Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

January 18, 2010 12:00 ET

Government of Canada Supports Literacy and Essential Skills for Aboriginal Families in British Columbia

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Jan. 18, 2010) - Aboriginal families in British Columbia will benefit from a federally funded project aimed at improving their literacy and essential skills. The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade, Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Coquihalla, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"Our government strongly supports partnerships with educational institutions to improve the skills Canadians require to help them get jobs and build better futures," said Minister Day. "In today's economic environment, it is more important than ever that all Canadians have the skills they need to participate in the job market."

The Government of Canada has committed $283,625 over three years to the University of British Columbia from the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills. In partnership with the Aboriginal Head Start Association of British Columbia, the University will develop a curriculum for staff and early childhood educators who are engaged in designing, implementing and evaluating Aboriginal family literacy programs. This curriculum will also benefit literacy practitioners and volunteer tutors who work with Aboriginal families, and will give these families access to innovative and culturally sensitive family literacy programming.

"This funding allows us to develop innovative training opportunities for Aboriginal Head Start Association of British Columbia program providers, building their knowledge and skills to support the literacy development of Aboriginal children and enhance the family literacy experiences for their families," said Dr. Jan Hare, Professor of Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia. "This project represents the kind of collaboration we need to engage with Aboriginal communities and organizations in building their capacity to provide programs and services for Aboriginal people that build on Indigenous knowledges and approaches to learning. We know it is through literacy learning that we can improve Aboriginals' quality of life."

The Government of Canada's Office of Literacy and Essential Skills works with partners, including provincial and territorial governments, employers and community organizations to provide Canadians with the tools and supports they need to maximize opportunities for themselves, their families and their communities.


BACKGROUNDER

About the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills

The Government of Canada created the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills with a mission to become an acknowledged centre of expertise on what works in increasing the literacy and essential skills of adult Canadians. The Office's activities focus on improving the literacy and essential skills of adults to help them participate fully in the workplace, the community and family life.

While Canada currently faces economic uncertainty, skills shortages remain a significant challenge. The Government of Canada is helping individuals develop the skills they need so they can get jobs and build better futures. To make this happen, the Government is investing $36 million this year in the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    819-994-2482
    or
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559