First Indigenous Youth Centre in Calgary to Begin Construction

News release

March 25, 2024 – Calgary, Alberta – Indigenous Services Canada

Addressing the local needs of urban Indigenous youth through the mobilization and collaborative participation of regional communities and partners is reconciliation in action.

Today the Urban Society for Aboriginal Youth (USAY), a Calgary-based, Indigenous-led not-for-profit organization, celebrated the groundbreaking of the start of construction for the youth centre, and a significant step towards supporting a vision of success for Indigenous youth now and for future generations.

Through this collaboration between USAY and Indigenous Services Canada, USAY will receive $3,920,000 from the Indigenous Community Infrastructure Fund to build a safe, healthy, accessible and energy efficient space that will expand culturally appropriate programs and services for Indigenous youth in Calgary. This facility will offer a wide range of services and programs designed specifically to meet the unique needs of its clientele.

The Urban Society for Aboriginal Youth (USAY) was created in 2001 with support from Family and Community Support Services of the City of Calgary, United Way, Métis Nation of Alberta and Alberta Community Development.

By reducing social and economic inequalities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, and closing the critical infrastructure gap by 2030, Canada and community organizations like USAY, help to deliver culturally appropriate services based on expressed community needs.

As we embark on a new era guided by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, funding initiatives like this will help address the social drivers of health and advance self-determination.


“With the funding from Indigenous Services Canada, USAY will be able to provide a space to Indigenous youth that is truly theirs and they can feel safe and secure in. The various features of the building, including outdoor space and rooftop, will allow for cultural learnings based on the land that is difficult to find in urban settings.”

LeeAnne Ireland
Executive Director USAY

“Today’s funding will enhance the well-being of Indigenous Youth in Calgary by supporting capital costs, ensuring safe and accessible spaces for program and service delivery. With this funding, USAY, who I had the honour of visiting in spring 2023, will be better equipped to continue their essential and innovative programming and services to Indigenous youth.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu,
Minister of Indigenous Services

“This investment will provide resources and programs that promote well-being, education, and leadership among Calgary's Indigenous youth.  Now, in a setting they know and love, in a city they're helping to transform positively, with respect for their cultures, they'll be able to hone their skills and move towards a promising future. This agreement demonstrates that we can deliver appropriate services to Indigenous People by listening to communities and collaborating with their leaders.”

George Chahal
Member of Parliament, Calgary Skyview, Alberta.

Quick facts

  • Budget 2021 announced the Government of Canada is investing $194.9 million over 3 years, 2022 to 2025, to support urban and rural Indigenous service delivery organizations.

  • The urban component of the Indigenous Community Infrastructure Fund (ICIF) provides capital infrastructure support specifically targeted to improving the physical capacity, safety, security and accessibility of facilities for urban Indigenous peoples.

  • This funding will support the immediate demands for ongoing, new and shovel-ready projects.

  • The ICIF supports the mandate of Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) and Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) to close the infrastructure gap in Indigenous communities.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact :

Jennifer Kozelj
Press Attaché
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada

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