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

News release

August 20, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Women and Gender Equality Canada

The Government of Canada believes that everyone has a role to play in championing gender equality and in taking action to ensure that all people – regardless of their gender or sexual orientation – can succeed in Canada and around the world.

That’s why today the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, announced that the Government of Canada is investing $2 million in Indigenous-led initiatives to engage Indigenous youth on gender equality.

As part of the Conversations on Gender Equality with Young Canadians initiative, five Indigenous organizations are receiving $400,000 each to work with young Indigenous people across Canada and engage them on gender equality:

  • Congress of Aboriginal Peoples
  • Les femmes Michif Otipemisiwak (Women of the Métis Nation)
  • National Association of Friendship Centres
  • Native Women’s Association of Canada
  • Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada

These initiatives will be developed at the same time as the work by the Youth Working Group on Gender Equality, which is developing a strategy with the Government to build a more inclusive society and share ideas on how to advance gender equality. Funding for these projects stems from the Budget 2018 investment for National Conversations on Gender Equality with Young Canadians.

Quotes

“Young people today are part of the most powerful generation to have ever lived, and their engagement is essential to advancing gender equality—yet we know they have the most at stake and the smallest voice at the table. That is why the Government of Canada is engaging youth across the country to hear their diverse perspectives and get their innovative ideas on how we can make Canada a more equal place for people of all genders.”

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality

“Our vision is that all Indigenous peoples in Canada will experience the highest quality of life, founded on the rebuilding of our nations. We are thankful to the Government of Canada for this funding and look forward to working with young Indigenous leaders to ensure that all people, including women, girls, and Two-Spirit people, be rightfully treated with respect, dignity, integrity, and equality.”

National Chief Robert Bertrand
Congress of Aboriginal Peoples

“We are excited for this federal investment, which will help us work with Indigenous youth from across the Métis homeland to ensure that Métis women are safe, connected, empowered and have capacity to work with other Canadian and Métis organizations for healthy, vibrant and productive communities.”

Melanie Omeniho, President
Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak (Women of the Métis Nation)

“For over half-a-century, Friendship Centres have been the first point of contact for Indigenous communities seeking culturally-appropriate programs and services. Thanks to this investment from the Government of Canada, we will be helping Indigenous youth increase their knowledge and skills to become stronger leaders in their communities.”

Jocelyn Formsma,  Executive Director
National Association of Friendship Centres

“As a national Indigenous organization advocating for the wellbeing of Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit, and gender diverse people in Canada, we thank the Government of Canada for this support. We are proud to be working with Indigenous youth to enhance, promote, and foster the social, economic, cultural, and political wellbeing of Indigenous people across Canada.”

Gail Paul, Interim President
Native Women’s Association of Canada

“Pauktuutit has been advocating for the social, cultural, political and economic betterment of Inuit women, their families and communities since 1984. With this funding from the federal government, we are building on this rich history by engaging and supporting our youth for a bright future.”

Rebecca Kudloo, President
Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada

Quick facts

  • There are 9 million young people across the country, aged 15 to 34 – that’s about one-quarter of the country’s population.

  • In May 2019, Women and Gender Equality Canada launched a Youth Working Group on Gender Equality to develop a strategy to engage young Canadians on gender equality. This group includes members nominated by each of the five funding recipients. 

  • This funding will enable Indigenous organizations to tackle gender inequality in a way that makes sense for them. 

  • The Government of Canada is committed to advancing reconciliation with Inuit, First Nations, and the Métis Nation. The focus is on building a renewed relationship with Indigenous Peoples, one based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership. 

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Associated links

Contacts

Braeson Holland
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality
343-549-8825

Valérie Haché
Senior Communications Advisor
Women and Gender Equality Canada
819-420-8684


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