Moved by people: fundraising for the Eabametoong First Nation School devasted by fire

Making a difference in our communities, one project at a time, is foundational to who we are as an organization, and we are especially proud to support employee driven initiatives. One recent example started when Micheline Gervais, Project Director, Hygiene, Health & Safety with our Sudbury, Ontario team, learned about the devastating fire in the Eabametoong (Fort Hope) First Nation community. 

Thankfully no one was hurt in this incident, but the fire led to the devastating loss of the community school, John C Yesno Education Centre, losing sports equipment, arts and supplies, schoolbooks, land-based materials, cultural resources, and even the community drum. 

Touched deeply by the story, Micheline was inspired to act and reached out to contacts in her Sudbury office and Thunder Bay, Ontario, to brainstorm ways to help.

When I heard about the fire, my heart was broken for the community, especially the kids. We have worked in Fort Hope, being welcomed by the community, and we all really wanted to do something to help.

Micheline Gervais, Project Director, Hygiene, Health & Safety for Englobe Corp.

Her first instinct was to connect with Ed Collins, Manager of Indigenous Relations for Englobe, and begin working together to figure out how they could make the greatest impact. “I knew I could count on Ed for support, and that he would likely already have some important contacts with Matawa Education that was supporting the community during this difficult time,” explains Micheline. 

The two, along with other team contacts, were committed to helping and started planning.

Ed Collins, Chief Michele Solomon, Amanda Sauermann

Securing Essential School Supplies for the Children of Fort Hope 


As a first step, Micheline contacted the Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services that was assuming ownership of a school purchased from the Rainbow District School Board. The school, which was closed and set to be given a second life by the housing association, had school supplies and gym equipment that Micheline was able to secure for the Eabametoong community. 

Working together with the established Achieving the Dream Through Education registered charity and Matawa Education, the team was able to identify a host of items that would greatly benefit the community including books stationary, pens, paper, sporting equipment like small balls and brand-new skipping ropes, arts and crafts stuff, counting aids, and building blocks.

Grilling for Good: fundraising BBQ for the Eabametoong First Nation community's building loss fund 


Going above and beyond securing the school supplies for the community, the team wanted to fundraise and settled on a BBQ and bake sale with all proceeds going towards the community’s building loss fund. The Englobe Sudbury group hosted their BBQ on June 7th and the Thunder Bay team held theirs the following week on June 13th and together raised $4700

For both events, we were truly blown away by the outpour of support from clients and the community for the fundraising efforts.

For me, I think more than anything, I really hope that this sends the community, especially the children, the message that people care and that they are not alone,” says Ed, “we haven’t forgotten about them, we are here to help however we can, and our communities support each other.

Ed Collins, Manager of Indigenous Relations for Englobe

Ed Collins and Richard Twiss behind the grill

And Ed was not one to shy away from putting in the work necessary to make the BBQ events a success. From setting up, to cooking hamburgers, to helping to serve customers, he was front and center welcoming everyone who came to support the BBQ, taking extra care to ensure they had a good experience.

Every penny of the $4,700 raised will go to the Eabametoong (Fort Hope) First Nation School Loss fund.

We are incredibly proud of our team for organizing this great initiative, and for the support we were able to give to the community. By working together, we were able to help create a positive future for generations to come. 

If you are inspired by the story and want to support the school loss fundraiser, you can donate here! Every little bit helps.

Proudly recognizing National Indigenous Peoples Day and National Indigenous History Month. Today, we reinforce our commitment to supporting reconciliation and building mutually beneficial partnerships. 

To learn more about National Indigenous History Month in Canada, visit National Indigenous History Month website.

Englobe is recognized as Canada’s leader in the fields of environmental management, engineering, and asset integrity and quality management.