June 21, 2005
VANCOUVER, BC -- The Government of Canada today announced $587,429 in new and renewed funding for five projects in Greater Vancouver under the Urban Aboriginal Strategy aimed at improving the quality of life for Aboriginal people.
"Canada has a young and growing urban Aboriginal population that can play a key role in making our cities and our country more vibrant and prosperous," said the Honourable Andy Scott, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians. "Projects ranging from Youth Parent Programs to Native Policy and Research help ensure urban Aboriginal people take steps in the right direction."
"Our work with the Greater Vancouver Urban Aboriginal Strategy can best be characterized as dynamic and far reaching," said Lou Demerais, Co-Chair of the Greater Vancouver Urban Aboriginal Strategy Steering Committee and Executive Director of Vancouver Native Housing Society. "We are making significant progress towards improving governance and community collaborations in the Greater Vancouver Aboriginal community."
New funding under the Urban Aboriginal Strategy (UAS) initiative includes $150,000 to the Centre for Native Policy and Research to undertake policy research related to Urban Aboriginal issues, and $50,500 to the Aboriginal Arts and Culture Celebration Society to host an annual Urban Aboriginal Community Awards event in Vancouver, the first of which will be held on June 21, 2005 at the Vogue Theatre.
Renewed funding for UAS projects includes; $220,000 to the Metis Provincial Council of B.C. for an Urban Aboriginal Teen Parent Program; $100,000 to support Aboriginal literacy programs through the Kla-How-Eya Aboriginal Centre in Surrey; and $66,929 for an after school initiative linking Aboriginal children with youth and Elders through Vancouver Native Housing. Funding has been provided for various UAS projects since November 2003.
A backgrounder containing brief summaries of each project is attached.
Western Economic Diversification Canada is the lead federal department responsible for the implementation of the UAS in British Columbia.
In Greater Vancouver, the UAS initiative is overseen by the Greater Vancouver Urban Aboriginal Strategy Steering Committee. The committee is made up of federal, provincial and municipal representatives and members from the urban Aboriginal community.
The Greater Vancouver UAS approach recognizes that local communities are best placed to develop solutions that meet their unique challenges and opportunities. It also recognizes that all governments and the communities they serve need to work together to address urban Aboriginal issues.
The UAS is a Government of Canada partnership initiative that involves a number of federal departments, including: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Western Economic Diversification Canada, Canadian Heritage, Health Canada, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada/ Office of the Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Justice Canada and the National Secretariat on Homelessness.
The funding announced today was provided for in the February 2005 federal budget.
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For additional information, contact:
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Greater Vancouver Urban Aboriginal Strategy
WD Toll-Free Number
1 888 338-WEST (9378)
World Wide Web Site:
Government Of Canada Invests In Urban Aboriginal Initiatives
The Government of Canada has provided $587,429 in new and renewed funding for projects in British Columbia under the Urban Aboriginal Strategy.
Aboriginal Arts and Culture Celebration Society
Hosting the Urban Aboriginal Community Awards in Vancouver
The Aboriginal Art and Culture Celebration Society is a non-profit association that brings people of all nations together to experience the value and culture of Canada's Aboriginal populations. Funding will enable the Society to organize and promote the Urban Aboriginal Awards in Vancouver on June 21. The first award ceremony of its kind in Vancouver, it will honour those Aboriginal people who have contributed to the growth and prosperity of the Greater Vancouver Aboriginal community. For more information on the Greater Vancouver Urban Aboriginal Awards, please visit: http://aboriginalday-van.com/.
"It is an honour to be able to have an event of this scale in Vancouver," said Germain Langan, Project Coordinator for the Aboriginal Art and Culture Celebration Society.
"Recognizing the contribution and achievements of Aboriginal peoples is an important part of building a strong and proud Aboriginal community."
Centre for Native Policy and Research
Promoting progressive research and policy alternatives
The Centre for Native Policy and Research (CNPR) acts as a catalyst for change by developing and promoting social, economic, and environmental policy and research. Funding will assist in research activities on social indicators for Greater Vancouver Aboriginal people, a youth suicide prevention research project, setting Aboriginal research standards and methodologies, publishing a quarterly journal on Aboriginal policy and research issues, and launching an on-line information network.
"We are excited to partner with the GVUAS, who present an excellent model of collaboration between the Aboriginal community and various levels of government," said Cheryl Matthew, Director of the Centre for Native Policy and research. "They have demonstrated their far reaching vision by supporting the dire need for Urban Aboriginal policy and research which has the potential to have a long-term positive impact in the community."
Métis Provincial Council of British Columbia
To continue programming and support for Aboriginal teen parents
The Métis Provincial Council of B.C. (MPCBC) undertakes advocacy, coordination and policy-making on behalf of Métis people in BC on matters related to provincial and federal programs and services. Funding supports an Aboriginal teen parent program to help young parents understand the importance of their child's early development.
"Support for the Aboriginal Young Parent program received through the Urban Aboriginal Strategy signifies the federal government's commitment to building healthy futures for our children and families nationwide," said Larry Railton, Early Childhood Development coordinator at MPCBC.
Vancouver Native Housing
Provide after school care to children
The AfterSchool Program is geared toward Urban Aboriginal children from the ages of 6-10. The program provides tutoring, safety, life skills and recreation in order to support Aboriginal children in their communities. The program also contains a mentoring component where children can form long-term relationships with Elders in their community.
"We are thankful for the continued support of the GVUAS," said Shawna Baylis, Family Support Worker at Vancouver Native Housing. "Funding has enabled the continuation of our successful AfterSchool program. Aboriginal children participating in our program have had the benefit of being exposed to various Aboriginal cultures and traditions and have shown great pride in their new awareness."
Kla-How-Eya Aboriginal Centre, Surrey BC
Continue an intensive literacy program for Aboriginal youth
The Kla-How-Eya Aboriginal Centre is committed to supporting activities that promote the health and economic well being of Aboriginal people. The Centre also promotes the resurgence of Aboriginal culture, language and teachings. Funding will assist Aboriginal youth improve their literacy skills, re-enter high school and transition successfully to employment or continuing education.
"We are excited about the continuation of this program for September 2005 and look forward to a larger class size, greater participation in the community and most of all - to see the continued success of our aboriginal youth in education and employment," said Patricia Raymond-Adair, Executive Director. "Our unique partnership with the Surrey School District, Sto:lo Nation Human Resources, ACCESS and UAS, has provided a great opportunity for aboriginal youth at risk to obtain the necessary resources and support to further their education and employment opportunities."