Home News IKEA lends a hand to Kahnawake  

IKEA lends a hand to Kahnawake  

Aaron McComber The Eastern Door

Every Tuesday afternoon, Cory Rice prepares servings of food for the community members to collect from the Kateri Food Basket, but this week, there was an additional component: homeware, courtesy of IKEA. 

A collaboration between the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake (MCK) and the IKEA distribution centre in Beauharnois made it possible to receive overflow products for distribution to the community.  

Rice brought back a trailer filled to the brim of the merchandise from IKEA’s Beauharnois location last Friday – six pallets, including an assortment of dishware, lazy Susans, small shelving, shoe racks, area rugs, chairs, and side tables.  

“I think it’s going to be great,” said Rice of the collaboration. “With the inflation and things like that going on, it’s affecting a lot of people and there are some young families just starting out, starting off a new home.”  

About 100 cars lined the highway up until the Knights of Columbus parking lot, where the tents were all set up. That’s where the food basket will also be setting up weekly going forward. 

“I’m just super happy to be part of any initiative that gives back to our community members. And we have people in need,” said Trina C. Diabo, Office of the Council of Chiefs technician with the MCK. “This is a whole different level now. It’s super exciting,” she said of combining the food donations with the furniture.  

This was the first iteration of the collaboration – one that Diabo hopes will continue about once a month. Each time, they’ll be able to select the overflow items available they’d like to receive.  

The beginning of the partnership between the IKEA branch and the MCK goes back about one year, and the furniture donation is one collaboration in a string of many.  

An art contest where a Kahnawa’kehró:non artist’s work will be featured at IKEA’s Beauharnois distribution centre is in the works, as well as talks for potential merchandise donation towards the new multi-purpose building. IKEA will also be putting in new shelving for the Kateri Food Basket.  

“We want to maintain this relationship,” said Diabo.  

Despite the cloudy skies and rainfall, community members showed up in droves on Tuesday. 

“This is an amazing co-op. This is what the community needs,” said Martha “Budzie” Marquis, who dropped by on Tuesday. “We all need to be unbiased because there’s so much out there that people are giving away. And it’s not only Native communities, it’s to all communities. 

“I’m really impressed because I lived in the US for most of my life, and I came here and I’m just astonished that the community is in arms, trying to bring it all together,” she said.  

All hands were on deck with about a dozen volunteers helping, which, according to Diabo and Rice, was crucial to making the giveaway a success. 

“Everything worked out so perfectly,” said Diabo. “What an awesome turnout. A very happy community, happy volunteers. 

“Every single community member that came to get something, got something,” she said, adding that there were often more than one family in each vehicle lined up. 

“We’re so happy, the community was happy. They were very appreciative. It was an exciting day.” 

nanor.fr@gmail.com 

This article was originally published in print on May 31 in issue 33.22 of The Eastern Door.

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Nanor is a reporter and copy editor with The Eastern Door. She was previously the managing editor and creative director at The Link.

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Nanor is a reporter and copy editor with The Eastern Door. She was previously the managing editor and creative director at The Link.