Backgrounder -  Government of Canada announces investment in Northwest Territories’ women’s organizations 


Department for Women and Gender Equality – Women’s Program

One of the ways the Department for Women and Gender Equality advances gender equality in Canada is by providing funding to eligible organizations through the Women’s Program. Projects are selected via calls for proposals on specific themes, as well as through a continuous intake process that allows the Women’s Program to address emerging issues as they arise.                                                  

The Women’s Program funds projects that address systemic barriers to women’s equality in three priority areas: ending violence against women and girls; improving the economic security and prosperity of women and girls; and encouraging women and girls in leadership roles.

Capacity-building Call for Proposals

In October 2018, Minister Monsef announced a Call for Proposals under the Capacity-building Fund of the Women’s Program. Projects at the local, provincial, and national level were eligible for different amounts of funding, based on their specific need and reach.

On March 8, 2019, International Women’s Day, Minister Monsef announced that over 250 women’s organizations across the country would receive funding from the Capacity-building Fund.

The objective is to fund proposals that will increase the capacity of eligible women’s organizations and Indigenous organizations serving women, whose initiatives contribute to a viable women’s movement in Canada that advances gender equality. Funding will increase the ability of organizations to grow, meet the increasing demands for their services, and continue to work collectively to address gender equality issues. The fund stems from the Budget 2018 announcement of $100 million over five years to help support a viable and sustainable women’s movement across Canada.

Northwest Territories Projects

Today’s announcement profiled four projects based in Yellowknife that were selected for federal funding:

Dechinta Initiatives

Project title: Dechinta – Indigenous women and education
Funding amount: $363,966

This project will review Dechinta’s governance to develop more effective policies to better serve First Nations women. The organization will also develop a comprehensive communications plan advocating for a holistic approach to schooling that reduces the barriers faced by Indigenous women who are trying to access and obtain post-secondary schooling.

The Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning is internationally recognized for its innovative research and university program delivery and as a best-practice in Indigenous post-secondary education and research. The collaborative teaching and research environment demonstrates a clear commitment to valuing Indigenous knowledge. Dechinta’s faculty includes northern leaders in the field of Indigenous studies, political science, environmental studies, law, and guest faculty drawn from interdisciplinary fields including environmental science and monitoring, geography and fine arts.​


Project title: Capacity Building for Advancing the Equality of Northern Indigenous Women
Funding amount: $371,526

This project’s aim is to build and strengthen organizational capacity for FOXY to be a more effective and efficient organization for the advancement of equality for Indigenous women in Northern Canada. To strengthen capacity at the territorial level, the project’s key activities will include strategic planning for the next 5 to 10 years, and a sustainability plan based on options for alternative revenue generation that will decrease FOXY’s dependence on government funding. FOXY will also develop their knowledge and use of Gender-based Analysis Plus to support human resources and results-based management systems, and improve overall board governance.

FOXY, or Fostering Open eXpression among Youth, is a new way of working with young women and gender diverse youth to promote mental and sexual health. Since 2012, FOXY has reached out to over 3,000 youth in more than 35 northern communities and provided workshops and retreats to connect more than 200 Northern and Indigenous peer leaders.

Yellowknife Women’s Society

Project title: Yellowknife Women’s Society Capacity and Sustainability Revitalization
Funding amount: $268,800

The main objectives of this project are to improve the human resources capacity, financial stability, and advocacy strategy of the Yellowknife Women's Society. Fulfilling these objectives will allow the organization to increase their support for the wellbeing of women in their community.

The Yellowknife Women's Society was incorporated as a non-profit society in January 1990. Founding members decided the Yellowknife Women's Society would operate by consensus using a decision-making model designed to allow all women to co-exist equally in one group. The goal of the society was to support and assist women in empowering themselves so they could develop their goals, achieve wellness, enjoy equality and be recognized for the contribution they make to the community.


Project title: Building northern capacity to advance gender equality in the NWT
Funding amount: $603,415

The project’s aim is to create a new position within the organization for an advocacy coordinator, which will build their capacity and help advance gender equality across the territory. Activities to be carried out include increased training for staff and the implementation of a strategic advocacy plan to improve outcomes throughout the territory. 

Originally known as YWCA Yellowknife, the organization was founded in 1966 to provide housing for single working women. Since then, the YWCA has offered a variety of services to women, girls and families in Yellowknife and beyond. Housing is still a key component of the YWCA mandate, along with shelter from family violence, afterschool care for children and empowerment programs. In 2017, YWCA Yellowknife became YWCA NWT – a name change reflecting the broader services and reach across the territory.

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