Backgrounder - Government of Canada invests in Indigenous-led solutions for gender equality amongst youth 


Youth Conversations on Gender Equality

In May 2019, Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE) launched National Conversations on Gender Equality with Young Canadians at the Canada Youth Summit in Ottawa.

National Conversations on Gender Equality with Young Canadians will expand and amplify youth-led conversations about behaviours and attitudes that perpetuate gender inequality, and support action for long-term change.

The initiative has two streams:

  1. A national stream, co-created between young people and WAGE, to engage with diverse groups of youth across Canada; and
  2. An Indigenous stream, co-developed between young Indigenous people and Indigenous organizations to engage young Indigenous people across Canada.

Fostering conversations with young Canadians on gender equality will support their ability to lead on the issue and develop skills; support peer-to-peer engagement on issues of gender equality; and help drive social change with inclusive and equitable ideas, attitudes, and behaviours.

To spearhead the initiative, WAGE has identified youth from across Canada to form the Youth Working Group on Gender Equality (YWG). WAGE and the YWG will use information gathered at the Canada Youth Summit to help inform the development of a strategy to engage youth on gender equality.

Indigenous youth projects

Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP)

Project title: Youth Engagement Conversation on Gender Equality
Funding amount: $400,000

CAP and its National Youth Council will work with regional members, a youth coordinator, Elders, and thematic experts to engage Indigenous youth in knowledge-sharing, conversations on the meaning of gender in each community, and the implementation of support systems. Gender champions will be identified and encouraged to use their knowledge and skills to organize events that celebrate and advocate for gender equality in their own communities.

CAP is one of five National Indigenous Organizations recognized by the Government of Canada. Founded in 1971 as the Native Council of Canada, the organization was originally established to represent the interests of Métis and non-status Indians. Reorganized and renamed in 1993, CAP has extended its constituency to include all off-reserve status and non-status Indians, Métis and Southern Inuit, and serves as the national voice for its provincial and territorial affiliate organizations. CAP also holds consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, which facilitates its participation on international issues of importance to Indigenous peoples.

Les femmes Michif Otipemisiwak (Women of the Métis Nation)

Project title: Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak – Youth Engagement
Funding amount: $400,000

Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak (LFMO) will build the confidence and capacity of young people to become advocates for gender equality in their communities. Métis women leaders and Elders will mentor youth and listen to their perspectives on gender equality issues within their communities. A Métis youth report will be presented during the LFMO Annual General Meeting that will guide future programming from the organization.

LFMO is the recognized voice of Métis women across the homeland. Operating in a democratic, transparent and fiscally accountable manner, it influences public policy and decision making related to concerns and aspirations of Métis women at all levels of Indigenous and Canadian government. A secretariat of the Métis National Council since 1999, LFMO was incorporated in 2010 at the organization’s inaugural meeting. 

National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC)

Project title: Urban Indigenous Youth Voices – Advancing Gender Equality
Funding amount: $400,000

The NAFC and its Aboriginal Youth Council (AYC) will support urban Indigenous youth to take action to advance gender equality. The organizations will help their youth membership develop the partnerships, skills, and knowledge they need to counter gender stereotypes and make change. They will hold annual AYC planning sessions and an annual dialogue which will bring together young Indigenous people from across the country to discuss gender equality, learn Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) techniques, and recommend best practices to meet the gender equality needs of urban Indigenous youth. The project will produce a final best practices report to be shared with member friendship centres, member provincial and territorial associations, and others to be put in action.

The NAFC is a network of 113 Friendship Centres and Provincial and Territorial Associations from coast-to-coast-to-coast. The NAFC was established in 1972 to represent, nationally, the growing number of friendship centres emerging across Canada

Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC)

Project title: Youth Engagement on Gender Equality
Funding amount: $400,000

NWAC will develop an online networking platform to connect young women, girls, Two-Spirit and gender diverse youth from across the country to share ideas on promoting gender equality. The platform will also help Indigenous youth access leadership opportunities and develop their advocacy skills. NWAC will also create an annual gathering for six young advocates to exchange ideas and work collaboratively to promote gender equality in their communities.

NWAC is a National Indigenous Organization representing the political voice of Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people in Canada, inclusive of First Nations on and off reserve, status and non-status, disenfranchised, Métis and Inuit. An aggregate of Indigenous women’s organizations from across the country, NWAC was founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of Indigenous women within their respective communities and Canadian societies.

Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada

Project title: National Conversations on Gender Equality with Young Inuit Canadians
Funding amount: $400,000

Pauktuutit will work with Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami’s National Inuit Youth Council to create a national dialogue and action plan on gender equality. Young people from across the four Inuit Nunangat regions and urban areas will come together in-person and online to discuss themes, trends, and ideas on how to advance gender equality throughout the Nunangat regions. Pauktuutit will work with youth to create web-based events and an electronic platform for training and mentoring to help Inuit youth gain the skills and confidence to advocate for gender equality, including knowledge of GBA+ and intersectional barriers.

Pauktuutit is the national representative organization of Inuit women in Canada and is governed by a 14-member Board of Directors from across Canada. It fosters greater awareness of the needs of Inuit women, advocates for equality and social improvements, and encourages Inuit women’s full participation in the community, regional and national life of Canada.

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