Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

August 23, 2010 13:00 ET

Government of Canada Invests in Native Centre at the University of Calgary

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Aug. 23, 2010) - On behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, Rob Anders, Member of Parliament (Calgary West), today announced funding for the Native Centre at the University of Calgary.

With this funding, the Native Centre will deliver the Native Ambassador Program Initiative (NAPI), a project designed to provide education and career information that focuses on academic preparation for Aboriginal youth in junior and senior high schools. NAPI will also host a series of workshops for Aboriginal youth on self-awareness and leadership development.

"Our Government is committed to helping Aboriginal young people gain the skills they need to achieve their goals," said Minister Moore. "It is important to recognize the value and importance of these kinds of initiatives, and I am pleased that our Government is providing this funding to the Native Centre."

"This is an investment that will assist our First Nations people here in Alberta," said Mr. Anders. "We support an organization that helps young Aboriginal women and men gain independence and succeed in school and in life."

"The Native Centre is very grateful to Canadian Heritage for its ongoing support of the NAPI Ambassador Aboriginal Youth Outreach Program," said Shawna Cunningham, Director of the Native Centre. "Since 2004, this program has offered high-quality motivational sessions and University of Calgary-certified leadership training seminars, developed specifically for Aboriginal youth. Our program is designed to empower youth to discover the leader within. Last year alone, the NAPI program connected with close to 3000 Aboriginal youth."

The Native Centre at the University of Calgary was established in 1974. It provides a culturally appropriate environment that encourages and supports the success of Aboriginal students in their pursuit of knowledge and higher education. The Centre offers a variety of support services to current and prospective Aboriginal students. It has an active presence in the Aboriginal community throughout Calgary and provides academic outreach programming in partnership with First Nations post-secondary institutions, such as Old Sun Community College. Together with the First Nations Student Association, the Centre hosts a variety of social and cultural events and encourages students to become involved through peer support and volunteer opportunities.

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $40,000 through the Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth initiative (formerly known as the Urban Multipurpose Aboriginal Youth Centre Initiative) of the Department of Canadian Heritage's Aboriginal Peoples' Program. This initiative provides Aboriginal young people aged 10 to 24, living in urban settings across Canada, with programming that incorporates Aboriginal values, cultures, and traditional practices in projects and activities designed to improve their social, economic, and personal prospects and to strengthen their cultural identity.

(This news release is available on the Internet at under Newsroom.)

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    Matthew Deacon - Press Secretary
    Canadian Heritage
    Western Region
    Perry Boldt - A/Regional Manager
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations