SIX NATIONS — The annual Smile Cookie campaign at Tim Hortons made a sizeable donation to the Everlasting Tree School this week.
A total of $8275 was presented to the school and its students on Thursday.
“Every year we alternate schools between the Everlasting Tree School and Kawenniio. It’s for the children — that’s what the Smile Cookies are all about,” said Tim Horton’s Operations Manager Kim Porter. “The owner, Landon Miller, he decided that a long time ago. And every year it gets better and better. The first year we raised $2000, and then the next year it was $5000 and now we’re up to $8000 and hopefully next year we’ll go to $10,000.”
Each year, Tim Hortons restaurants across Canada raise money for local initiatives through the sale of Smile Cookies. On Six Nations, both the Ohsweken and Highway 54 locations raise money for one full week and for every cookie that is sold, $1 goes to that year’s initiative — this year, to the Everlasting Tree School.
The school was started in 2010 and fuses Haudenosaunee culture and teachings together with Mohawk language immersion and the principles of Waldorf Education. The school has grown every year and has an enrolment of 66 students this year.
“Were very thankful for the donation every year, it goes toward our nutrition program here which is a huge part of what we do. We provide the children with snacks and lunch everyday.”
In the past the parents paid a small fee for the nutrition program, but when the pandemic hit the school opted to waive the nutrition program fees for parents due to the financial strain of the pandemic that many families were experiencing but also as a recognition of undoing the harms of residential school.
“To us, everything we do here is directly addressing the impacts of residential school. You know, the awful nutrition and experience the children had there. We want to nourish our children with healthy and nutritious food that is prepared in a super loving and nutritious way. The students just put our school gardens to bed and we have a community soup that we put on once a week.”