Government of Canada Announces Funding to Prevent Teen Dating Violence in Rural and Indigenous Communities
Culturally relevant projects will promote healthy relationships and gender equality to students
April 17, 2019 - Thunder Bay, Ontario - Public Health Agency of Canada
It is important for youth to learn about healthy relationships and ways to prevent gender-based violence in ways that are culturally relevant and reflect their community and environment. Some populations are more likely to experience violence and may face unique barriers and challenges that put them at risk.
Today, the Honourable Patricia Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, highlighted the Government’s continued support to end gender-based violence by announcing nearly $3 million in funding over five years to support three initiatives aimed at preventing teen and youth dating violence.
The Thunder Bay District Health Unit, Ndinawemaaganag Endaawaad Inc. (Ndinawe) and Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc. are receiving funding to promote healthy relationships and gender equality through projects that will be created or adapted specifically for rural and Indigenous communities.
Minister Hajdu made the announcement while meeting with the project leads and partners of the Thunder Bay District Health Unit project as she toured its centre in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Funding for these projects is provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada as part of Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence.
The Government of Canada knows that, to be successful, programs to prevent teen dating violence must first resonate with youth. I am pleased to announce this funding to Thunder Bay District Health Unit, Ndinawe and Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc. to help them create or adapt programs to promote healthy relationships and gender equality that incorporate the cultural and social aspects of the communities in which they will be delivered.
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health
Ending gender-based violence is crucial if we are serious about ensuring that everyone has an equal and fair chance at success; that means investing in projects aimed at those who are especially at risk. By supporting these three organizations, we are ensuring that Indigenous youth have access to programming on teen and youth dating violence that is empowering, culturally relevant and responsive, and that will provide them with the skills and knowledge to prevent gender-based violence and build positive, healthy relationships.
The Honourable Maryam Monsef
Minister for Women and Gender Equality and International Development
People who have experienced violence often live with trauma that affects their lives in profoundly negative and long lasting ways. Teaching youth about healthy relationships is an effective way to reduce teen and dating violence by ensuring youth have the foundational knowledge they need to form healthy relationships. As a former public health professional I know that it is critical to support organizations like these to continue their vital work.
The Honourable Patricia Hajdu
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
I am pleased that so many great local initiatives will be receiving funding through the Youth Violence Prevention Project to continue their efforts to promote healthy relationships and gender equality amongst Canadian teens. These investments will support The Thunder Bay District Health Unit, Ndinawemaaganag Endaawaad Inc. (Ndinawe) and Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc. in running projects to address this issue that will be created or adapted specifically for rural and Indigenous communities.
Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Rainy River
From a public health perspective, upstream primary prevention initiatives such as the Youth Violence Prevention Project are integral to improving health and wellbeing in communities. We are excited to be coordinating the implementation of a comprehensive school-based program, focused on healthy relationships, targeted to teenagers in the Thunder Bay District. We value the commitment of our many local and provincial partners to this evidenced-based program and to their participation in adapting and delivering it in our Northern context. Our combined experience and a formal evaluation of this initiative will inform future interventions and ensure the long term sustainability of this work.
Dr. Janet DeMille
Medical Officer of Health, Thunder Bay District Health Unit
Ndinawemaaganag Endaawaad is honoured to have received funding from the Government of Canada to develop and design an Indigenized teen dating violence prevention program within our community. Ndinawe offers a variety of programs and supports to youth in the North End of Winnipeg and this funding will allow us to create a program for our youth that promotes healthy relationships throughout their lives.
Director of Innovation, Ndinawemaaganag Endaawaad Inc (Ndinawe)
This project will utilize a strength-based approach, including cultural reclamation and connectivity as a pathway to breaking down barriers and stereotypes, enhancing youth confidence and leadership and increasing capacity for making personal change within a “Culture as Prevention” philosophy. There is no better time than now to focus on Youth Dating Violence Prevention in helping to build resistance and skills for transformational change towards healthy lifestyle outlooks for Indigenous youth.
Executive Director, Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc.
Rates of police-reported intimate partner violence are higher in rural areas than urban areas. In addition, self-reported rates of violent victimization—including sexual assault—among Indigenous people is more than double that of non-Indigenous people.
The Public Health Agency of Canada is investing more than $40 million over five years under its Preventing Gender-Based Violence – The Health Perspective program. The program supports Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence.
Violence against women, girls and LGBTQ2 people is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations around the world. Globally, it is estimated that one in three women experiences intimate partner violence in her lifetime.
Statistic Canada’s Family violence in Canada: A statistical profile, 2017 report found that the rates of police-reported intimate partner violence are higher in rural areas than urban areas, with women accounting for almost 8 out of 10 victims. In addition, its Victimization of Aboriginal people in Canada, 2014 report found that self-reported rates of violence victimization—including sexual assault—among Indigenous people is more than double that of non-Indigenous people, with the highest rates being among younger Indigenous people aged 15 to 24.
In June 2019, Canada will host the Women Deliver Conference, the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights and wellbeing of girls and women.
Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health
Public Health Agency of Canada
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