Santa Claus parade needs funding

Six Nations Elected Council will be funding the Six Nations Santa Claus parade this year, as the beloved annual event became yet another casualty of the lack of gaming funds coming into community coffers this year due to the pandemic.

Council’s finance committee agreed to fund the parade’s expenses, to the tune of about $6,500, which will go towards advertising, floats, purchasing candy, hiring Santa, and new signage.

Six Nations Elected Council has been bombarded with individual funding requests this year after losing out on millions of dollars in annual proceeds from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) Corporation.

Because the Covid pandemic shut down many gaming establishments, namely casinos, the OFNLP, which was formed to disperse OLG revenues to Indigenous communities in Ontario, was not able to provide the annual funding this year.

The gaming funds have also traditionally been used by council to offset departmental deficits.

This year’s parade, which takes place on Nov. 19, will feature Santa looking spiffy in a brand-new suit, which elicited a laugh from Elected Chief Mark Hill, who said the previous year’s Santas were looking “a little sad.”

More laughter ensued after Chief Hill suggested council put a float in the parade, when Coun. Helen Miller quipped that might not be a good idea, saying community members, “will throw eggs at us.”

The parade starts at Ohsweken Speedway at 10 a.m. and heads down Chiefswood Road toward the community hall.

Roads will be closed for the duration of the parade.

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