Six Nations of the Grand River is spending almost twice the amount of previous years to hold annual Bread and Cheese celebrations on Victoria Day weekend.
Six Nations spent $55,450 in 2021 and $58,102 in 2020 on Bread and Cheese.
At a finance meeting yesterday, Coun. Wendy Johnson said the estimated cost for this year’s Bread and Cheese celebration is close to $100,000.
A previous council discussion indicated the cost is a lot higher due to skyrocketing inflation rates.
The funds come from a pot known as the Ottawa Trust.
The interest on the roughly $2 million fund is used annually to cover the cost of Bread and Cheese celebrations on the Queen Victoria Day weekend.
Council’s finance committee made a motion to get the funds released at a meeting yesterday but confusion arose over some of the line items that money from the annual release would cover.
The finance committee was set to release the funds when confusion arose over a $3,200 line item going toward the Six Nations of the Grand River Economic Development Trust.
When Coun. Helen Miller questioned why the economic development trust was getting that money, nobody at the meeting could answer.
Coun. Wendy Johnson said it was “pretty concerning” that the most senior financial staff that was present at the meeting could not identify what the $3,200 was for.
“We shouldn’t have items written in if we can’t answer questions about it,” she said.
Councillors were hesitant to release the funds until they knew what the $3,200 was for.
“I don’t like making decisions based on guessing,” said Coun. Nathan Wright.
Coun. Helen Miller was prepared to refuse to second the motion unless the $3,200 was taken out.
“Like Wendy, I have concerns. Our finance people don’t even know what this money is for. They should know. I have a concern about that.”
The finance committee is expected to re-visit the mystery $3,200 expense and bring it back to its next meeting.
The motion passed but only after the $3,200 was removed.
The money will be placed back into the allocation once the finance committee has a clear understanding what it’s for, council noted.
Meanwhile, Bread and Cheese goes back to its roots this year, with the annual disbursement of bread and cheese to community members taking place in person at the Sports and Cultural Memorial Grounds.
The beloved freshly baked bread and cheese was hand-delivered to resident’s homes in 2020 and a drive-thru event was held in 2021.
The in-person event will include the annual parade through Ohsweken, a track and field competition, and fireworks, among other festivities.
The handing out of bread and cheese harkens back to the tradition of Queen Victoria gifting Six Nations with blankets in appreciation of the people’s allegiance to the Crown.