In March 2017, The Slaight Family Foundation announced a $12-million donation to be shared by the ROM and 14 other not-for-profit organizations committed to improving the well-being of Canada’s Indigenous populations. This historic gift marks one of the largest donations ever directed to support Indigenous communities across the country.
“We have sought the advice of Indigenous leaders across Canada in the development of these initiatives, and are hopeful that these gifts will have a positive lasting impact on the lives of Indigenous Canadians—particularly youth,” says Gary Slaight, President and CEO of The Slaight Family Foundation. “We are proud to be able to help make a difference.”
At the ROM, this investment will enable a new digitally enriched learning program that will connect Indigenous students and their peers with the Museum’s collection of ancestral objects. Over the course of multiple onsite and virtual visits, these experiences will help shape the cultural identity of Indigenous children and youth, while promoting more inclusive behaviours in classrooms across Ontario.
“The ROM is truly grateful for The Slaight Family Foundation’s extraordinary philanthropic leadership and its remarkable support of the Museum’s innovative Indigenous and digital learning initiative,” says Josh Basseches, ROM Director and CEO. “This generous investment will allow us to expand our Indigenous program and deepen students’ connection with the cultural heritage of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples.”