Projects to help prevent teen and youth dating violence for rural and Indigenous communities


On April 17, 2019, Minister Hajdu, on behalf of Minister Petitpas Taylor, announced the Government of Canada’s support for three initiatives to help end gender-based violence. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is investing nearly $3 million over five years as part of its Preventing Gender‑Based Violence – The Health Perspective program, which supports Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence.

As part of the Strategy, PHAC will be investing more than $40 million over five years, and more than $9 million per year ongoing, to prevent gender-based violence. This includes investing nearly $3 million in the three projects announced today to support the delivery and testing of programs to prevent teen and youth dating violence in rural and Indigenous communities:

1. Thunder Bay District Health Unit: Youth Violence Prevention

This project will build on the Fourth R, an existing classroom program promoting healthy relationships created by Western University for grades seven to nine. The program promotes positive social and emotional development for youth, including addressing dating violence, gender identity and equality. Project activities, including a northern adaptation of Fourth R materials, will reach more than 5,000 students in grades seven to ten across Public, Catholic and District School Boards in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and surrounding communities.

Youth will be engaged throughout the development and delivery of the project to ensure that the adapted materials reflect their community and surroundings in a way that will resonate with students. More than 200 teachers and health promoters will receive training to help build capacity in the community to deliver the teen dating violence prevention program to youth and help identify, prevent and respond to dating violence in schools and the community. PHAC is contributing $995,111 over five years to support this project.

2. Ndinawemaaganag Endaawaad Inc. (Ndinawe): Building Relationships

Ndinawemaaganag Endaawaad’s (Ndinawe) Building Relationships ‘Heart to Heart’ project is a five-year community-driven and culturally-adapted dating violence prevention program for Indigenous teens in Winnipeg, aged 12 to 17. The development, delivery and evaluation of the ‘Heart to Heart’ project involves a collaboration of three Winnipeg organizations: Ndinawemaaganag Endaawaad, Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre (Ma Mawi) and Research and Education for Solutions to Violence and Abuse (RESOLVE). The design and implementation of this initiative will involve a Design Team composed of a Youth Advisory Council, two Elders (male/female) and staff from Ndinawe, Ma Mawi and RESOLVE. An Indigenous Life Story Board—a dynamic visual map of key aspects of a person’s life and experiences made into a physical play board— will also be developed as part of the project’s trauma- and violence- informed approach to engaging through the healing power of storytelling. PHAC is contributing $965,843 over five years to support this project.

3. Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc.: “You Matter” Stop Youth Dating Violence

This project will integrate curricula designed to prevent teen and youth dating violence into existing programming delivered by Ka Ni Kanichihk (Cree for “those who lead”). The Winnipeg-based, Indigenous-led organization aims to tailor dating violence prevention programs to include historical and cultural context and healthy relationship dynamics. Three unique programs will be developed for children aged 9 to 12, youth aged 13 to 17, and young adults aged 18 to 24.

The project will also work with First Nation communities and reach out to Indigenous Manitoba populations through urban peer and rural community capacity building training. PHAC is contributing $1 million over five years to support this project.

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