll bring them to the studio and we'll pick them up and ship them off to a survivor.”

Ontario Chamber of Commerce officials said reconciliation with Indigenous peoples was one of its main agenda topics at this year’s gathering.

About 100 delegates from around the province travelled to Timmins, Ont., for its annual general meeting and convention at Cedar Meadows Resort and Spa. Quilts for Survivors founder Vanessa Genier (left) talks with Ontario Chamber of Commerce President Daniel Tisch (right) about her initiative. (Lydia Chubak/CTV News Northern Ontario)

Daniel Tisch, the chamber’s president and chief executive officer, told CTV News that the agenda for the northern Ontario meeting talks about some “pretty fundamental” things.

“We're talking about the development of the mining industry. We're talking about critical infrastructure and how we build better infrastructure to connect the, you know, minerals in the north to the manufacturing in the south of Ontario. We're talking about how to retrain, retain the brilliant talent that northern Ontario develops,” he said, on Friday.

“And – we're talking about reconciliation with Indigenous people, businesses, nations and communities. And those are probably the, I'd say, the four items that are highest in terms of the agenda that we have in the room today.”

The conference wraps up on April 27.

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