March 20, 2006
Vancouver, British Columbia – The Government of Canada, through its Urban Aboriginal Strategy (UAS), today announced $136,500 for an Urban Aboriginal Youth Public Awareness Campaign. The program is intended to assist urban Aboriginal youth build their communication and media skills as well as create awareness about urban Aboriginal initiatives in the Greater Vancouver community.
The Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society (ACCESS) in partnership with Numa Communications is delivering the Urban Aboriginal Awareness Campaign. Members of the Greater Vancouver Urban Aboriginal Strategy (GVUAS) and Aboriginal youth from the community will receive training in media relations and public speaking. The youth will also receive training on giving presentations and event planning.
There is also a mentorship component to the program. Urban Aboriginal youth will be able to explore communication careers with high profile Vancouver companies, including the BC Olympic Winter Games Secretariat, Great Canadian Rocky Mountaineer, Whitecaps Football Club and Tourism Vancouver.
"The Government of Canada is pleased to be working with the city of Vancouver to help urban Aboriginal youth build their communication and media skills," said the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians. "This opportunity to build relationships with high profile Vancouver companies and organizations can also help open doorways for future Aboriginal youth.”
“The mentorship program will allow urban Aboriginal youth build their communications skills and express their positive messages more effectively,” said Greater Vancouver Urban Aboriginal Strategy (GVUAS) Co-Chair Ardath Paxton Mann. “This program is bringing Aboriginal youth and local business together to establish a new and positive relationship.”
A number of urban Aboriginal youth are involved in this project including Tresley Tourand, youth representative from the Métis Nation and Rivers Stonechild from the Urban Native Youth Association (UNYA). “We want to expand our skills so we are better prepared to shape the future for other Aboriginal youth,” said Stonechild.
“This is a group of emerging Aboriginal leaders who have demonstrated tremendous interest and ability to be role models for Aboriginal youth, who represent nearly 40 percent of the total Aboriginal population,” said Lou Demerais, Co-Chair of the GVUAS.
This initiative is one program offered by the GVUAS for Aboriginal youth to develop skills as well as promote the achievements of Aboriginal peoples and organizations in the GVRD.
Western Economic Diversification Canada is the lead federal department responsible for administering the UAS in BC. In Greater Vancouver, the UAS initiative is overseen by the GVUAS Steering Committee. The committee is made up of federal, provincial and municipal representatives and members from the urban Aboriginal community.
The GVUAS 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: Western Economic Diversification Canada, Human Resources and Skills Development 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.
For additional information, contact:
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Vancouver, British Columbia
Tel: (604) 666-2445
Numa Communications Ltd.
WD Toll-Free Number
1 888 338-WEST (9378)
World Wide Web Site: